By Christine Baldwin, AFRH-W Librarian
Frank Lawrence was born in Massachusetts. As a youth, he became a Boy Scout and went all the way through the program to become an Eagle Scout. During his High School years, Frank was in the Massachusetts State Guard as a machine gunner in a Rifle Company. He went to college, majoring in horticulture. When the Draft Act was renewed in November 1947, he decided to enlist. After all, he would not be exempt from the service with his course work. Frank decided to enlist in the U.S. Air Force in June 1948.
After Basic Training at Lackland AFB in Texas and Tech Training School for Fabrication & Survival Equipment Parachute Rigging at Chanute AFB, Illinois, he flew to England and was stationed at RAF Burtonwood for depot assistance on aircraft flying the Berlin Airlift. He stayed in England through June 1947 and was extended because of the Korean War. Frank married his English fiancée back in 1951. Again Frank was extended for another year due to the war and at this time, he decided to make the Air Force his career. He did a tour at RAF Manston from 1953-1957, and then spent seven years with SAC at Lockbourne AFB Ohio and Griffiss AFB in New York. Frank’s final tour was at RAF Lakenheath, England. It was during this tour that he had the privilege of rewriting an AF Directive, making it possible for fighter organizations to deploy as a complete package and be totally self-sufficient. With the help of some superior minds, it was adopted (and is still in existence) before Frank retired in 1964.
Next, Frank became a PX Manager and stayed in England because of his family. After his wife died, he was transferred to the 2nd General Hospital at Landstuhl, Germany taking over the PX complex. It was here that he met his second wife, who was originally from Kansas and had spent 23 years in the Army. They returned to the states and were married in 1981. Frank, then worked in sales (wholesale) through 1992, when he retired again. Next, they enjoyed RVing for ten years. In October 2003, both he and Rose came to the home. Frank started volunteering with the Public Affairs Office under Sheila Abarr. They only stayed three months because it wasn’t suitable for Rose, who was too young to be here. They went back to Texas, where Frank volunteered extensively with three organizations in support of active and retired military. He served as the Zoning Commissioner for one year and on the Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors for eight years. After his wife passed away in 2011, Frank stayed for a few more years and then decided to come back to AFRH-W in 2013, where he loves volunteering with the Public Affairs Office.