John Frame was born in Newark on Sept. 28, 1915, the fifth of eight children born to James Rudolph Frame and Mary Ann Frame Dean (née Mooney). Frame lived most of his life on Creek Road. Various records from 1940–1942 recorded him working as a farmhand, for a contractor, and at Continental-Diamond Fibre.
Frame was drafted; he was inducted into the U.S. Army in Camden, New Jersey on July 22, 1942. Records suggest that he went on active duty at Fort Dix, New Jersey in August 1942 and attended basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He went overseas to North Africa in March 1943, where he apparently joined Company “C,” 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division as a replacement.
Frame first saw combat during the invasion of Sicily in July 1943. His unit then participated in the invasion of Italy in September 1943. Private Frame was hospitalized for at least three months due to an illness starting sometime in October 1943. In February 1944, Frame returned to his regiment, now located at the Anzio beachhead, where an amphibious operation (intended to bypass the German defensive line near Cassino) had bogged down. A series of strong German counterattacks gave way to months of stalemate. Frame’s unit endured occasional firefights with Germans nearby, but also air raids, artillery fire, and chilling winter rain (the latter three even when the regiment had been rotated off the front line).
The long-awaited breakout from Anzio began on May 23, 1944. The following day, during the capture of Cisterna, Frame was wounded in the shoulder by artillery fragments. He returned to duty in June.
The 7th Infantry Regiment’s next assignment was another amphibious operation, Operation Dragoon, launched against the South of France in August 1944. Private Frame earned the Bronze Star Medal during combat in France. An excerpt of the citation stated:
“On 25 August 1944, Private Frame and an officer braved the fire of three tanks, four machine guns, and small arms at point-blank range that had killed or wounded 12 men, in order to rescue one of the casualties near * * *, France. When Private Frame, who had crawled approximately 100 yards to the wounded man, found himself unable to evacuate the casualty alone, the officer came to assistance and completed the act of mercy.” (Although the location was censored in the public version of the citation, Frame’s regiment was near Montélimar at the time.)
At some point, apparently after August 1944, Frame was promoted to private 1st class. During the remainder of the summer and fall of 1944, Allied forces pursued the Germans across France, with resistance stiffening close to the German border. Frame was wounded again in France (probably in the vicinity of the Vosges Mountains) on September 29, 1944, hit in the shoulder and back by artillery fragments. Frame returned to duty the following month.
Frame was wounded for the third time, probably in the vicinity of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges in northeast France, on October 31, 1944; his admission card stated that he was wounded in the chin and forearm by a bullet or other projectile. Once again, Frame returned to duty, in November 1944. That month, his unit supported the capture of Strasbourg.
In December 1944, Private 1st Class Frame’s unit was positioned to prevent German forces from advancing out of the last portion of French territory that they still controlled, known as the Colmar Pocket. Allied forces launched an attack on the Colmar Pocket beginning the night of January 22, 1945. The following day, near Ostheim, France, Frame was struck in the head by artillery fragments and killed.
Private 1st Class Frame’s body rests in the Epinal American Cemetery in Dinozé, France. Frame’s decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart with three oak leaf clusters, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.