Search billions of records on

Private First Class Frank E. Knebel
U. S. Army
Service # 6282354

November 16, 1917 - September 18, 1944
Lorraine American Cemetery
St. Avold, France


Gold Star Mother Emilie [Ripper] Knebel


Photo courtesy of Daniel Couch

Private First Class Frank E. Knebel, U.S. Army [November 16, 1917 - September 18, 1944] was born to Frank Knebel [September 15, 1888* - January 11, 1972] and Emilie (Ripper) Knebel [February 27, 1891 - May 21, 1955] at Weimer, Colorado County, Texas.  At an early age he and the family moved to Midfield, Matagorda County, Texas.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army on January 8, 1941 at Houston, Texas,  and was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas before shipping overseas.  PFC Kenbel was attached to the 319th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division. The 80th Division was first stationed at Northwich, England where the division received additional training including how to waterproof equipment for the upcoming channel crossing.  The Division crossed the English Channel in LSTs and Liberty ships landing in Normandy on Utah Beach shortly after noon on August 2, 1944, D-Day + 57 and assembled near St. Jores, France.  Extracting from the Division History for the period immediately after September 16th, 1944:
After strengthening positions on the high ground running from Mousson Hill, Ste. Genevieve Hill, Landremont Ridge and Falaise Ridge, the 317th and 318th forged ahead through the Bois de St. Clement.  In the meantime, the 319th on the north flank expanded the bridgehead to include the small towns of Lesmenils, Morville-sur-Seille and Port-sur-Seille.**  It was during this phase of the fighting Frank was Killed in Action on September 18th.  For a long period of time he was reported as Missing in Action, then in July 1945 his family was informed by the War Department he had been Killed in Action. His first interment was at Limey Cemetery, a temporary war cemetery at Toul, France.  After his parents declined to have his remains repatriated to the United States, he was re-interred at the Lorraine American Cemetery at St. Avold, France in Plot J, Row 23, Grave 14.  Frank was survived by his parents, Frank and Emilie and five brothers: Henry in the U.S. Army serving in France, George and Bennie in the U.S. Navy, Alese and Eddie who were at home in Midfield with their parents.


*World War I Draft Registration card gives year of birth as 1889.

**This geographical location is approximately 30-40 miles North of Nancy, France.


Frank E. Knebel Reported Missing In Action In France

Word was received here last week that Pfc. Frank E. Knebel, of Midfield, has been reported missing in action in France, since September 18.

Pfc. Knebel is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Knebel of Midfields. He also has one brother serving in the armed service in Italy, and three other brothers in the states.

He is 27 years of age and has been in the service for eight years.

Daily Tribune, October 10, 1944


Mr. and Mrs. Frank Knebel of Midfield were notified by the War Department yesterday of the death of their son, Pfc. Frank E. Knebel Jr. in France last September. Pfc. Knebel was previously reported missing. The telegram follows:

“I am deeply distressed to inform you corrected report just received states that your son, Pfc. Frank E. Knebel, who was previously reported missing in action was killed in action on eighteenths of September, 1944 in the European area. The Secretary of War asks that I express his deep sympathy in your loss and his regret that unavoidable circumstances made necessary the unusual lapse of time in reporting your son’s death to you. Confirming letter follows.”
            Edward F. Witsell, Acting Adjutant General.

Pfc. Knebel enlisted in the army about eight years ago and was stationed at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio before being sent overseas. He has three other brothers in service, Henry is in France and while fighting there received wounds in action, George is in the navy and is stationed in California and Bennie is also in the navy and at the present time in California.

Matagorda County Tribune, July 19, 1945


A memorial mass for Frank E. Knebel, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Knebel, will be given at the St Peter’s Church in Blessing, Tuesday, July 24, at 9 a.m.

Frank Knebel paid the supreme sacrifice in France, September 18, 1844 (sic), while fighting in the service of his country.                                            
The Daily Tribune
, July 23, 1945

View of Lorraine American Cemetery while still under construction.



Frank Knebel

Funeral services for Frank Knebel, father of Mrs. Dorothy Jenkins, were held Thursday, January 13, at 2:15 p.m. in Triska Chapel in El Campo followed by a Requiem mass at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Blessing with The Rev. Jerome Stryk officiating. Interment was in St. Peter's Cemetery.

A retired businessman, he had live at the Hillje Home for the Aged for the past several years. He was born on September 15, 1888, in Weimar, Texas and passed away in the Nightingale Hospital in El Campo January 11.

Other survivors include three sons, George F. Knebel of Bay City; Henry R. Knebel of Blessing and Eddie J. Knebel of Houston; five sisters and two brothers, 18 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Palacios Beacon, January 20, 1972


Temporary burials U. S. Military Cemetery, Limey, France

Pictures of PFC Knebel, Presidential Certificate and U. S. Military Cemetery courtesy of Dorothy Jenkins.


Copyright 2006 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Jan. 25, 2006
Feb. 10, 2009