Frank was born January 20, 1918 in Newark, NJ. He was the youngest of 6 children: three brothers and two sisters.
He grew up helping neighbors. After grammar school, he went to the Boy's Vocational School in Newark, NJ and learned to be a printer. Upon graduation, he went to work for Geiger Brothers Printing Company in Newark, NJ where he helped print calendars and diaries. He met Rose Zarro there who would later become his wife.
He was drafted into the Army on January 13, 1941 and proceeded to Fort Dix, NJ for induction. He trained at Fort Bragg, North Carolina for 22 months in the 9th Inf. Division.
He arrived overseas for the invasion of Africa. After fighting across French Morocco and Tunisia, he was wounded in action at the Kasserine Pass where, on March 28, 1943, German and Italian troops took him prisoner. He was transported to the hospital in Palermo, Sicily where he stayed for 14 days. He was transferred to a hospital in Bologna, Northern Italy for a six-month recovery.
He was loaded onto a boxcar with 100 other prisoners who were being transported to Campo 59 in Italy. When Italy capitulated, he was set free into German-occupied Italy, where freedom lasted 10 days. While trying to reach American lines, he was re-captured by German troops and taken back to Campo 59. He was held there until a train of boxcars arrived to transport POWs to Germany. This trip lasted five nights and six days, with no food or water.
They arrived in Mooseberg, Germany, and after a short stay, they were transported to Stalag 2B in Hammerstein, Germany. His stay there lasted 1 1/2 years. During that time, POWs were sent out on daily work details. With the Russians persuing the Germans, Frank was transported to different camps. He was put in a camp in Hamburg, Germany, and then after a few days he was taken to Cologne, Germany.
On April 18, 1945, A British Tank Battalion liberated the POW camp. All the men were then admitted to a hospital in France where they were treated for yellow jaundice, malnutrition and dysentery. All were then moved to Camp Lucky Strike in LaHarve, France to await shipment back to the USA.
On a date in late May, 1945, the men were loaded onto a ship heading for New York. The trip took 6 days. the men looked up the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor on Memorial Day and were home at last.
On July 1, 1945, Frank married Rose Zarro, and they settled in Irvington, NJ. They worked together at Geiger Brothers for one year. Rose and Frank raised 4 children: Richard, Irene, Angela Podskalny and Lisa Giamella. They are the proud grandparents of five. Frank and Rose retired to Dunedin, FL in October 1988.
WWII veterans and POWs served their country and fought for freedom (for all). The five years of my Army life were an unforgettable experience. They gave me the opportunity to love life and pass good values onto my children and to future generations. I am 81 and looking forward to the new millennium.