Frank A. Sanders
Tech Sergeant
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 09/08/1942 - 11/23/1945
Infantryman, 294th Engineer Combat BN

A native of Shreveport, Frank was born at Highland Hospital as one of two sons of William Sanders and Ella Massey Sanders. While his father worked for Atlas Oil Refinery, Frank, as a youngster, held several part time jobs. He mowed lawns, earning a dollar each; washed dishes at Triple X Sandwich Shoppe after school for a hamburger and a Coke; and packaged groceries at Big Chain Stores, earning $3.50 for a Saturday of work. For entertainment he went to movies and listened to the radio. The family attended Queensborough Baptist Church. He graduated from Fair Park High School in 1938, completed Norton Business College, and went to work for National Cash Register Company as an office manager. Frank entered the U.S. Army in September of 1942. After basic training in Virginia he was assigned to a headquarters company "because I could type." He was sent to Battle Creek, Michigan. On February 4, 1943 he married Doyle Shaw. (They would have three children, eleven grandchildren, and "a good number" of great-grandchildren.) Frank shipped to Great Britain on the SS Queen Mary in 1944. Assigned to Company C, 294th Combat Engineer Battalion, Frank participated in the D-Day invasion of France on June 6, 1944, landing on Omaha Beach at about 6 a.m. "It was awful," he recalls. "I mean they were just shooting, killing Americans and going in and they were hollering, `Lord' and `Jesus' and falling and everything but the only thing you could do is keep going and that was it. For about two or three days it was hell on earth is the best way I know how to describe it, and we saw it all." Frank fought with his unit into Paris, when he enjoyed his first shower since arriving at Normandy. "I stayed in that shower for thirty minutes," he recalls. His unit then went into Belgium. After the Battle of the Bulge, the 294th advanced east and crossed the Rhine River into Germany on pontoon bridges about 200 yards from Dusseldorf Bridge. "It was just taking prisoners mostly," is how he characterizes the fighting as the Allied forces pushed through Germany. He was 43 miles from Berlin when the war in Europe ended. "It was just life and it was war and that was it and you accepted it and went on," he says of his time as a combat infantryman. Frank was stationed in Berlin for about four months before he sailed to America on the SS Argentina to New York where many of the soldiers, he recalls, kissed the ground. He was discharged at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He returned to work at National Cash Register Company, then entered Centenary College on the GI Bill. He lived in "Vets Villa", or housing for veterans, paying $20 a month. He graduated in 1950 with a bachelor of science in education. He taught at Woodlawn High School, while his wife also worked as a teacher and a school librarian. After Frank retired from teaching he earned a chaplaincy degree at Baylor University, and became chaplain at LSU Medical Center, then at Willis-Knighton Hospital.