When Frank Sanft’s older brother was killed early in World War ll, it only intensified Frank’s determination to serve. Joining the Royal Navy, he was eventually assigned to Operation PLUTO, which involved laying an undersea fuel pipeline between the UK and Cherbourg (vital in keeping Allied vehicles moving, directly after the invasion of France). Frank laughs now at a close call with a sniper ashore in France. Serving in the Pacific, he was there after Singapore’s notorious Changi PoW camp was liberated. In 2017 Sanft was awarded a prestigious French Legion of Honour.
I saw troops and trucks scattering away a bit and I’m standing out there with my rifle. And an American guy came by, crouching down and he said ‘Goddamn it piss off… there are snipers!’ And I was standing there on guard. No one had told me what to do if there were any snipers, and there was me with a 303, no ammunition and a bayonet stuck on the end.– Frank Sanft