Meyers, Francis Joseph Jr., LTC

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
2163-Air Operations Officer (G3, S3)
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1967-1968, Korea Military Advisory Group (KMAG)
Service Years
1941 - 1968

Infantry


Ranger
Lieutenant Colonel



Ten Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Year of Birth
1916
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSG Trey W. Franklin to remember Meyers, Francis Joseph Jr., LTC USA(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Ebensburg, PA
Last Address
Ebensburg, PA

Date of Passing
Jul 21, 1992
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 60 Site 4188

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord Belgian Fourragere Netherlands Orange Lanyard US Army Retired (Pre-2007)

Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961 French Fourragere US Army Retired


 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
 
“I am wounded but not slain, I will lay me down and bleed awhile, but shall rise and fight again.” It seems as if Rudyard Kipling had Francis Joseph Myers, Jr., in mind when he wrote “The Ballad of Johnny Armstrong.” Joe was a magnificent, natural warrior who could be counted on in any fight. However, this description fails to adequately describe Joe as a friend, husband, father, and grandfather. Perhaps the words of classmate and close friend Fred J. Ascani ’41 of C Company, best describes the more amiable half of Joe. “He was a fun-loving individual who always tried to keep everyone happy.”

Joe was born to Mr. and Mrs. Francis J. Myers, Sr., and spent most of his childhood in the small coal-mining town of Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. In high school, Joe was a standout athlete, lettering in basketball, football, and track, as well as a successful but indifferent student. His hobbies included “smooth dancing” and “fast driving.” His success in high school led to an appointment to the Naval Academy and he attended the Naval Academy preparatory school for one year before entering in 1935. Joe survived the rigors of freshman year at Annapolis only to be dismissed due to academic deficiencies his sophomore year. Joe showed his characteristic resilience for the first time after that disappointment by aggressively seeking an appointment to West Point. He was successful and entered with the Class of 1941 in July of 1937. 
 

Joe’s tenure at West Point was characterized by his natural fighting spirit and showcased on the track and soccer teams, but Joe’s warrior ethic did not win many battles against the Academic and Tactical Departments. Although Joe’s final class standing was less than stellar, he made the most of his four years at “Hell on the Hudson” and gathered his own personal army of loyal friends and acquaintances.
 

On 7 December 1941, nearly six months after Joe graduated, the U.S. was thrust into World War II. Loeutenant Myers, not wanting to miss out on all the excitement, looked for the quickest way to get into the fight. He found it with the newly formed Airborne Infantry. After Jump School in January 1943, Joe was assigned to the 505th Parachute Infantry Regimental Combat Team, 82d Airborne Division, and sent to North Africa for the Invasion of Sicily. In July 1943, Joe took part in his first combat parachute jump. After landing, he was knocked unconscious by an exploding shell and woke up in a German hospital in Caltagirone, where he received excellent care. He was a POW for one week before Montgomery and the Canadians took the town from the Germans.
 

Joe took his second combat jump into Italy, where he was, once again, wounded and sent to England. On D Day, 6 June 1944, Joe attempted his third jump with the famed 82d into St. Mere Eglise and, again, Joe was wounded and evacuated to England. Joe’s three Purple Hearts are a testimony to the theory that “wherever bullets were flying, there you’d find Joe.” A fourth combat jump in daylight near Nijmegen, Holland, was made during Operation Market Garden, “A Bridge Too Far.” His fifth jump was not really a jump, as he tailgated from a “cattle” truck in Werbomont, Belgium, in December 1944 and fought to the Salm River. He participated in the breach of the Siegfried Line, pushing south to the final drive across the Elbe River. There, Joe earned his third Bronze Star for valor.
 

Occupational duty in Berlin was sweet. Horses were ridden and tennis was played with high spirits. In 1946, Joe marched down 5th Avenue with GEN Gavin ’29 and the rest of the 82d Airborne. He also enjoyed 15 minutes of fame when interviewed on CBS national radio by the famous Arthur Godfrey. In September of that year, Joe married Franny McLean Mullins, the widow of a fellow ’41er, Charles Love “Moon” Mullins IV, in the Cadet Chapel at West Point. Fran had two small children with Moon, Charles V. and James. Joe raised his former track teammate’s children as his own. In addition to Moon’s boys, Joe raised four children of his own, two boys: Francis III and Patrick, and two girls: Debra and Maureen.
 

Joe won his Army aviator wings at San Marcos, Texas, but had them lifted at Fort Sill. From what we know, Joe was marvelous in the air but treacherous on the ground; parking the aircraft was his downfall. Without missing a beat, Joe returned to the 505th at Fort Bragg for a year before returning to Fort Benning for three years to teach in the Airborne and Ranger departments.
 

In 1952, Major Myers returned to combat as 25th Infantry Division Battalion Executive Officer in Korea and, in 1953, he served as Advisor to the Korean forces. During 1953–55, Joe served in Japan and during 1956–59, he served with the XVIII Airborne Corps, G-3, and was HQ Commandant. In 1959, he graduated from CGSC and then assumed the role of advisor in Viet Nam. During the early 1960s, Joe was assigned to Ft. Campbell and Ft. McPherson. During 1964–67, he served as Assistant Professor of Military Science in the Army ROTC program at Penn State and, on the side, earned a master’s degree in education. His final tour was in the G-3 section, KMAG, in Seoul, Korea.
 

In July 1968, Joe retired as a Lieutenant Colonel at Fort Lewis, Washington. He spent the next ten years working at the Army Education Center with the Bootstrap Program. Joe enjoyed his retirement years by sampling golf courses around the country and visiting children and grandchildren.
 

