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.