In his application for Social Security, he said his parents were Lawrence Levan and Miriam Phillips.(U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [Ancestry.com. database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007.) This doesn't look right, as Lawrence was born in about 1903 and would have been 14 when Fred was born, and Miriam and Lawrence were not married until about 1927. Both Lawrence and Miriam were shown as being single on the 1920 US Census.
Ben, If you are a direct descendant of Fred, I would suggest a Y-DNA test. That just might put you on the track for the correct father.