Frank Kessinger Interview, August 15, 1986


Frank Kessinger


Charles Milo McLeod



Download Audio Interview (82.0 MB)

Download Transcript of Frank Kessinger Interview (408 KB)


Frank Kessinger discusses his military service and how he came to be part of the First Special Service Force during World War II. He talks about volunteering for the Force and the rigorous training in hand-to-hand combat, mountain climbing, skiing, vehicle operations, and weapons that he received. He offers insights into what it was like to be a medic in the First Special Service Force and talks about being wounded multiple times in battle. Kessinger discusses the various campaigns that the force was involved in in Italy, North Africa, Southern France, and islands in the Pacific. He also talks about being transferred to the 101st Airborne after the Force was disbanded and talks about being involved in the invasion of Bastogne. He discusses the heroic actions of many force members and talks about the mental and physical toll that constant fighting took on many soldiers.


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Document Type

Oral History


World War, 1939-1945; First Special Service Force; Canadian Military; U.S. military; Hand-to-hand combat; Military training; Battle of Anzio; Fort Harrison, Montana; Anzio, Italy; Military, specialized missions; U.S. military servicemen; Canadian military servicemen; Goodwin, Herb; Glass, Joe; Free French Resistance Movement; 101st Airborne Division; McAuliffe, Anthony; Battle of the Bulge; Bastogne, Belgium

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

First Special Service Force Oral History Project, OH 151, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 151-011

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (31 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:01:57 minutes

Local Filename

OH_151_011.mp3; OH_151_011.pdf

Frank Kessinger Interview, August 15, 1986