Re Ben Frank...

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 16th, 2007, 11:38 am #1

The following is an e-mail from Ben Frank that I received back in 1999.
This is just one of the things that set me on the path of discovering a long line of myths, erroneous legends, and just plain BS.
The news on Ben jiggled a memory of this 1999 e-mail from him in my old mind-housing-group, and this time I actually found the e-mail that I had ratholed at the time.

BTW, have y'all changed yer clocks?
What? That was last week? Too late now--well that's what they (gub-mint) want you to believe.
They control everything including the time; the "time change" is just their check on things, to see that nobody balks at their orders (bitchin' doesn't count). God help the USA--and God help our enemies if we ever get a Leader!

Anyway, God bless you, Ben--and Semper Fidelis, Marine!

From : Ben Frank <>
Sent : Tuesday, November 9, 1999 8:52 PM

Subject : Re: NCO blood stripe

The statement that the red stripe on dress blue trousers was a
"blood" stripe commemorating the Marines killed in the battle for
Chapultepec in Mexico City in 1847 is a long-perpetuated myth passed
on to generations of boots by their DIs. It simply is not true. To
quote LtCol Charlie Cureton in "The Marines," the wearing of stripes
on trousers began in 1834, following the Army's practice of having
trouser stripes the color of the facings of uniform jackets. Colonel
Commandant Archibald Henderson prescribed buff-white stripes for
officers and sergeants. When, in 1839, the uniform changed to dark
blue coats faced red, officers' trousers' stripes became dark blue
edged in red. Ten years later the stripes changed to red, and over
the years, there were variations. Finally, in 1904, the simple red
stripe was adopted.
<> Benis M. Frank
Benis Frank; Marine Corps Historian And Veteran

Thursday, March 15, 2007; B08

Benis M. Frank, 82, a Marine Corps chief historian who started the military branch's oral history program, died March 10 at Prince George's Hospital Center. He had congestive heart failure.

Mr. Frank, a Bowie resident, was a Marine Corps veteran of World War II and the Korean War and rose to the rank of captain in the Marine Corps Reserve.

After a career in sales and teaching, he joined the Marine Corps as a civilian in 1961. He worked in the History and Museums Division at headquarters and started its oral history section in the early 1960s. He was chief historian from 1991 until retiring in 1997.

Among his books were "A Brief History of the 3d Marines" (1962), "Okinawa: Touchstone to Victory" (1970), "Halsey" (1973) and "U.S. Marines in Lebanon, 1982-1984" (1987).

Of the last book, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman wrote it was an "extremely enlightening and useful history of the corps' 18-month experience in Lebanon -- as the marines themselves saw it. . . . It is not only a valuable short history, but also a gold mine of raw material for anyone who might want to write about this misadventure."

Mr. Frank was general editor of the History and Museums Division's World War II 50th anniversary series of commemorative monographs. He also contributed to the Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of World War II, the Dictionary of American Biography, the Oxford Companion to American Military History and other reference works.

He was a recipient of the Navy's Distinguished Civilian Service Medal.

Benis Morton Frank was born in Amsterdam, N.Y., and grew up in Stamford, Conn. He was a 1949 history graduate of the University of Connecticut and did graduate work in international relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

He participated in the invasions of Peleliu and Okinawa during World War II and returned to active duty in the Korean War, serving as a battalion intelligence officer.

He was a fellow and former governor of the Company of Military Historians and former managing editor of its quarterly publication, the Military Collector & Historian.

He was a member of the Military Order of the Carabao and a founding member and president of the Virginia Scottish Games Association.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Marylouise Swatowicz Frank of Bowie; three children, Karen Beck of Annapolis, Jennifer Raymond of Bowie and Victor Frank of Silver Spring; a brother; five grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

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