Frank Riley Loyd, Jr.

NO. 18013  •  20 April 1928 – 26 September 1950

Died 26 September 1950 in Korea, aged 22 years.

FRANK LOYD was born and reared in the Infantry and no queen ever had more gallant service than Frank gave to the blue-scarfed, valiant Queen of Battles. He was born at Fort Sam Houston on 20 April 1928, the son of an Infantry officer. With his younger sister he grew up on Infantry posts and was intrigued by the drill formations and parades. It is easy to imagine him, at retreat, one of many little boys, washed and brushed, watching as the long shadows grew on the parade ground, dreaming of being a soldier.

Eventually, in 1940, his father was stationed in the Philippines. Frank and his mother and sister returned to the USA with the other dependents and settled in San Antonio before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Colonel Loyd fought the long battle for the Philippines, but was never captured by the Japanese, He remained free in the jungles of the Philippine Islands for three and a half years of Japanese Occupation, a feat requiring no small amount of resourcefulness and courage. Finally, as the fighting passed, he walked into Manila, boarded a ship, and returned to his family after over four years of separation.

Frank was fired by the example of his father's exploits in the Philippines. He sought diligently to obtain an appointment to USMA and after considerable legwork in the halls of the Senate and House Office Buildings and after many conferences with congressmen, he entered in July 1946. Although appreciative of the need for a college education, he came to West Point determined to be a soldier’s soldier; He came to learn the service of the blue-scarfed Queen. For four years the biweekly tactics classes and the summer tactical training held far more interest for Frank than the academic courses. During his last three years at West Point he gained two roommates who were very strongly oriented toward the Armored Force. There were many lively discussions about the relative merits of the two branches of service. Despite the odds against him, he never wavered in his devo­tion.

Infantry was the passion and purpose of his life, but Frank had other pursuits.  He learned to fly while in high school and had a private pilot’s license. Planes always fascinated him, but he gave up a desire to join the Air Force in favor of the Infantry. He Iearned very early to enjoy an outdoor life. He became an accomplished fisherman and hunter. During his cadet days be fished at every opportunity and when he was not fishing, he could be found in his room tending his line and equipment. Since cadets have little opportunity for hunting he became interested in rifle competition. In his last year at West Point, he received from his father a target rifle which became his prized possession.

Frank always displayed a warmth and a liking for people that never failed to win friends. As a boy in San Antonio he developed lasting friendships with other sons of Army Officers. Several of them became classmates at West Point. As a Plebe he built still more friendships. Even the upper classmen seldom failed to react to his likable, easy-going manner. As an upperclassman he carried out his responsibilitics in his easy good-natured way. He was a good friend and a good companion, enthusiastic and interested in others.

Frank's boyhood and maturing years prepared him for Infantry leadership and on 6 June 1950 he was graduated a 2d lieutenant of Infantry. Later that month the Korean War broke out and Frank had his graduation leave shortened and received orders to Korea as a replacement. He joined Company B, 35th Infantry, as a platoon leader. On 26 September 1950, a 2d lieutenant for less than four months, he was with his company on Task Force Dolvin when he formed and led an attack that was both daring and imaginative. His company, which had been riding on tanks, had become pinned down with heavy sniper and automatic weapons fire from a hill to the right. Frank was riding near the rear of the column and realized that for his company to proceed with its mission, the enemy must be driven from the commanding ground. He formed an attacking force of 15 men and led it in an assault on the hill. His attacking force itself became pinned down from extremely heavy enemy fire and hand grenades. Exemplifying the Men of Harlock- ". . . He is bravest, he who leads us.. . . " Frank, armed with a pistol and his display of bravery and courage, led his men in a final assault that overran the enemy position causing 150 enemy to abandon their well - ­fortified positions. In the final action of overrunning the positions Frank sacrificed his life. For gallantry, undaunted courage and inspiring leadership, Frank was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

Frank Loyd's family, his friends, the Long Gray Line, and the Queen of Battles have suffered a severe loss. His sacrifice, however, adds to the tradition of heroism and courage that made and has kept our country free.

-Philip B. Samsey '50