Frank Frion, Jr.

Information Submitted by Frank Frion     

Frank Frion Jr., of Holcombe, WI was drafted into the United States Army in November 1942. Prior to deployment, he reported briefly to Fort Sheridan. He was a Staff Sergeant in Company B of the 56th Signal Battalion. He fought at Normandy, in northern France, in the Ardennes in the Rhineland, and in Central Europe. He was awarded a Silver Battle Star, five overseas service bars, one service stripe, the Good Conduct Medal, and victory medals for the European, African, and Middle Eastern Theaters.

According Doreen Frion, Frank's daughter, the following booklet was constructed for the fourth anniversary gathering of the 56th Signal Battalion. Such personal narratives are invaluable in capturing the war experience and putting a personal stamp on our retelling of World War II.
I had quite a long stay in England, and I can't say that it was unpleasant. Not like home, you know, but I enjoyed myself. The people were friendly, and I drank tea with the best. Never could get onto the idea of sipping a drink though. While these people were sipping one drink, I could have downed a half dozen... ..and usually did, if they were available. 

Since I was there from November 1942 until the invasion in 1944, I had plenty of time to get around to see most of all parts of England. London is a wonderful place...with Piccadilly...and...Piccadilly!!! (Remind me to go into detail about that sometime) 

All the time I was in England, I was constantly training. They had taken a lot of my men to Africa on that invasion, and I had a new company of my own so, when I got a lot of new men, I had to start all over on training. I trained on the moors and on the the rain and in the mud...then I cleaned up a few camps just to keep my hand in. In fact, I thought they should change my insignia from crossed flags to crossed brooms and rakes. What a job! But I didn't work too hard. I had me a good time, for like Ireland, I found a home in England, too. I got around!!!

Early in the spring of 1944, I was told what my part in the invasion of France would be, so I began making my own plans. I really went into detail studying for my part, but I wasn't worried any, for I knew that I could do it. I had been doing most of that kind of work all along and felt that I was letter perfect. 

I was water-proofed and loaded on ships and was right there at the beach on June 6th. Boy, what a show! It was something to see. I never knew there were so many ships and guns in the world. Got my feet wet getting ashore but made it in fine shape. 

Then, I really had a job. Worked right up there where it was kind of hot for a while until the front lines moved in a bit.

When everyone was ready, we started out across France. That, my friend, was a fast trip and, believe me, it stretched me to the limit. Right on into Paris we went, too. Paris! What a sight! What a town! What beautiful women!!...and we were liberating them! Never been kissed so many times in my life. They rode bicycles with full skirts and what a leg show. I didn't speak the language very well but that made no difference. 

I got around! Oh boy!  

After about two weeks of Paris, I staggered out on the other side, slightly the worse for continue my trip to Berlin. 

After Paris, I continued at a fast pace through France and through the southern part of Belgium into the northern tip of Luxembourg. There, we slowed down and I was able to catch my breath. That had been a long chase, and I was glad of the chance to collect myself.

As the front line troops jockeyed for an opening into Germany, I slid north into Belgium again, and there I was sitting when Jerry decided to throw his Sunday punch in the middle of December. I may have thought I had worked before, but believe me, I really worked then. It seemed to be nip and tuck for awhile but, after the first few days, things began to shape up better. My work eased up a bit and settled down to routine business.

And that' s my story up to my Fourth Birthday.  I've lived a lot during those years; I've had fun and laughed a lot; I've worked hard when it was necessary; and since I've been in combat, I've been shelled, bombed, strafed, sniped at, and hit a few mines, but I've done my job, and I think, done it well. Right now I'm ready, willing, and able, and on this, my Fourth Birthday, I say

"Here's to Berlin and then 
HOME. Home to the cities, the country, 
the streets, the country  lanes, 
the hills, the plains, the  mansions, 
the country cottage,
the wives, the children, 
the sweethearts, and 
everything that spells 
A M E R I C A. "

The rabbit on the back cover was drawn for this organization upon request by Walt Disney and given by him to the Battalion to use on the trucks when so permitted. There is no other organization with this symbol. 

As you will note, the stars surrounding the rabbit total eleven, five above and six below to designate the 56th.