Frank Raymond Townsend

Frank is my grandfather. He was born June 22, 1889 in Decator City, Decator Iowa. He died June 24, 1966 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Frank fought in the battle of Verdun during World War I. The battle of Verdun was the longest battle of the First World War and one of the longest in history. Beginning on 21 February 1916, it lasted for 300 days. Some 70 of France’s 96 divisions and 46 German divisions participated in the battle. The combined casualties on both sides reached a staggering total of over 420,000 dead and 800,000 wounded, earning Verdun the unenviable reputation of being the battlefield with the highest density of dead per square yard in history.During the war, he was shot in the leg by a machinegun. He lay in a ditch for about five days. U.S. Troops had made a number of medical sweeps of the area. However, they decided to make one last sweep. That is when Frank was found. In the course of events, while Frank lay in the field... he shot a couple of Germans in the face. He ended up walking with the aid of a cane for the rest of his life. He never talked about the war... and we grandkids were advised not to ask about it. I remember once long ago, I got daring... I asked him if he had ever known anyone who had fought in the Civil War. He said he did, and being amazed... I let it go at that. Not having a good grasp of time, in my mind, it seemed that the Civil War had to have been thousands of years before. Frank never seemed to say much. When we would go to his home in Arkansas, it seemed that about all he did was sit on a small chair in the corner of his room and roll Prince Albert cigarettes. Its too bad we cant go back in time. I have a lot of questions that I would like to be able to ask him now that I am older.

Go to Benjamin Franklin Townsend's page (Frank's father)!
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