IN THEIR MEMORY|
Lt. CoI. Alfred C. Frampton
Ordnance, HQ Eighth Air Force
High Wycombe, England
Killed February 23, 1945 TDY in USA
American Airlines crash near Rural Retreat, VA
13 Servicemen among dead.
Posthumous Bronze Star Award
On December 7, 1941, my parents were on their way with the American Dream. My father had earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma on a ROTC scholarship and had a job in an oil-related business in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They had three children, Alfred C. Frampton ill "Buster", Mary Garold and Elizabeth Ann, a new house, a new 1941 Oldsmobile and my mother had full-time help. My mother and father met in kindergarten. They were very much in love and he was a devoted family man. Mother referred to him as "My Alfred." My mother was very proud to be his wife and he had the ability to keep her in perspective. Everyone spoke of my father as being a fine man bright, handsome, hard-working, kind, optimistic, compassionate and loving. It's evident in his letters.
After Pearl Harbor, 100,000 Reserve Officers were called up including my father with a rank of 1st Lieutenant. On March 2, 1942, he was inducted into the regular Army, Ordnance Corp, and was in England by September, 1942, where he served in the capacity of ordnance and chemical support at different Eighth Air Force stations earning regular promotions until he was assigned to Ordnance, HQ Eighth Air Force, High Wycombe, England in April, 1944.
The nation was at war and Mother coped with his absence as it was temporary and my father was
there through letters. She nursed sick children, endured the fears of polio epidemics and the war news.
In January 1945, my father was sent to Fort Meyers, V A for a 28-day training program in Use of VT Aircraft Rocket and Bomb Fuse, with a 10-day leave to visit his family. My parents were reunited in New York City. After his visit home, he reported back to Washington, D.C. for air transportation back to England. While waiting for air transportation, he was sent mistakenly to Midland Air Force Base in Texas for a 2-day training course on Sonic Scoring.
On February 23, 1945, the American Airline commercial flight on the Washington DCNashville, TN, leg of the trip to Los Angeles flew into Glade Mountain near Marion, Virginia, killing 17 with 5 survivors. My father survived the crash but died from his injuries/hypothermia.
My father's position in his mother's extended family was that he was the only remaining male child. Needless to say, the family was devastated when he was killed. Our mother was shattered and we were fatherless. The war was over in September and the nation went on with living.
On January 20,2001, my mother, Barbara Garold Frampton, was buried next to her Alfred in South Heights Cemetery, Sapulpa, Oklahoma. My parents' legacy included their three children, 10 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
When I attended the Dedication of the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Memorial Day, 2004, and they asked the veterans to rise. I, along with other war orphans, stood with a raised Gold Star to honor our fathers who sacrificed their lives for our country. The price of war is always great.
Mary Garold Frampton Hearn, daughter of Lt. Co!. Alfred C. Frampton
Chronology Lt. Col. Alfred C. Frampton, USAAF- 0314622 Ordnance, 8th Army Air Force, WWII
December 15, 1941 - Reserves Unit activated at Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
March 2, 1942 - Inducted into the Regular Army. First assignment at Geiger Field, Spokane, Washington. Transferred to Alamogordo, New Mexico.
May 28, 1942 - Family returned to hometown, Sapulpa, Oklahoma 418 Ordnance Company Muroc Bombing and Gunnery Range (Edwards Air Force Base) Muroc, California
June 22, 1942 - Arrive Richmond, VA 418 Ordnance Company Richmond Air Base Richmond, Virginia
July 16, 1942 727 Ordnance Co., Avn (AB) 328th Service Group APO 1253 - first APO in England APO 875 - changed in England APO 634 - remains this APO
Go to Fort Dix, New lersey to await shipping out by convoy Sails for England around August 4, 1942 on the Uruquay Arrives in England around August 18, 1942
Go by train to assigned Sta.1 09 at Podington, Bedfordshire, England
October 29, 1942 Assigned to Sta. 115, Shipdham as part of727 Ordnance.
December 5, 1942 - Name was changed to: .
1044th Ordnance, AAF Sta. 115, Shipdham, Norfolk, "Shipdham inthe-Mud", APO 634.
Name changed to 44th Bomb Group'
December 30, 1942 Transfers to Hq & Hq Squadron 31 ih Service Group, Sta. 115 - APO 634
January, 1943 - Promoted to Captain
August, 1943 - Promoted to Major
October 19, 1943 Transfers to HQ 2nd Air Division, Ordnance Section, Sta. 147, Ketteringham Hall, Norfolk, APO 634
April 7, 1944 HQ Eighth Air Force, Sta. 101, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, APO 634
April 25, 1944 - TDY to HQ 15th Air Force (Italy) for 30 days
September 1, 1944 - Promoted to Lt. Col.
January, 1945 TDY to Fort Myer, VA for 28 days (training) 10 days leave to Sapulpa, Oklahoma Returns to Washington, DC to await air travel to England
Mistakenly sent to Fort Worth, Texas, Midland Army Air Base for 4 additional days of training in Sonic Scoring at Hq AAF Training Comb.
Boards American Airlines FIt. #9 in Washington, D.C. for Fort Worth, Texas leaving at 12:01 a.m. February 23, 1945.
At 02:25 a.m. the plane flies into Glade Mountain near Rural Retreat, Virginia due to pilot and company error.
My father, Lt. Col. Alfred C. Frampton, USAAF survives the crash but his legs are pinned in the wreckage and he is uncovered. He dies from his injuries/hypothermia before dawn. He is buried in Sapulpa, Oklahoma.
Thirteen servicemen were killed in the crash. There were 5 survivors.
*This chronology was pieced together from my father's letters to my mother during his years spent in England, the 201 file sent to my mother by Co!.
Sims and research at the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
Mary G. Frampton Revised March 30,2005