Local WWII veteran, subject of best selling book, laid to rest
BATON ROUGE- Draped in a flag, 98-year-old veteran Frank Alexander Audiffred Jr., was finally laid to rest Monday morning, closing out the epic saga of his long and valiant life.
"He drove a tank and sometimes he was tank commander," said his daughter Sherry. "He was well-loved by all and just well respected."
The tank commander served in World War II, fighting in some of the most famous battles including Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge.
"He was also credited with saving many lives of some of the people he was fighting with," his daughter Francine continued. "He dragged them for miles and miles in the snow to medics and to safety. He was a very brave and courageous man and did many selfless things."
About a dozen Patriot Guard Riders traveled to Baton Rouge to help lead the procession to Mr. Audiffred's final resting place at the Resthaven Cemetery.
"For us, it's an honor to be here today to pay tribute to his service to our country," explained ride commander Rowland Sanchez. Although their group attends dozens of veteran funerals per year, Sanchez says Mr. Audiffred's kind are becoming rare.
"We are doing a lot less WWII veteran funerals because if you're a veteran of WWII, you're in your mid-nineties and they're not existing a lot anymore."
Aware that the "Greatest Generation" is quickly disappearing, Audiffred, the two-time purple heart recipient, sat down with an author before he died to talk about his time in the war.
"He never talked about any of his war experiences with the family and then when we were contacted about the book, we sat down as a family and listened to him talk about his experiences and it was just unbelievable," said Sherry.
Known as "Cajun Boy" in the book, 'Spearhead' documents his division's incredible war stories.
"It's just unbelievable to hear people talk about what it means to them to have read the book and how interesting it was," said Sherry.
The family says there are plans to turn the book into a feature film.
Frank Audiffred is survived by his four children, seven grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.