Lieut Wynans Ellis Frankfort

Lieut Wynans Ellis Frankfort

Death 27 May 1944 (aged 21)
Burial Franklin, Franklin City, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 14597331 View Source

World War II American Combat Aviator. Lieutenant Wynans "Flip" Frankfort, a native of Franklin, Virginia, was the son of Harry and Elise Ellis Frankfort. Records indicate Frankfort was a spirited and intrepid aviator. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his gallant actions during a February 14, 1944 escort mission during which his plane received considerable combat damage. On an unconnected sortie, the lieutenant was forced to parachute from his crippled aircraft, and after surviving the bailout, he planned and plotted his way through jungle-like environs for days until his eventual rescue. Officially, he was accredited 2.5 kills. On the fateful day of May 27, 1944, he was at the controls of his P-47 Thunderbolt, and was engaging a Japanese pilot over the South Pacific island of Biak when he went missing-in-action. Last accounts of the twenty-one year old have him "diving through the clouds".

In 1946, the military presumed him dead, and in 1949 his remains were listed as being "unrecoverable".

In 1991, a crash site of a WWII vintage aircraft was discovered. It was determine the wreckage was that of a P-47. Furthermore, the discoverers found the remains of its pilot still within its cockpit. It was the brave Lieutenant Wynans Frankfort, still at his place of duty.

Sadly by this date, his parents had died. However, one can only envision that day the news arrived to them stating their son's plane was missing, followed with the added news that he was presumed dead and was unrecoverable. His true fate was uncertain to them for the remaining days of their lives, and the two died never knowing the ending of their son's story. Alas, the parents never had the chance to grieve over their son's body, or to lay it to rest.

Frankfort was repatriated home, and after a full military honored funeral in 1995, he was laid to rest beside his parents.

An additional find-a-grave memorial listing for Lieutenant Frankfort can be visited here.

Family Members