Archive for June, 2019

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Honoring a D-Day Hero – Frank Golemi

Today marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day when Allied forces successfully invaded northern France by means of beach landings in Normandy. While we remember the sacrifice many made to liberate Europe, we also honor one of CBC’s legends and vessel namesake – Frank Golemi – who flew a C-47 to transport paratroopers behind enemy lines that day.

Frank enlisted in the Air Force soon after the outbreak of World War II in 1941. He first saw combat in the skies over Normandy on June 6, 1944: D-Day. Flying through machine gun fire and tracer bullets, Frank and his crew fought to deliver paratroopers to locations behind enemy lines. Among the men who rode in his plane were members of the 101st Airborne Division. When asked to describe that day, Frank recalled, “When we crossed over the English Channel, it looked like all hell broke loose. Think of a fireworks display and compound it. Flying through bullets coming from all directions and flying at less than 1,000 feet. Flak exploding to your right, left and in front of you. (Wondering) am I going to make it? I guess I did!”

Frank’s service continued with more missions in Europe, transporting critical supplies and supporting the ground effort through to the end of the war. After the war, Frank became a commercial airline pilot then went on to receive a degree from Loyola University. Canal Barge Company founder, Joseph Merrick Jones Sr., hired Frank as a part-time accountant in 1948, then as a full-time employee in 1950. Frank remained dedicated to supporting the Jones family through an impressive career spanning 70 years. Frank Golemi passed away on May 2, 2018, at the age of 96.