The Norman Transcript

News Features

November 11, 2012

Two years in a foxhole

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Frank was injured twice during the fighting in France and Germany. His first wound resulted from shrapnel hitting his face, arm and shoulder of his right side. It was a serious injury as much of the shrapnel could not by removed from his face and body, and he still carries it. His second injury occurred on Oct. 22 and was also caused by shrapnel, this time hitting Frank on his right hand. He said the medics were first talking about having to take his hand off, but he healed quickly and was returned to the front line on Nov. 11.

A favorite memory

One of Frank’s favorite memories of the wartime years was his only R&R opportunity. He was unexpectedly offered to go to England when the fighting in France eased temporarily. He gladly accepted and went through Paris and took a ferry to England. When he processed for the trip, he was given a new uniform to replace his well-used combat uniform. He was very pleased with the clean clothes and the opportunity for about seven and a half days out of the war. However, upon his return from England, he was made to return the new uniform and was given his old combat uniform. He then returned to his division and was soon in the fighting of the Battle of the Bulge.

While Frank is modest about his role in the war, he strongly believes that the war was won by the PFCs (Private First Class). They were the ones, like himself, who lived in the foxholes and fought the war directly against the enemy, almost face to face. He was offered promotion to sergeant, but declined it. He felt that sergeants, along with lieutenants, were the most vulnerable men on the battlefield.

Frank had two significant events happen in December 1945. He met his future wife, Leona, and they were married eight months later. They have been married 66 years, and have two children, four grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

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