Sgt. Frank Rankin
KIA Didn't Know His Baby Was Born,
Sgt. Rankin Met His Death
When Daughter Was Nine Days Old
(April 19, 1945) -- Sgt. Frank Rankin, 24, of 18 Hornblower Avenue, was declared missing in action over France on March 26 and later declared killed in action on April 11.
Gail Catherine, his baby's due date was March 6.
Sgt. Rankin served as an engineer gunner of aboard an A-20 Light Bomber, Ninth Air Force, stationed in France.
A graduate of Belleville High School class of 1939, he went overseas last September.
Sgt. Rankin received an Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal for meritorious service in the battle of the Belgium bulge.
He was the second member of the 'sandlot' team - the Emanons - to be killed in action. The first was Thomas Peacock who was killed in action in September 1943.
Service for Sgt. Rankin Sunday
(May 31, 1945) -- Engineer-gunner Sgt. Frank Rankin, was killed returning from his 17th combat mission when his plane was separated from its squadron in haze and crashed in France on March 6.
Sgt. Rankin was buried with honors in Henri Chapell cemetery in Herze, Belgium.
He was awarded the Air Medal, and a 2-Oak Leaf Cluster, and a Purple Heart.
His family noted that Rankin died exactly two years after enlisting.
The Belleville Times, April 19, May 31, 1945:
Deaths of Two GIs Reported
A Place of Honor and Remembrance In the Home of the Brave
Belleville, New Jersey
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