Sgt Frank Ross Helmer

Sgt Frank Ross Helmer

Medicine Hat, Medicine Hat Census Division, Alberta, Canada
Death 20 Apr 1944 (aged 38)
At Sea
Burial Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia
Plot Tablets of the Missing - Army
Memorial ID 56247613 · View Source
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Frank served as a Sergeant, 831st Bomber Squadron, 485th Bomber Group, Heavy, U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II.

He resided in the District Of Columbia prior to the war.

He enlisted in the Army on August 11, 1942 in Spokane, Washington. He was noted, at the time of his enlistment, as being employed as a Secretary and also as Divorced, without dependents.

Frank was a passenger on the S.S. Paul Hamilton (Hull Number 227).

On her fifth voyage the S.S. Paul Hamilton left Hampton Roads, Virginia on April 2, 1944 as part of convoy UGS 38, carrying supplies and the ground personnel of the 485th Bombardment Group and the 5th Reconnaissance Group of the United States Army Air Forces to Italy.

On the evening of April 20th the Hamilton and other ships in the convoy were attacked 30 miles (48 km) in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Cape Bengut near Algiers by 23 German Ju 88 bombers.

One aerial torpedo struck the Paul Hamilton and detonated the cargo of high explosives and bombs, and the ship and crew disappeared within 30 seconds. A total of approximately 580 men where lost.

Frank was declared "Missing In Action" in this sinking during the war.

He was awarded the Purple Heart.

Service # 39453394

Please Note:
It is difficult to " ascertain " if Sgt. Helmer was actually from the District Of Columbia or not. During World War I and World War II the U.S. Military, when a soldier and/or sailor didn't have a particular residence in the United States, would add them with a residence of the "District Of Columbia" !

( Bio by: Russ Pickett )

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The U.S.S. Lansdale (DD-426) and the S.S. Royal Star were also sunk in this attack.
The Lansdale had a loss of Forty-seven officers and men.
The Royal Star lost only one member of their crew.

The Lansdale received four battle stars for World War II service.



  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56247613
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt Frank Ross Helmer (7 Sep 1905–20 Apr 1944), Find a Grave Memorial no. 56247613, citing North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial, Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia ; Maintained by War Graves (contributor 6) .