Major (USAF Ret.) Frank (NMI) Rauschkolb (1919-1993) was born in Milton-Freewater, Oregon on the 07 September 1919 to Fred and Louise Rauschkolb. Growing up during the depression, the family often had no food to eat. The farmers in California would bring truck loads of oranges up to Oregon in the hopes of selling them there. There were many that were left over and they would be dumped in the local orchards to use as fertilizer as they rotted. Frank recalled walking to school he would eat the oranges he would find on the way to and from and said it was the only food he had for a week. He graduated from McLoughlin Union High School in Milton-Freewater in 1937. After graduation Frank worked on his parent's farm (a small Italian Plum orchard) and summer jobs to include at the local packing plant.

When the war broke out, Frank applied for, and was accepted to the seven (7) month long Aviation Cadet Program, leaving on 13 April 1942 for basic training. Frank began Primary Flight Training at the Rankin Aeronautical Academy (Rankin Field) in Tulare, California in February 1943. Rankin Field became one of the sixty-two (62) civilian-owned flying schools in the U.S. that taught 1.4 million World War II Army pilots to fly. Basic flying skills were taught in the PT-22 "Recruit" at Rankin. He completed Primary on the 12 April 1943 and it was on to Basic and Advanced Flight Training at Marfa Army Airfield in Marfa, Texas. During Basic, Frank learned formation flight, instruments, and aerial navigation skills. During Advanced, the Cadets were broken into single-engine and multi-engine categories. (Frank was multi-engine) Single-engine candidates would go on to fly fighters, and multi-engine Cadets became bomber or transport pilots. Frank flew the Vultee BT-13A "Valiant" trainer. He received the silver wings of the United States Army Air Corps in Class 43-H from Marfa [see graduation dance announcement][invitation card][see graduation announcement] and graduated on the 30 August 1943  [orders] along with several other members of the Second Emergency Rescue Squadron. Hugh Pennington, Bill Holbrook, Larry Bormann, John Denison, John Dickinson, Denzil Kathman, Don Dixon, Harry Remington, Leroy Nelson, Robert Rohlfing, and James Scott were graduates of this class.

On the 14 September 1943 Frank then transferred to Selman Field in Monroe, Louisiana to begin his navigation training. [orders] In early October 1943 the group was transferred to Penscacola Naval Air Station, Florida to begin the approximate 6 week transition into the PBY-5A "Catalina." [orders] Upon completing the required Navy syllabus the men would also received the gold wings of a Naval Aviator. He and other members of the 2nd ERS were transferred to Gulfport Field, Mississippi and eventually Keesler Field, Biloxie, Mississippi to complete the Air Sea Rescue Training required by the USAAF. Once complete, the newly formed Second Emergency moved to California to begin the transition to the Pacific Theater to join the war effort. As crews began the marathon trek from California to New Guinea in their "new" OA-10A Catalinas, Frank was assigned to the transport ship M/S Roseville [manifest] and left for the Pacific on the 30 April 1944. The trip lasted almost a month, as they arrived at Milne Bay, New Guinea on the 26 May 1944. While overseas Frank had many memorable missions, but one in particular earned him the Distinguished Service Cross, (DSC) [orders] the nation's second highest commendation for extraordinary heriosm. It took place on the 04 March 1945 when his crew rescued 17 members of three (3) different B-25's that crashed. (One turned out to be R.D. Johnson, the "Professor" on Gilligan's Island!) The orders were cut in July 1945 and the formal ceremony was held on 18 September 1945. By the end of March 1945, he had flown seventy-eight (78) combat missions totaling six hundred nine (609) hours [certificate] and had earned enough points to be rotated back stateside to serve as an instructor pilot. [orders]

fter returning stateside, Frank married Francis Rosalee Wagner on the 26 April 1945 in Walla Walla, Washington. They had five (5) sons, Jan, Frank Jr., Barry, Bill, and Fred each being born at a different duty station. Remaining in the newly formed U.S. Air Force, he was stationed in many places in the next 15 years. He flew as part of the Berlin Airlift flying food and supplies into the beleagured and starving civilians. He mainly flew fighters and cargo planes. While still in the Air Force, Frank went back to school and earned his Bachelor's degree in xxxx from San Francisco State College in 1958. During the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962 he was a commander of a B-52 Stratofortress.

His military awards and decorations include: Distinguished Service Cross, Air Medal, (w/6 OLC) American Campaign Medal, Asicatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, (w/2 bronze service stars) World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal with Berlin Airlift Device, Medal for Humane Action, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award, (w/4 bronze OLC) Armed Forces Reserve Medal, (w/1 Hour Glass Device) Philippine Liberation Medal.

After retiring from the Air Force Frank went to flight instructor school [FAA Certificate] at Troutdale, Oregon. He became a flight instructor for smaller aircraft, then moving on to larger airplanes with United Air Lines in Denver, Colorado. He worked for United Air Lines for seventeen (17) years in the 737 program, retiring again in 1979. He moved back to Oregon in 1982. He was co-founder of the Oregon Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Portland, Oregon. His son Jan was killed on 26 May 1969 in Vietnam. His son Frank Jr. was serving in Vietnam at the time of his brother's death.

Frank enjoyed the great outdoors. He was avid hunter and fisherman, but golf was his great passion! He passed away on the 6 March 1993 of a stroke at age 73. Fran passed away on the 2 March 2011.

[see Frank Rauschkolb's military records...]

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