Miles P. Frandsen - World War II (KIA)

January 29th, 1923 to May 14th, 1945

Brother Miles Frandsen joined the Co-op at the age of 12 with his parents Brother Perry and Sister Lapreal Frandsen on June 8th, 1935.

Brother Miles and his good friend Brother Merlin Kingston were both drafted to the army in 1945 during World War 2.  Miles was 22 years old.  Brother Elden gave both young men a blessing before leaving, telling them the Lord was pleased with their efforts, that their life was in His hands.  He reminded them of the importance that men from the Co-op share in the sacrifice that was called of our nation to protect the freedom of the United States.  The two men had been close friends since childhood.  

They were assigned to different divisions, it was the last time they would see each other.

Marines of 1st Marine Division fighting on Okinawa, 1945

Brother Miles was assigned to the 1st Marines Division and began training.  After a few months, the 1st Division was deployed to fight with the Allied Pacific Campaign that was already in full force.  One of their assignments brought the division to the famous Battle of Okinawa that had begun April 1st, 1945.  The battle had already been raging a couple of weeks when Brother Miles' division arrived at the end of April.

Army forces had just pushed through the Japanese Machinato defensive line.  The 1st Marine Division relieved the 27th Infantry Division, and the 77th Infantry Division relieved the 96th.  When the 6th Marine Division arrived, the III Amphibious Corps took over the right flank and the 10th Army Division assumed control of the battle. (1)

US Marine reinforcements wade ashore to support the beachhead on Okinawa, April 1, 1945.
The battleship USS Idaho shelling Okinawa on April 1, 1945

With reinforcements, the American and allied forces launched a new offensive on the Maeda Escarpment, otherwise known as "Hacksaw Ridge" on April 26th with 1st Marine Division and 77th Infantry Division.  Then Private First Class Desmond T. Doss, whose story was popularized in the 2016 film "Hacksaw Ridge", was part of the medical detachment for 77th Infantry Division in the same battle.  

To defend the escarpment, Japanese troops hunkered down in a network of caves and dugouts. They were determined to hold the ridge and decimated some American platoons until just a few men remained.  Much of the fighting was hand-to-hand and particularly ruthless.  American forces finally took Hacksaw Ridge on May 6th, 1945. (2)

On May 11th, American commanders launched attacks on two different fronts of the Okinawa Coast.  Ten days of fierce fighting followed.  On May 13, troops of the 96th Infantry Division and 763rd Tank Battalion captured Conical Hill.  Rising 476 ft (145 m) above the Yonabaru coastal plain, this feature was the eastern anchor of the main Japanese defenses and was defended by about 1,000 Japanese.  

Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, Brother Miles and the 1st and 6th Marine Divisions fought for "Sugar Loaf Hill".  The capture of these two key positions exposed the Japanese around Shuri on both sides.  

Brother Miles Frandsen, Pvt, 1st Marine Division was killed in battle on May 14th, 1945.

Lt. Col. Richard P. Ross Jr., commander of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines braves sniper fire to place the United States' colors over the parapets of Shuri Castle on May 30

Upon his death, Brother Elden expressed his condolences and also his gratitude for Brother Miles' service to our country, his family and the Co-op and for his ultimate sacrifice in the protection of freedom.


(1) West Point Atlas of American Wars


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