The Last of the 357th Infantry: Harold Frank's WWII Story of Faith and Courage
by Mark Hager
For those who loved Stephen E. Ambrose's Band of Brothers and E.B. Sledge's With the Old Breed. Drawing on toughness and skills forged in hardscrabble Depression-era North Carolina, Bronze Star recipient and expert B.A.R. rifleman Harold Frank invades Normandy, fights Germans, and endures a grueling stint in a German POW camp where he witnesses the fire-bombing of Dresden.
From D-Day to Dresden with a Crack Shot B.A.R. Rifleman
D-Day 1944: twenty-year-old PFC Harold Frank had moved as one with his battalion onto the shores of Utah Beach, pushing into France to cut off and blockade the pivotal Nazi-occupied deep-water port of Cherbourg. As a recognized crack shot with WW II's iconic American automatic rifle, Frank fought bravely across the bloody hedgerows of the Cotentin Peninsula. During the most intense fighting, Frank was ambushed and wounded in a deadly, nine-hour firefight with Germans. Taken prisoner and with a bullet lodged under one arm, Frank found himself dumped first in a brutal Nazi POW concentration camp, then shipped to a grueling work camp on the outskirts of Dresden, Germany, where the young PFC was exposed to the vengeance of a crumbling Nazi regime, the menace of a rapidly advancing Russian military—and the danger of thousands of Allied bombers screaming overhead during the firebombing of Dresden.
Historian Mark Hager builds on hundreds of hours of interviews with Harold Frank, sharing the intimate and heart-pounding account of Frank’s journey as a child of the Great Depression to the bloody shores of the D-Day invasion, into the bowels of Nazi Germany, and back to the U.S. whereas a young man Harold would spend years resolutely dealing with the lingering effects of starvation rations while determinedly building a new life—a life always mindful of the legacy of his POW experience and his faithful service in America’s hard-fought war against Nazi aggression.