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Frank Watkins collection

 Collection — Container: Single Folder Collections -2004 Box 7 (04.0217-04.0263), Folder: 04.0255-Folder 1
Identifier: 04.0255

Content Description

This collection relates to Technical Sergeant Frank Watkins, who served with the 449th Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force, in Italy during World War II. The B-24 bomber on which Watkins was a crew was shot down over Regensburg, Germany. Watkins was captured and spent than 15 months as a prisoner of war. This collection includes mostly personal letters written to an aunt (1944-1946), from his time as a POW through his repatriation.


  • 1944-1945
  • Other: Date accessioned: 2020-04-23


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical / Historical

Frank Watkins was born on May 4, 1921 in Walhala, South Carolina. He entered service in the U.S. Army Air Corps at Fort Jackson, S.C. on August 14, 1942. He served as a Technical Sergeant, army serial number 34382696, with the 716th Bomb Squadron, 449th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 15th Air Force in Italy during World War II. On February 12, 1944, the B-24 Liberator Bomber on which Watkins was a crew member as the left waist gunner, was shot down over Regensburg, Germany. Missing Air Crew Report 2712 was assigned. He was captured and spent 14 months as a Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft 4 Gross-Tychow, Pomerania, Prussia and Wobbelin near Ludwigslust, during which he had to endure a 53 day forced march that took the lives of many of his friends. Watkins was subsequently repatriated. He passed away on August 5, 1946 in Asheville, N.C. due to complications from tuberculosis and is buried in Wolf Stake Cemetery, West Union, S.C.


1 folders

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The materials of this collection were in the possession of Mick Rankin (Aunt Corrie), before passing into the hands of her son, Bob Rankin, who was Watkins' first cousin. Bob Rankin donated the collection to the World War II Institute.

Custodial History

Transferred from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience to FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives in July 2022.

Frank Watkins collection
Mallory McGovern
May 2, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US