WWII paratrooper joins Honor Flight
Frank Parzatka, a World War II paratrooper accompanied other veterans on the Honor Flight to Washington D. C., on Oct. 17-19.
Frank was born in Chicago, but his family moved to Armstrong Creek, Wis., a small community in Northern Forest County.
Except for his military service, he has lived there nearly all his life.
Frank joined the military in 1942 and took his basic training at Fort Sill Oklahoma.
After basic training was completed he was transferred to the 82nd Division in Mississippi to receive training in artillery combat.
Later he was transferred to the 101st Airborne for advanced training in glider artillery combat duty.
After completing this training his detachment was sent to England to a base just 60 miles north of London in late 1943.
More training followed in early 1944, and then June 6 came along with the invasion at Normandy.
Frank boarded a ship named the Susan B Anthony to join the U S forces in the invasion.
The ship struck a floating mine sending the ship to the bottom of the English Channel.
By some miracle and hard work all the troops and crew aboard the ship, including Frank, were rescued by nearby ships.
The nest day, Frank made a landing with his detachment and the sight that met them on shore was sickening and unforgettable.
The beach was littered with dead bodies of U.S. troops numbering into the hundreds, but the enemy had been driven back and bodies were being recovered.
Frank’s unit joined forces further inland and began ferrying paratroops behind enemy lines.
Finally his unit loaded their gliders with artillery weapons and flew to Holland to engage the German occupation forces.
After the landing Frank and his Unit were in constant combat, including the Battle of the bulge, and Bastogne, and on to final victory in 1945.
Frank managed to survive all of his combat experience without serious injury, but he saw enough death and destruction to last 10 life times.
Frank’s voice has a sad tone when he tells about his best friend who died during the invasion at Normandy.
He always has a cheery greeting for anyone he meets, he enjoys social gatherings, and also is often seen at outings with members from Ainnsworth Hall.
Frank gave 110 percent of himself to his military service.
No One can ask more from this brave warrior who still walks with a military bearing at a young 95 years of age.
It is only proper that Frank Parzatka should receive the accolades of the Honor Flight not only for his military service, but for his many years as an honest and hardworking citizen in his community as well.