Francis  G.  Anton  
  Rank, Service
Chief Warrant Officer 4, CW4,  U.S. Army
  Veteran of:
U.S. Army 1967-1987
Cold War 1967-1987
Vietnam War 1967-1973 (POW)

Frank Anton was born in 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He entered Army Rotary-Wing Pilot Training at Fort Rucker, Alabama, on January 31, 1966, and he was commissioned a Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army and received his Army Aviator Badge on March 14, 1967. Anton was sent to Southeast Asia in April 1967, and was assigned to the 71st Aviation Company of the 145th Aviation Battalion, 12th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade in the Republic of Vietnam. He flew UH-1C Firebird helicopters in combat from April 1967 until he was shot down on January 5, 1968. Anton was captured by the Viet Cong 12 hours after he crash landed and was later moved into the North Vietnamese prison system as a Prisoner of War. After spending 1,897 days in captivity, CWO Anton was released during Operation Homecoming on March 16, 1973. Anton returned to flying status after his release, and spent the rest of his Army career at Fort Monmouth and Fort Dix, New Jersey. He retired from the Army at Patrick AFB, Florida, on July 31, 1987. After retiring, Frank went to work as a pilot for American Airlines and retired as a Boeing 727 pilot in 1997. Also in 1997, Frank Anton published a book about his experiences as a POW titled "Why Didn't You Get Me Out? Betrayal in the Viet Cong Death Camps, The Truth about Heroes, Traitors, & Those Left Behind".

His Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:

For heroism during aerial flight on 5 January 1968, while serving as a Pilot while attached to the 71st Aviation Company, 14th Aviation Battalion, 23d Infantry Division, in Vietnam. Warrant Officer One Anton was scrambled to aid an infantry unit which was besieged by a unit of the North Vietnamese Army. He executed an attack on the enemy and his helicopter sustained damage to its flight controls. Refusing to abandon the troops, he continued to attack the enemy. He lost all hydraulic power and found the strength required to move the virtually frozen flight-controls. He flew his aircraft to a landing, resulting in only minor injuries, saving the lives of his entire flight-crew of four. Warrant Officer One Anton's actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 23d Infantry Division, and the United States Army.


Prisoner of War
North Vietnam
5 January 1968 - 16 March 1973



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