In July 1992, Joe attended a family reunion in Colorado Springs. One night during that reunion, Joe got out of bed to sit where the whole family gathered, laughing and playing cards. He donned his trademark grin to enjoy the company. “I just want to get one last look,” he told his son. He then went back to sleep and died that night. Joe was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
 

He will be remembered as a man possessing a dual personality: one half was a happy-go-lucky kid always looking for a good time while the other half was a professional soldier who fought and bled for his country without complaint. He was a true American warrior who lived his life according to West Point’s motto, “Duty, Honor, Country.” In the final analysis, “May it be said, well done,” Papa Joe. “Be thou at peace.”
 

   
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   1961-1962, 101st Airborne Division

Lieutenant Colonel
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 101st Airborne Division Details

101st Airborne Division
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Last Updated: Jan 17, 2010
   
   
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79 Members Also There at Same Time
101st Airborne Division

Millett, Lewis, COL, (1937-1973) Lieutenant Colonel
Abood, Edmond Peter, COL, (1944-1981) Major
Field, Michael Finlay, MAJ, (1960-1967) First Lieutenant
Dunaway, George (Soldier's So, SMA, (1943-1970) Sergeant Major
Beers, Jack Blaine, SFC, (1954-1969) Staff Sergeant
Ricci, Arthur, MSG, (1953-1973) Staff Sergeant
Wages, James Lewis, SFC, (1958-1968) Specialist 5
Greeson, Jon, LTC, (1955-1987) IN 1542 Lieutenant Colonel
Meier, Bruce, MAJ, (1962-1985) MP 9110 Major
Meier, Bruce, MAJ, (1962-1986) MP 9110 Major
Capelle, Gerald Carl, CPT, (1958-1965) IN 1542 Captain
McKee, Michael, CPT, (1960-1965) IN 1542 Captain
Prichard, Grady, CPT, (1955-1961) SC Captain
Reilly, Robert Jude, CPT, (1961-1964) IN 1542 Captain
Whittle, Buzz, CPT, (1960-1985) AV 152C Captain
Wright, Wendell, COL, (1956-1978) CH 5310 Captain
Wilkerson, Roger, MAJ, (1962-1974) FA Second Lieutenant
Riley, Robert, CW2, (1959-1979) EN 832A Chief Warrant Officer 2
Yancey, John, CW2, (1961-1970) JA 713A Chief Warrant Officer 2
Yancey, John, CW2, (1961-1970) JA 713A Chief Warrant Officer 2
Ryals, Kenneth, SGM, (1946-1968) IN Sergeant Major
Merritt, Richard, MSG, (1960-1983) IN 11Z50 Master Sergeant
Rowland, George Clayton, 1SG, (1954-1968) OD 63Z Master Sergeant
Daniels, Charles, SFC, (1953-1980) IN 111.07 Sergeant First Class
Matthews, Donald, SFC, (1948-1975) QM 57E Sergeant First Class
Moran, William, SFC, (1957-1977) IN 11C20 Sergeant First Class
Wilson, Napoleon, SFC, (1958-1985) MD 91C20 Sergeant First Class
Schimpf, John, SSG, (1957-1966) IN 112.6 Staff Sergeant
Alvelais, Leo, SGT, (1962-1970) IN 111.07 Sergeant
Auter, James, SGT, (1958-1961) OD Sergeant
Burke, Robert Allen, SGT, (1962-1968) IN 11B20 Sergeant
Buswell, John, SGT, (1958-1967) QM 76Q Sergeant
Crow, Charles, SGT, (1961-1964) FA 13D Sergeant
McLemore, Tilghman Richard, CPT, (1960-1968) IN 11B20 Sergeant
Millner, Michael, SFC, (1960-1967) IN 11B10 Sergeant
Pratt, Fred Omar, 1LT, (1958-1968) IN 11B20 Sergeant
Price, Doug, SGT, (1958-1965) IN 111.07 Sergeant
Reid, Donald, SGT, (1961-1967) AV 67Q Sergeant
Stevens, Lowell Wesley, Sr., MSG, (1959-1980) IN 111.0 Sergeant
Gates, Julius, SMA, (1958-1991) IN 1745 Corporal
Sydeski, Samuel, CPL, (1960-1963) FA 13A10 Corporal
Lee, James, SP 6, (1960-1973) MD 01L Specialist 6
Cascarella, Roberto, SP 5, (1960-1966) IN 11B20 Specialist 5
Mayfield, Joe C, MAJ, (1955-1978) IN 11B10 Specialist 5
Trainor, Barry, SP 5, (1959-1962) IN 111.10 Specialist 5
Aune, Lloyd, SP 4, (1960-1964) IN 112.6 Specialist 4
Ballinger, Steve, SP 4, (1960-1963) IN 111.10 Specialist 4
Bear, Agustin, SP 4, (1962-1965) IN 11F40 Specialist 4
Butler, Charles A.O., SSG, (1961-1967) IN 112.10 Specialist 4
Fleming, Kenneth, SP 4, (1962-1965) IN 111.07 Specialist 4
Gleason, Joseph, SP 4, (1957-1962) IN 111.10 Specialist 4
Howard, Robert Lewis, COL, (1956-1992) IN 11B20 Specialist 4
Martinson, Leroy Clayton, SFC, (1960-1968) IN 111.0 Specialist 4
McCarthy, John Edward, SSG, (1961-1967) IN 11C20 Specialist 4
Miller, Thomas, SP 4, (1958-1961) IN 111.10 Specialist 4
Morrissey, John, SP 4, (1958-1961) IN 111.10 Specialist 4
Nowicki, Carl, SP 4, (1958-1961) AG 00E Specialist 4
Okey, Ken, SP 4, (1960-1963) IN 111.07 Specialist 4
Parker, Alan R., SP 4, (1960-1962) SC 701 Specialist 4

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