FRANKE, FRED AGUSTUS Name: Fred Agustus Franke Rank/Branch: O5/United States Navy, pilot Unit: VF 21 Date of Birth: 29 October 1965 Home City of Record: Brooklyn NY Date of Loss: 24 August 1965 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 201000 N 1054000E Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4B Missions: Other Personnel in Incident: Robert Doremus, Returnee Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK 23 March 1997 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. REMARKS: 02/12/73 RELEASED BY DRV SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977 Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602 Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and spelling errors). UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO FRED A. FRANKE Captain - United States Navy Shot Down: August 24, 1965 Released: February 12, 1973 Born: October 29, 1926 at Brooklyn, New York. Entered: Navy Aviation Cadet Program (V-5) as Apprentice Seaman in February 1944. Discharged in December 1946. Education: Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston, Louisiana. Rice Institute, Houston, Texas. University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma. Accepted direct commission as Ensign USN in August of 1948. Sea duty assignments: Fighter Squadron 73 flying F4U's/F9F's. Fighter Squadron 61 flying F3H's. Fighter Squadron 21 flying F4B's. Staff of Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force (Air Warfare Division) Norfolk, Virginia. Service Schools: Naval Test Pilot School (Class 11). Naval War College (Command and Staff) '60-'61. Future Plans: Continue with naval career to serve our country Shore duty assignments: Two tours at the Naval Air Test Center, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, as Project Test Pilot and Instructor at the Naval Test Pilot School. Family: Wife-lackie Louise. Children: William Dale, 21, Debra Lynn, 18, Valerie Ann, 8. Mother: Georgia Franke Smith, residing in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I was the Commanding Officer of Fighter Squadron Twenty-One flying from USS Midway (CVA41) in an F4B Phantom aircraft on 24 August 1965 when it was struck by a Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) over North Vietnam. My NFO (Cdr. R. B. Doremus) and I ejected and were captured immediately upon landing in rice fields. Rescue efforts were not immediately feasible due to our location and the impending darkness (it was late in the afternoon). My wingman reported seeing no parachutes, and we were officially listed as Killed in Action shortly thereafter. I spent the next 7 1/2 years imprisoned in Hanoi. I was sustained during those long miserable years by my faith in God and my country and the ever present knowledge that my fellow prisoners were near and lending moral support-the feeling was reciprocal. I occupied my time with physical exercise within the cell and with meditation in prayer as well as thoughts of my past life, my family and our wonderful country. I never lost hope, feeling certain of eventual release. My faith in God was actually strengthened during those days as was my faith in the American people who I knew would continue to support all of us being held captive. Ours is truly a great nation. I feel certain that somehow it will become even greater in the generations to come as we work together under God in unity, for the freedom and betterment of all mankind. -------------------
Fred Franke retired from the United States Navy as a Captain. He and his wife Jackie reside in California.