Frank N. Lovato- MSGT. USAF

       Frank Lovato was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico October 31, 1921, to WWI Army veteran Antanacio Lovato
   and Anita Sanchez. he was named after his great uncle, Congressman Francisco Perea who was a personal friend of
   Abraham Lincoln. Prior to his death in 1913, Perea also had the unique distinction of being the last known living person
   who was in Ford Theater the night Lincoln was assassinated. Although he grew up in the period of the Great Depression, his
   family managed on the steady income of his fathers skilled machinist job at the railroad depot.        

       Frank joined the New Mexico National Guard while in high school and received training at Fort Bliss, Texas prior to
   being activated in September 1941. His unit was designated the 200th Coast Artillery, and were shipped to Fort Stotensberg/
   Clark AirField
, Philippines to shore up the joint American/Filipino forces of General Douglas MacArthur. It was there Frank
   saw the first bomb fall from Imperial Japanese bombers, and he and two other Americans and 25 Filipinos were also the first
   to engage the Japanese land invasion forces on the beach at Lingayen Gulf. His halftrack battery sunk over 30 enemy landing
   boats and later destroyed 4 enemy tanks before they were ordered to surrender and endure the infamous Bataan Death March,
   POW camps, “Hell Ships”, and “Slave Camps”. While in a POW camp near Nagasaki Japan he also witnessed the flash and
   sound of the Last bomb dropped in WWII. The next day, he and his buddies were perhaps the first to reach out their hands in
   friendship with food to the Japanese (children who had wandered in to the camp) and later to their families.

       Frank fulfilled his dream to return home, receive the promised field promotion, start a family, and to serve his country that
   liberated him. He led a distinguished career in the Air Force, fulfilling his promise to see that the conditions that led to the fall
   of the Philippines would never happen again to American military personnel. Today, he lives at the VA hospital in Albuquerque,
   surrounded by great grandchildren and enjoying local sports and veterans events.

   Frank Lovato

     1945  and  2004   

Click on book cover for information on Frank's Book 

Frank's passing - and photo

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