Received: PRISONER OF WAR MEDAL, GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL
G. M. CORP.
after War: SALES
Mr. Heekin was drafted in June 1941, and was sent to Ft. Still Okla. He
was stationed there and trained for eighteen months. He later joined the
Air Corps in March 1943. The Air Corps washed out all of cadets and sent
Frank to Air Mechanics School, Gunnery School, and from there he was
attached to a crew.
He was sent overseas in June 1944 and Frank’s crew joined with the 457
IBG of the 8th Air Force, Frank was shot down on his first mission to
Berlin. The crew bailed out thirty miles west of Berlin, and was picked
up right away and was taken to a local village jail. Four of the nine
men crew were killed. Mr. Heekin was taken from the jail with three
other prisoners and taken to a cemetery and ordered to dig a grave. They
put the four men in those graves. One was our radioman.
From there Frank was taken to the Interrogation Center at Frankfort.
They were there about a week before they were sent by boxcar to Stalag
Luft IV. It was located ten miles south of the Baltic Sea in the
Pomerania State Of Germany. Frank was there until February 6, 1945. From
their Mr. Heekin group left and was put on the Black Death March. It
lasted eighty-six days. It was six hundred miles in the dead of winter. Dysentery
was a way of life. Frank escaped from the march in late March with three
other men. They were loose about nineteen days. They walked at night and
slept in the daytime avoiding several German patrols, and living off the
land. They found an English Army on April 17. Two men were sick and were
taken to hospitals in Belgium. Frank wound up in a hospital in England,
and got back to the states in June 1945.
In 1947 he married Eleanor and were married for fifty-one years before
she passed away on November 30th, 1998 they had four children together.
Three of their children are still alive.