|As Frank got older, he went to Lane Tech High School, Class of 1940. Upon graduation, he worked during the day, enrolled in evening school at Washburne Trade School in Chicago and completed the necessary requirements for apprenticing at the sheet metal trade.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Frank landed a job at the Illinois Central Railroad, apprenticing as a sheet metal worker. When WWII began shortly thereafter, however, Frank had to leave the job to join the army.
After months of training in the States, Frank sailed with the troops to Europe . He fought the War in France and Belgium and one of his jobs was to string communication lines for the artillery and tank supporting forces of the infantry.
During periods of active fighting in Belgium he developed frozen feet called "trench feet" and was unable to go on. He and many other men were flown to England and hospitalized there for some time in order to recover from painful frozen feet. The affliction is caused by living in fox holes and trenches with wet socks and wet boots when snow and freezing conditions existed.
After recovery, Frank remained in England and was assigned the duty of MP (Military Police). He remained in England until the end of the war
Grandpa and Grandma both had relatives living in Germany and Romania who were fighting in the War on the "other side". This was very difficult to cope with, particularly for Grandpa. Years later, when the subject of Germans and the war came up, Grandpa got very angry and distant.
Grandma's nephew, our cousin, was captured by American troops and sent to a POW (Prisoner of War) camp in the U.S. Somehow Grandma's nephew was able to send a letter to Grandma and Grandpa advising them that he was at a POW camp located in Indiana.
Grandma and Grandpa took a weekend trip traveling via the Illinois Central Railroad and visited our cousin at the POW camp. He was delighted to see his aunt and uncle and grateful for the United States' leniency while the War was still in progress.
As the story goes, Grandpa gave the boy his wristwatch which also made the boy proud and happy. I believe that cousin never returned to his home in Johnnesfeld after the war, but went to England to live. Grandma and Grandpa received letters from him for some time from England.
I will never forget the day Frank arrived home again when the war ended. Grandpa and Grandma did not know the day he would arrive home.
Then one glorious day the front door bell rang and there was my big brother, Frank, smiling his big, sweet, handsome smile, wearing his uniform with a duffel bag slung over his shoulder and his arms opened wide to Grandma and me when we answered the door.
The small square red, white and blue satin one-star flag was finally removed from our front window and put away. Frank was home again, after many prayers and tears of worry, safe and sound. The war was over.
1943 - Frank Fischer in the army [51A]
1944 - Frank Fischer in the army, on stairs of barracks somewhere in the south. [51B]
1945 - Frank Fischer home on leave (a furlough) from army [51C]