Biography of Brigadier General Frank L. Savage

by Liz

Brigadier General Frank L. Savage
918th Bombardment Group H, 8th Air Force
Unofficial biography

This biography contains details gleaned from specific episodes and a great deal of extrapolation.

Name: Frank L. Savage (An Act of War)

Rank: Brigadier General

Age: 36

DOB: Jan. 1906

DOD: August 1943

Blood Type: AB (Faith, Hope, and Sgt. Aronson)

Hometown: Ohio (The Clash)

Family: Grandfather, deceased (The Clash)

Military Record:

  • 1923-1927 West Point (Decision)
  • 1926 learned how to fly (Follow the Leader)
  • 1927 received his commission to the Army Air Corps.
  • Spent 15 years in the Air Corps (The Hero)
  • USAAC reformed as USAAF in 1942, then the USAF 1947 (TOH the book)
  • serial number 75277 (An Act of War)
  • Jan 1942, FS transferred to PINETREE as colonel
  • March 1942, FS transferred to Archbury and the 918th Bombardment Group as Brigadier General


Frank Savage was born in West Union, Ohio on January 21, 1906. His mother died during childbirth. When Frank was three his father died in a farm accident and he was sent to live with his paternal grandfather, Leland Savage. The elder Savage had a 40-acre farm where Frank became a 4H kid, raising a prize heifer named Mrs. Finnegan. (The Clash) The mail planes used to fly over the farm but it was the barnstormers like Ted King and his Flying Circus that lead Frank to love flying. (Follow the Leader, Interlude)

At seventeen, Frank received an appointment to West Point. (Decision) His teachers recognized his leadership skills and his love of flying pushing him into the fast track as a pilot. He met his best friend, Joe Farrell in 1925. The following year he made the West Point Mid-Weight Boxing Semi-finals against Jack Temple. Jack caught him leaning too far ahead of his footwork so he lost the bout. (Decision) He learned to fly in 1926 and received his commission in 1927 to the Army Air Corps. (Follow the Leader) Also in 1927, he was engaged to Arlene Johnson, daughter of Senator Johnson. The Senator said that if Frank resigned his commission he could marry Arlene. Frank refused and shortly thereafter she broke off the engagement. (Pressure Point)

While in the Army Air Corps, he was on a three-engine job. The plane crashed and he was the only survivor. The inquiry didn't resolve what happened. Frank lost his confidence but it was General Crowe who persuaded him to fly again. (Follow the Leader) Wiley Crowe described Frank as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. (Appt. at Liege)

By 1935, Frank was a Colonel at Barksdale Field in Bossier City, LA. It was here that he met Keith Davenport. (The Book) In 1937, Barksdale received the first B17. From 1937-1941 Frank was the commander of the 901st. He was relieved of command by Keith Davenport for running the boys into the ground. (The Book) It was during this period that Frank won the D.S.C. during peacetime. (The Book)

March 24, 1941 Frank was transferred to England where he was attached to a RAF base in conjunction with President Roosevelt's Lend-Lease program. Frank led the first bombing raid over Europe and earned the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster for his efforts. (The Book)

In January 1942, Frank was assigned to PINETREE as a colonel planning missions. The USAAC was reformed and renamed into the US Army Air Force. In March 1942, Frank relieved Keith Davenport as commander of the 918th Bombardment Group based at Archbury. He was, at this point, a Brigadier General. Shortly thereafter he met Anne Goss, an ex-movie star. They were engaged to be married but he broke it off. Anne called him a born flier. (In Search of My Enemy) In November 1942, Frank was shot down and spent five days in a prisoner of war camp before escaping. He talked about the importance of Faulkner while being a pilot. (POW 1,2) In December 1942, he was injured with a life-threatening piece of shrapnel near his heart while landing the Lily. He explained his philosophy of life. "A man has got to believe in ethics, morality, and the common man. A man has got to try. No one gets out of this life alive." (Faith Hope and Sgt. Aronson)

Late January 1943, Frank was sent on leave following the death of Joe Farrell. He went to Scotland and had a brief moment with Anne Macrae. She died of terminal cancer while he was there, but he was able to come back to the war. (Interlude)

In February 1943, General Wiley Crowe was sent to Washington to handle the war from there. (Mutiny at 10,000 Feet) Frank was very close to a breakdown without his best friend General Crowe and the stress of the war. (Mutiny at 10,000 Feet)

June 12, 1943, Axis Sally predicted Frank's death. Although there were plenty of suspects, it turned out to be...the barber, Gilly. (The Threat)

August 1943, Frank was shot down over France. Komansky was the only survivor. The Germans buried him with full military honours at Verdun. (The Loneliest Plane in the World)

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