Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans


Frank Francois III | 57th Transportation Battalion - Army

2:52   |   There was a clique in the Transportation Corps, says Frank Francois III. The old boy network determined which officers would be on the track for promotions, and they had decreed that there would only be one black general at a time in the Corps. However, his boss, Hank Del Mar, was having none of it.

More From Frank Francois III

Videos ( 7 )
  • Frank Francois III  |  Vietnam  |  Support Command, 1st Cavalry  |  3:50

    Frank Francois III was always on a fast track. He started first grade at three years old, finished high school in three years, and graduated from college at nineteen. Foregoing medical school for a military career, he went to the Command and General Staff College as a captain, another notable feat.

  • Frank Francois III  |  Vietnam  |  Support Command, 1st Cavalry  |  5:07

    The 1st Cavalry had shed its horses and was now Air Mobile. Frank Francois III deployed to Vietnam as the Transportation Officer for the unit. His responsibilities were supplying the troops at the forward bases and running the shuttle flights that moved personnel around the country. This made him a popular fellow. He was too busy for a reporter from Time Magazine and missed out on being the subject of a feature story.

  • Frank Francois III  |  Vietnam  |  Support Command, 1st Cavalry  |  2:50

    The worst day in Vietnam for Frank Francois III was the day one of his Forward Support Companies was overrun. It was his responsibility to retrieve and transport the bodies to the Quartermaster Corps. In the middle of that grim task, he was informed that there would be a party. He couldn't believe what he was hearing but it turned into a valuable life lesson.

  • Frank Francois III  |  Vietnam  |  Support Command, 1st Cavalry  |  3:36

    Frank Francois III was in the air in his commander's helicopter when they heard the call that one of their transport planes had crashed. He knew a classmate, Bob Ray, had been on the shuttle flight's schedule and he arrived in time to help pull him from the crash.

  • Frank Francois III  |  Vietnam  |  Support Command, 1st Cavalry  |  5:17

    Frank Francois found a place in the Support Command for Andy Chambers, a young officer who was given a break from combat. With Andy in Saigon, the two began trading strange cargo such as walk in refrigerators and sedans. He also recalls the time he became a home base hero with a shipment of cement.

  • Frank Francois III  |  Vietnam  |  57th Transportation Battalion  |  6:59

    In the wake of Martin Luther King's assassination, the Army began bringing more black officers into the Pentagon. Frank Francois III was one of those officers. He was selected to command the 57th Transportation Battalion for his second tour of Vietnam, and this time, it was long haul trucking he had to administer. He tells how he solved one problem, not all the cargo was reaching the front.

  • Frank Francois III  |  Vietnam  |  57th Transportation Battalion  |  4:19

    Returning Vietnam veterans never got the recognition they deserved, says Frank Francois III, who served two tours. He is glad that the military is embracing women into the ranks and reveals how he prepared his son for success at the Air Force Academy.

Showing : Vietnam Videos
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