U.S. Army, 90th Infantry Division
358th Infantry Regiment
American Ex-Prisoner of War, Stalag VIIA
My name is Joseph Frankenfield. I was born on May 7th, 1921. I was born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
I had three older sisters. I graduated from Allentown High School in 1939. I had a variety of jobs before I went
to the war. I worked in an orchard picking fruit. I worked at a chemical company. I worked for a truck manufacturing
company for 25 dollars a month. I was inducted into the United States Army in September of 1943. I was discharged
in November of 1945 out of Fort Meade, Maryland. I took basic training with the anti-aircraft artillery at Fort
Eustace, Virginia. I was the #7 position on the gun, or the loader and of the gun. We were transferred into the
infantry at Camp Shelby, Mississippi near Biloxi, MS. I was sent overseas with the 69th Infantry Division. I was
shipped overseas on the USS Wakefield, which was a resort ship at one time.
We got over to England just after the invasion in June. The 90th Division needed replacements, so I was sent to
France to join the 90th in their advance through Normandy. As soon as I arrived we started fighting in the hedgerows
of Normandy. The German artillery bombarded us constantly. We were always close to the Germans and there were many
short-distance firefights. I was separated from my unit one day fighting in the hedgerows. I was captured in July
of 1944 with a couple other men from my battalion.
We were gathered up and sent to a train. The Germans packed us in the forty and eights and shipped off to Stalag
7A at Moosberg, Germany. We were in the forty and eights for seven days without food or water. I arrived at Stalag
7A in Moosberg, Germany. We were supposed to get a parcel from the Red Cross once a month, but we never saw any
parcels. The Germans kept all the parcels and didn't give us any. Our food was one loaf of bread a week and cabbage
soup split up among all the men. I did not want to stay in the camp, so I volunteered for a work detail. We would
wake up at 4:00am every day and then were sent to Munich to work all day long. When you're a POW you talk about
two things, food and experiences, not women. We would get showers every six weeks. I think that the bread was the
only thing that kept us alive.
My mother never received word that I was Prisoner. She only received word that I was Missing-In-Action. The 10th
Armored Division liberated us at the end of the war. I was sent to France, then shipped home on a liberty ship.
It took me twenty-one days to get home. When we saw the lady in the harbor, boy, that was something.
After the war I decided to take advantage of the GI Bill so I went to East Stroudsburg State Teachers College.
I moved to Jenkintown. I was the first male teacher at the school Abington. I taught 4th and 5th Grade at Roslyn
School for 7 years. I was married in 1952. I had two children and have two grandchildren. The last 16 years of
my career I was at North Penn. I had 36 years total in my career. I recently went back to Normandy. I visited the
cemeteries and I also visited the place where I was captured.