Frank George Wassilak enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserve in April 1942 and arrived from Naval Operation Base Norfolk VA at 1500 hours on 18-OCT 1943.  He was reporting to a brand new Edsall-class destroyer escort USS Leopold built for the United States Navy manned by a Coast Guard crew.  This was the first crew on the new ship thus making him what the Navy termed a “plank holder.”  Frank would serve in the North Atlantic and convoy duty. On 9-MAR 1943, they encountered U-boat 255. A torpedo was fired at the USS Leopold from point blank range.

For the rest of Frank’s story, click on the pdf below.

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.