Sommerfield, Frank - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Sommerfield, Frank

Frank Sommerfield

Branch of Service: US Navy (May 10, 1966 - Nov. 12, 1969)

Hometown: Frank is the son of the Late Harry and Maxine Sommerfield and grew up on a farm located in Jarret, (on the Zumbro River between Hammond & Millville). Frank graduated from Elgin HS in 1965.  Frank now lives in Arizona.

Frank Sommerfield joined the Navy in May of 1966 and completed Boot Camp in San Diego.  After Boot Camp he was assigned to the USS GRIDLEY (dig 21), a guided missile Frigate. (It is bigger than a Destroyer and smaller than a Cruiser). Frank was a Seaman assigned to the Boatswains Mate's and worked in the sail locker.  The USS GRIDLEY set sail for Vietnam Nov 18, 1966, stopping in Pearl Harbor, Subic Bay in the Philippines and than to the Tonkin Gulf.  The assignment was plane guard duty, ( rescued downed pilots and any others who called for help). The schedule was 35-40 days at Sea than back to the Subic Bay for some rest and supplies.  After six months they sailed to Hong Kong for repairs, then on to Australia and New Zealand.  Frank crossed the Equator and went from a Pollywog to a Shellback (after going through the initiation that only the Navy would know about). On there way to participate in the Corral Sea Celebration they stopped in the Manus Islands, Adelaide, Australia, New Zealand, Pago Pago, Samoa.  The USS Gridley returned to Long Beach, CA.  Frank then transferred to the Seabees and returned to Vietnam this time he was on land, stationed at Chu Lia.  There they built hospitals, ammo dumps, and base camps for both the Army and Marines.  After his time in Vietnam Frank completed his service duty in Puerto Rico.

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