Fallen Ohio AFB Firefighter Honored 80 Years Later

The grave of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Firefighter Frank Smith went unmarked for decades.


After nearly 80 years, a fallen Wright-Patterson Air Force Base firefighter was honored for his sacrifice.

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Firefighter Frank Smith died on Sept. 15, 1932 at the age of 43 after suffering burns fight a fire on the base near Dayton, Ohio, according to WHIO-TV.

His grave at Woodland Cemetery went unmarked for decades, but on Thursday, members of the base and a local resident saw that he received the recognition he deserved.

It took two years, but with the help of a Hilda Miller, they researched his life, tried to locate his family and worked with the cemetery and Dodds Monuments -- which creates gravestones -- to honor Smith.

While they were unable to find any surviving members of his family, his fire and military families gathered to give the ceremony they say he deserved a long time ago.

"Now the Dayton area will know if they come here, they'll see that this was a fallen firefighter. He died in the line of duty," Wright-Patterson AFB Firefighter Steven McKee told the news station.