Larry Frankle, 84, a 40-year resident of Pound Ridge, was not yet 18 years old when he joined the Navy several months before the allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy and changed the course of World War II. He was stationed in California on D-Day, which was 67 years ago Monday.
I sure do remember it, the WWII vet said. I was in radar school at the time.
Frankle became a radar man third class and was eventually stationed on a troop ship in the Pacific Theater that brought replacement troops to places such as Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Frankle said the events on D-Day indirectly helped out operations in the Pacific.
It was a big deal because we could now concentrate on the Pacific, he said. It was a great day for the people in the service.
Frankle said the war against Japan was somewhat different than what was going on in Europe.
What was going on in the Pacific and against Japan was a little more helter-skelter because of the wide open spaces that we had to cover, said Frankle, who was first assigned as part of a two-man crew for the Navys radar systems.
The success of D-Day, Frankle said, helped to reinvigorate the Armed Forces and the country at large.
It heightened the desire of all the men I worked with, he said. The attitude was 1,000 percent better. It boosted our morale.
Frankle grew up in Westchester County and lived for a while in the Bronx.
I actually enlisted when I was 17, he recalled, sitting in his Rolling Meadow Lane home surrounded by models of WW II Navy ships that he has prominently displayed.
Frankles first wife passed away and he is currently married to his second wife, Pat. He has a son with each wife.
We just married off our one granddaughter, he said proudly. It was a beautiful wedding.
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