by Rock Roszak
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I am the alumni director for the
Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, one of the six senior military colleges
in the United States. I draw accurately researched military aircraft
depicting specific planes flown by our alumni through the years, and
each usually has an interesting story to go with it. These prints are
displayed in a cadet dormitory on the campus of Virginia Tech (also
known as Virginia Polytechnic Institute, or VPI).
One of our most interesting subjects is this P-47D flown by 1/LT W.
Ellis Frankfort who had been enrolled at Virginia Tech in the class of
1944. He left school early as so many of his countrymen did and joined
the service during World War II. He flew the Thunderbolt in the
southwest Pacific as a member of the 348th FG in New Guinea. He was
credited with two kills and was last seen chasing a Japanese aircraft
into the clouds on May 27th, 1944. He did not return to his home base
and search and rescue did not find any sign of Lt. Frankfort or his
50 years later, his wreckage was found on Biak Island and in late
September, 1994 a recovery team excavated the crash site and recovered
Lt. Frankfort's remains, which were returned to the United States and
buried with full military honors. Two years later, his Virginia Tech
class ring was recovered in the jungle and also sent back to family
members. His ring is now proudly displayed in the VPI Corps of Cadets
Museum in Blacksburg, VA.
The digital painting was done in Adobe Illustrator. The markings were
determined from the History of the 348th Fighter Squadron book and the
official report of the crash excavation.
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Page Created 21 March, 2006
23 March, 2006
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