Frank Douglas Jondahl

1911 - 1957


Their Story

Frank Douglas Jondahl was born in Ashton, Idaho on March 15, 1911, the son of Daniel Berg Jondahl and Matilda (Williams) Jondahl. His father was a carpenter and painter then,[1] but was a farm laborer in 1920.[2] Frank had two years of high school.[3] 

On April 25, 1930, Frank joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He lived in Los Angeles at the time, was 19 years of age, and unemployed.[4] He served for six years in the Marines. He served in the Marine Detachment on board the U.S.S. Tennessee, U.S.S. Texas, U.S.S. New Mexico, U.S.S. Saratoga, U.S.S. Chaumont, and in the American Legation, Peiping, China. Frank was discharged in September 1936.

While in the Marine Corps in 1934, his younger brother, Royal, was working with their father when he was thrown from a runaway wagon, suffering a skull fracture and complete traumatic section of the spinal cord.[5] And in 1937, his other brother, Curtis, was recovering from a gunshot wound received when the gun accidentally went off while handling it, with the bullet passing through his abdomen.[6]

Frank was a wanderer after his time in the Marine Corps, living in Idaho, California, British Columbia, and Washington.  In 1940, he was a painter of houses in Los Angeles.[7] He was scheduled to be inducted into the Army in L.A. on January 17, 1941,[8] however it was a tentative enlistment, and he chose not the complete his enlistment. The records show Frank was a crew member on the vessel Border King making runs between British Columbia and Washington State. He was listed on the crew list as a trucker in June 1942.[9] He was in Seattle, Washington, when he enlisted in the Army on November 10, 1943, at 29 years old.[10]

The records of PFC Jondahl’s service record do not list the citation for what Frank did to be awarded the Bronze Star. He was wounded in the leg in late 1944 or early 1945 and was in the hospital from January until May 1945, which earned him a Purple Heart.[11] His injuries included a compound fracture of his big toe and knee joint from a rifle bullet.[12]

The Bronze Star is the fifth highest combat decoration in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is awarded for acts of heroism or merit under combat and can be awarded to members of any of the Armed Forces of the United States of America. Army members have been awarded the medal since the award was created in 1944, which means there have been medal winners since World War II up through the Vietnam War and the war in Iraq.[13]

Frank was discharged January 18, 1946.[14] Five days later, his father died in Las Vegas.[15] After the war Frank was employed by the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad as a material handler and lived in Chicago, Illinois, until his death on December 3, 1957.[16]  His name was misspelled on his tombstone and in some VA records (Johndahl).[17]  Proof of the spelling is in the genealogy records listed on[18].

U.S., Find a Grave™ Index, 1600s-Current –

[1] Idaho, U.S., Birth Records, 1861-1919, Stillbirth Index, 1905-1967 –

[2] 1920 United States Federal Census –

[3] U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 –

[4] U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 –

[5] Idaho, U.S., Death Records, 1890-1971 –

[6] 22 Sep 1937, Page 7 – The Post-Register at

[7] 1940 United States Federal Census –

[8] 17 Jan 1941, 13 – The Los Angeles Times at

[9] Washington, U.S., Arriving and Departing Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1965 –

[10] U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 –

[11] Frank Douglas Johndahl’s memorial page – Honor Veterans Legacies at VLM (

[12] U.S., World War II Hospital Admission Card Files, 1942-1954 –

[13] Bronze Star Medal Recipients: List of US Military Personnel Awarded the Bronze Star (

[14] Fold3 – Johndahl, Frank Douglas in U.S. Veterans’ Gravesites, ca.1775-2019

[15] U.S., Find a Grave™ Index, 1600s-Current –

[16] U.S., Chicago and North Western Railroad Employment Records, 1935-1970 –

[17] U.S., Find a Grave™ Index, 1600s-Current –