THE RARE BREED
Recognizing Area Veterans Of World War II
From New Guinea To Luzon For
Citizen Soldier Frank Hahn
U. S. Army Sgt. Frank Hahn
Frank W. Hahn helped to keep the Army's military vehicles rolling, all the way from New Guinea to Luzon, in The Philippines--and, when needed, manned a flamethrower, to help clear the enemy from the many caves on the islands in the Pacific Theater.
Born to Louis and Augusta Hedmek Hahn at Sample in Gonzales County on Oct. 18, 1921, his family moved to the El Maton area in 1927. When the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Frank was a 20-year-old, helping his mother with the farm chores.
On June 7, 1942, at Bay City, he enlisted as a private in the Army, drawing the pay of $21 a month.
After being stationed at Edgewood, Maryland; Atlanta, Ga., (where he completed the general automotive mechanics course at the Atlanta Ordinance Motor Base in October, 1942) and San Francisco, Calif., it was across the Pacific and into the war zone. Before shipping overseas, he had been promoted to Sergeant--and before he had been in the Army less than a year, he was promoted to Technical Sergeant.
As the Army's automotive mechanic, Hahn repaired motors, clutches, transmissions on all types of military vehicles. He also worked as foreman of the repair shop.
The repair shops would be behind the lines, but the flamethrowing chores took him into the thick of battle.
During his service years, Hahn received the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Service Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal.
After war's end and with three years and five months of service, Hahn received his discharge, with the rank of Technical Sergeant, at Camp Lee, Va., on Nov. 1, 1945.
An appreciation letter from Brigadier General George A. Horkan, commanding officer at Camp Lee, cited the nation's gratitude for Hahn and the thousands of others who responded to serve their country in "the period of grave emergency."
The letter, addressed to "A Soldier Who has Loyally and Faithfully Served His Country," and which Hahn still has in his possession, said:
"As a citizen-soldier, you have given unselfishly to the defense of your country and your honorable discharge becomes a symbol of a task well done by you during your service.
"Ours is a civilian army and the great share of any credit for our accomplishments must go to men like you who left their civilian occupations to render their duty to their country. The people of this nation owe a debt of gratitude to you for the duty you have performed. It will be a source of satisfaction to you all of your life to know that you have served faithfully and well.
"Allow me to convey my best wishes to you upon your return to civilian life and for your continued success in the future.
"God speed and good luck."
Hahn returned home at El Maton and he's been there ever since. The year, 1945, had been a good one. The war had ended, he had returned home--and he had met Dorothy Gene Nichols, on a visit to his sister's house. They were married March 2, 1946.
Frank Hahn and wife, Dorothy, with one of their grandchildren.
Frank and Dorothy have had seven children: Patricia, who is deceased; Richard F. Hahn of El Maton; Diane M. Rice of Imbolen, Ark.; Dorothy A. Wason of Pasadena, Tex.; Frank W. Hahn, Jr. of El Maton; Paul L. Hahn of Blessing; and Gaylynn Thurmond, also of Blessing. There are also 18 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
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