Frank Thomas Pfeil enlisted into New Jersey's National Guard in 1939. He served with the 165th Field Artillery Battalion, 44th Infantry Division out of Camden, New Jersey. On September 16, 1940, the 165th Field Artillery Battalion was inducted into Federal Army service. After jump school, Frank was assigned to the 456th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion, B battery.
On April 29, 1943 Frank sailed with the 82nd Airborne Division for Casablanca, North Africa on the ship S.S. Monterey. Here the Division trained for several more months getting ready for their first combat mission. On the night of July 9/10 1943 he made a combat jump into Sicily. His second campaign was the Italian mainland, on September 15,1943 the 456th was scheduled to enter the fray by glider. Reconnaissance photos of their landing zones in the Sele River area were deemed unsuitable and on September 16th further glider operations were suspended. Frank went into Italy by landing craft.
In January of 1944, HQ, A and B batteries of the 456th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion were loaned to the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment Combat Team while fighting in Anzio, Italy. While they were there the paratroopers of the 456th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion were re-designated as the 463rd Parachute Field Artillery Battalion.
When the Germans launched their attack in the Ardennes on December 16,1944 the 463rd Parachute Field Artillery Battalion was sent to Bastogne. Tech/4 Frank T. Pfeil was captured by the Germans on December 23rd 1944. He spent the rest of the war in several POW camps. He was camp was set free on April 20th 1945.
Private Frank Pfeil in 1940, Fort Dix New Jersey.
Tech/4 Frank T. Pfeil in 1944, Italy with the 463rd Parachute
Field Artillery Battaion.
Below, the telegram that was sent to Frank's family after he was captured in Belgium.
Tech/4 Frank Pfeil was captured near Bastogne December 23, 1944.
Tech/4 Frank Pfeil was freed from his camp on April 29,1945. Below a telegram sent to his family.
Civilian Frank T. Pfeil after the war, with some brand advertising.
He was working for Lipton as manager of Packaging and Graphics.
Below, Side one of Frank's draft registration card. He was discharged early November 1945.
Because he entered New Jersey's National Guard in 1939, more than likely he wasn't required
to fill one out at that time.
Below, Side two of Frank's draft registration card.