Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM World War II

Frank Fancher | Troop A, 32nd Cavalry Squadron, 14th Cavalry Group

2:39   |   It was cold and the snow was up to your waist. Your skin would stick and "burn" if you touched metal. You couldn't see through the fog during the day and you huddled together at night in snow caves because it was twenty below. That was when you weren't fighting at the Battle of the Bulge, recalls Frank "Lindy" Fancher.

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Keywords   :     Frank Lindy Fancher    cold    snow    fog    Battle of the Bulge

Videos ( 10 )
WWII
  • Frank Fancher  |  WWII  |  106th Cavalry Regiment  |  4:47

    In 1940, Frank Fancher enlisted in the Army. He thought the Illinois unit would be full of locals and make the time easier, but it didn't work out that way. The old hands didn't care for the new recruits so he got a job no one else wanted, but which suited him well, demolitions.

  • Frank Fancher  |  WWII  |  106th Cavalry Regiment  |  6:01

    His one year enlistment in the Army ended Dec. 6, 1941. Frank Fancher was working on an old car, preparing for the drive home from camp when the word came over the radio, get back immediately. The Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. Looks like he was going to stay in for a while longer. He guarded docks in New Orleans and Panama, then was given a covert assignment. The Germans had radio towers in Columbia and the team needed a demolitions man.

  • Frank Fancher  |  WWII  |  Troop A, 32nd Cavalry Squadron, 14th Cavalry Group  |  3:56

    As he readied for deployment to Europe, Frank Fancher was worried about the new armored car he would be using. When you were up in the turret, you couldn't reach your carbine at your feet. A forty five and a shoulder holster made him feel better about that. There was no cure, though, for the funny feeling he had as he looked up at the Statue of Liberty on his way out of New York harbor.

  • Frank Fancher  |  WWII  |  Troop A, 32nd Cavalry Squadron, 14th Cavalry Group  |  4:04

    Frank Fancher was in a cavalry reconnaissance platoon. Their job was to gather information and return, not to fight and hold. Attached to Patton's force as he began his move into Europe, they cleared many small towns. Frank earned the nickname Lucky Lindy in one of those towns.

  • Frank Fancher  |  WWII  |  Troop A, 32nd Cavalry Squadron, 14th Cavalry Group  |  6:29

    They had to take the hill. Patton needed to cross the Moselle River where the German guns were targeted and Frank "Lindy" Fancher's platoon was pinned down. He was so mad that he grabbed a 30 cal machine gun and some ammo belts and charged the hill. When it was over, the crossing was secure and Fancher had won a battlefield commission.

  • Frank Fancher  |  WWII  |  Troop A, 32nd Cavalry Squadron, 14th Cavalry Group  |  3:58

    One of the units from his group was surrounded and outnumbered by a large German force and Frank "Lindy" Fancher's platoon was ordered to keep the road open so they could escape. Later, back in a supposed safe area, he couldn't sleep and was the first to hear over the radio that the German armor was coming.

  • Frank Fancher  |  WWII  |  Troop A, 32nd Cavalry Squadron, 14th Cavalry Group  |  2:36

    His battlefield commission from Stromberg Hill finally caught up with Frank "Lindy" Fancher and he received his Lieutenant bars. By this time, the Battle of the Bulge was on and he was in several firefights in Belgium where the Germans had superior numbers. It was during this time that he spotted an idle tank and took off in it to help a pinned down unit.

  • Frank Fancher  |  WWII  |  Troop A, 32nd Cavalry Squadron, 14th Cavalry Group  |  6:27

    Several of the German weapons were far superior to his own, according to Frank "Lindy" Fancher. The Panzerfaust bazooka and the MG 42 machine gun were two that he really liked and he had more than one occasion to turn them on their makers. Sometimes he got orders that made no sense to him, like the time he was sent to a defensive position in a place that was impossible to defend.

  • Frank Fancher  |  WWII  |  Troop A, 32nd Cavalry Squadron, 14th Cavalry Group  |  7:03

    Frank "Lindy" Fancher had to get his unit across a mine field into some bunkers where they would guard a Ruhr River crossing. Halfway across the mine field, someone sneezed, a flare went up and the machine gun fire started. He inched his way out of there, but before it was over, he would cross that field several times to aid the wounded, repair the telephone wire and get his men into the bunkers. He would also be on the receiving end of a Screaming Mimi barrage and the earned end of a Silver Star.

  • Frank Fancher  |  WWII  |  Troop A, 32nd Cavalry Squadron, 14th Cavalry Group  |  3:28

    After recovering from his wound, Frank "Lindy" Fancher was assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division in Paris, where he investigated crimes of US personnel and local civilians on the black market. It wasn't as dangerous as the front, but he did get shot at. He remembers the huge celebration in the city on the day Germany surrendered.

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