The TrueHearts "PFC Frankie Walker"

submitted by The Alt Root on 07/06/19 1

The song “PFC Frankie Walker” is about The Truehearts’ co-leader Steve McWilliam’s mother, Marion and her first love, Francis Walker, a GI, about to be shipped out to fight the war in Europe. We wrote the song based on a letter from Marion to Steve, written on June 6th of 2000, telling the story of her brief but significant relationship with Frank, and the locket that held both of their pictures that Marion had kept for all those years. Francis R. Walker and Marion Krottendorfer met in Marion’s hometown, New York City, on line, in front of the Paramount Theatre. Frank, stationed at Camp Kilmer in New Jersey, was 18 and Marion was 15. The two dated for a few weeks and then Frank was given notice that he was being shipped out. He was part of the Normandy invasion, landing on June 7th in the second wave on Omaha Beach. He remained on the front lines for 2 weeks but was wounded while on orders to take out a German 88mm. gun. Frank was sent to the hospital in England where he remained for 2 weeks. After recovering from his injuries he returned to his old company, still in France, where he was killed on August 7, 1944. There are no details of his death recorded. Marion, who had been exchanging letters with Frank from the time he left, received a phone call from Frank’s mother, Mary Edith, informing her of Frank’s death. After writing the song, we felt compelled to learn more about Frank and his family, hoping to discover that he had close, living relatives. His only sister, Marelda, had married but had no children and died from cancer in 2000. Our discovery of Frank’s Senior year high school yearbook and his obituary in the Sewickley Herald filled in many details about his life before the war. Frank was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the family immigrated to the US in 1928. His father Samuel fought with the RAF in the first World War and later died at the age of 40 from scarlet fever. Frank was a boy scout, a YMCA swim instructor, member of the Sewickley Methodist Church choir, he delivered papers for the Sewickley Herald, and was active in the Stage Guild at Sewickley High. He was known by his friends as “Spike”.

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