French honor Burnet veteran Frank

Contributed/Joanne Graves
World War II veteran Paul Frank (front) celebrates his reception of the Medal of Knight in the French Order of the Legion of Honor at the State Capitol Building in Austin on Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11. Frank and four other veterans were recognized by the Honorable Alexis Andres, Consul General of France, for their contribution to the liberation of France during the war 74 years ago. Also pictured are, left to right, Frank's daughter, Joanne Graves; her husband Robert, Gulf War Veteran; son, Stephen Frank, Vietnam veteran.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Veterans Day 2018 marked the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I and another year of remembrance of those who risk and give their lives in exchange for the freedom of their country.

The memorable day held even more meaning for World War II veteran and Burnet resident Paul Frank. On Sunday, Nov. 11, Frank and four fellow veterans were recognized at the state Capitol building in Austin by the honorable Alexis Andres, Consul General of France, for their contribution to the liberation of France during the War.

Frank was presented a medal of Knight in the French Order of the Legion of Honor, the highest French decoration and equivalent of both the Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Frank, whose father served in World War I and other family members fought in previous wars, enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in 1943 at 18 years old. Frank served from Snetterton Heath Air Field in England, 250 miles from the German border.

Serving as a waist and tail gunner for the “Helen Back,” Frank served his country in 32 missions over Europe, including two missions over France on June 6, 1944, a day history remembers as D-Day, when more than 150,000 forces liberated Western Europe from Nazi rule on the beaches of Normandy, France.

Frank was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with three oak clusters for his 32 missions. After the war, Frank came back home and worked as an aircraft mechanic for Travis Air Force Base in California for 39 more years.

Frank now lives with his daughter, Joanne Graves, and her husband, Robert, in Burnet. During the 74 years after World War II, Frank has kept many photos and mementos from his time serving his country, keeping a significant part of history near to his heart.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet