Voices of Veterans: Frank Litterst

By: Sylvia Villarreal Email
By: Sylvia Villarreal Email

When Pearl Harbor was attacked on the morning of December 7, 1941, Frank Litterst, Jr. was a junior at Texas A&M University. The attack shocked the American people and led the way for the United States to enter World War II. The attack on Pearl Harbor also led the way for the Class of 43, which Litterst was a member of to be commissioned en masse.

Frank Litterst says, "I was commissioned in May 6, married May 8th and joined an outfit in Georgia. We went overseas August 6th or 7th, 1943."

Litterst's was an artillery officer stationed in the Pacific.

"Then we went to load a ship with 500 pound bombs, we thought for somebody else and loaded this ship all the way to the top with bombs. It was going to New Guinea and now they said, ya'll are going to sit on top of those bombs and ride up there to New Guinea with them and so we did that," says Litterst.

His unit occupied New Guinea for two years. As part of his duties, Litterst and his outfit would go into the mountains to search for Japanese. During one of these exercises, he hurt his knee.

Litterst says, "One day, I did fall early, way up there in the mountains and tore up my left knee and nothing healed good over there and they didn't operate over there much unless it was a necessity and so after a good long while, I hobbled around on it and they decided I out to go home."

Litterst was then put on a hospital ship bound for Los Angeles and that's where he was when the war ended and just like Americans everywhere, Litterst remembers the day vividly.

"It was the biggest party I have ever seen in my life, everybody was so happy, it's indescribable," says Litterst.

Serving with Litterst in his battalion were about five Aggies.

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