FRANK J. UHLIG, CAPT, USMC (RET.)

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
Frank Uhlig '25

Date of birth: February 4, 1902

Date of death: January 26, 1940

Age: 37

Lucky Bag

From the 1925 Lucky Bag:

1925 Uhlig LB.jpg

Frank Julius Uhlig

East Orange, New Jersey

"Unic"

SYNOPSIS: The son of the Turkish corsair, Uluck Ali, is wrecked on a bleak German isle—years pass—until one day in Colombo's recruiting station in Cadiz a rolling, rollicking young fellow signs up as a coal-heaver on Colombo's voyage to America.

The Story: A descendant of this same man, our own "Unic," followed the trail of his forbears, and rolled into this place in June, 1921. Despite the ravages of Jersey Skeeters, he had developed an inveterate taste for Snappy Stories, True Stories, Dream Stories, Detective Stories, Western Stories, and just plain stories, which he supplemented with a private stock that made even "Wop" and "Lilly" quit in disgust. After two cruises a l'hopital his favorite saying became, "Where you fellows going next year?" Meanwhile, he cruised on the Reina, thereby gaining a coveted P——— Black N. A fine caulker; seventh member of the Dog, Cat, Screech and Howl Quartet; a bad heart from smoking—from others smoking his skags; losing his heart and ring ah, there's the rub, Othello, there's the rub—to a fair brown-eyed damsel named———er———(censored).

Class Soccer (4, 3, 2, 1); Black N; Sub-Squad (4, 3, 2, 1); Gymkhana (2).

1925 Uhlig LB.jpg

Frank Julius Uhlig

East Orange, New Jersey

"Unic"

SYNOPSIS: The son of the Turkish corsair, Uluck Ali, is wrecked on a bleak German isle—years pass—until one day in Colombo's recruiting station in Cadiz a rolling, rollicking young fellow signs up as a coal-heaver on Colombo's voyage to America.

The Story: A descendant of this same man, our own "Unic," followed the trail of his forbears, and rolled into this place in June, 1921. Despite the ravages of Jersey Skeeters, he had developed an inveterate taste for Snappy Stories, True Stories, Dream Stories, Detective Stories, Western Stories, and just plain stories, which he supplemented with a private stock that made even "Wop" and "Lilly" quit in disgust. After two cruises a l'hopital his favorite saying became, "Where you fellows going next year?" Meanwhile, he cruised on the Reina, thereby gaining a coveted P——— Black N. A fine caulker; seventh member of the Dog, Cat, Screech and Howl Quartet; a bad heart from smoking—from others smoking his skags; losing his heart and ring ah, there's the rub, Othello, there's the rub—to a fair brown-eyed damsel named———er———(censored).

Class Soccer (4, 3, 2, 1); Black N; Sub-Squad (4, 3, 2, 1); Gymkhana (2).

Loss

Frank died on January 26, 1940 of an unspecified cause. Several different sites list his place of death as Washington, D.C., though a Richmond, Virginia newspaper gives it as the Marine Barracks at Quantico, Virginia.

He was placed on the retired list on May 1, 1938. The law governing his retirement was "Retired for age ineligibility for promotion. Act of Aug 29, 1916." The Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps of 1940 lists his death as "Uhlig, Frank J., capt, ret'd".

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

Frank married Thelma F. Cohirra on July 18, 1926, in Fredericksburg, Virginia. They divorced on March 6, 1930, in Norfolk.

In October 1930, he was detached from the USS Florida to the USS Wyoming.

Frank served in China with the American Embassy Guard.

In February 1937, Frank, his second wife Julie and daughter Joan sailed from Chinwangpao, China, to San Francisco. Their address was 4038 Lemmon Avenue, Dallas. Mail was to be sent c/o Givens Archer Parr, Texas State Bank, Alice, Texas. According to one newspaper, Frank also had a son Richard.

Frank’s bother William died from tuberculosis two weeks after him in Phoenix. In November that year, their father died of a heart attack at a guest ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona. He was a retired professor of chemistry at Columbia University. They were all survived by brother Edward. Another brother Carl was born in New Jersey in 1905.

In March 1935 he was ordered to detach from "Marine Corps Schools, Quantico" for the American Legation, Peiping [Bejing], China.

Frank was survived by his second wife, Julia, whom he married in 1930, his daughter Joan, and perhaps a son, Richard. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

The Register of Alumni lists his rank and date of death. There is no mention of him in any Shipmate magazine issues from the period.

From the Courier-Post, Camden, New Jersey, December 22, 1926

Lakehurst, Dec. 22 – Lieutenant Frank J. Uhlig of the U. S. Marines had a narrow escape from being carried out to sea from here yesterday, in a runaway kite balloon.

Uhlig lassoed a tree with a steel cable that was trailing from the balloon and maintained his hold until a navy crew brought him down.

The balloon broke loose while Uhlig was aloft on a practice ascension. The windlass that held it captive broke, and the small bag flew up and eastward at a speed of 20 miles an hour, propelled by a strong wind.

The broke cable held no anchor and the lieutenant failed repeatedly in trying to catch trees with it. Finally he succeeded in entangling a tree about four miles from the shore.

Lieutenant C. E. Bauch had followed the runaway in an automobile. After satisfying himself that the broken cable would hold and signaling Uhlig that he would bring aid, Bauch motored back to Lakehurst and brought a rescue crew. Uhlig said that if he had failed to lasso the tree he would have had to deflate the balloon while aloft, a dangerous maneuver, abandon it in a parachute, or float on out to sea.

The Navy blimp, J-3, had followed the balloon on its flight together with a Navy plane. Both returned to the air field when they saw that Uhlig was safe.

Memorial Hall Error

There is nothing to suggest that Frank's death was the result of any operational cause, and he had been on the retired list for nearly two years prior to his death.


Class of 1925

Frank is one of 30 members of the Class of 1925 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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