Walter Hale Frank was born on April 23, 1886, in Humphrey, N.Y. He was appointed to the Military Academy and received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1910. He was appointed a second lieutenant of Infantry on June 15, 1910, and first served with the 5th Infantry at Plattsburg Barracks, N.Y., until November 1914. He then served as Commanding Officer, 25th Infantry, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, from August 1914 to July 1917, and was later on duty as Company and Battalion Commander, 34th Infantry, Fort Bliss, Texas, from August 1917 to October 1917.
After completion of Arms School at Fort Sill, Okla., he commanded the Provisional Regiment at Kelly Field, Texas, and later served as Executive Officer at Ellington Field, Texas, from November 1917 to November 1918. For the next year he was Executive Officer, Training Section, Air Service; Assistant to the Administrative Executive, Air Service; and a member of the Advisory Board, Air Service, Washington, D.C. He was then assigned as Assistant to the Commanding Officer and later as a student at the Air Service Engineering School at McCook Field, Ohio, from November 1919 to September 1920.
From September 1920 to September 1924 he was Acting Executive and Executive, Office of the Chief of Air Staff, Washington, D.C. He completed Air Service Tactical School at Langley Field, Va., and Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He was next assigned as Assistant Commandant and Instructor, Air Tactical School, Langley Field, Va., from September 1926 to July 1930 before entering the Army War College, graduating in June 1931.
He served as Chief, Section III, and as Assistant to the Chief, Plans Division, Office of the Chief of Air Corps, Washington, D.C., from July 1931 to August 1934; Commanding Officer of Mitchel Field, N.Y.; Group Commander, 9th Bombardment Group; and Commanding Officer, 2nd Air Base, Mitchel Field, N.Y., from August 1934 to February 1938. From February 1938 to August 1938, he was Chief of Staff, General Headquarters Air Force, Langley Field, Va.
He commanded the 18th Wing, Air Corps, and Department Air Officer, Headquarters Hawaiian Department, Fort Shafter, from September 1938 to November 1940, and Commanding General, New Orleans Army Air Base, La., from January 1941 to March 1941. He was on duty with the Third Interceptor Command and Third Air Force, Air Force Combat Command, Bolling Field, D.C., from October 1941 to June 1942.
From July 1942 to November 1942 he was Commanding General, VIII Air Force Service Command in the European Theater of Operations, and from November 1942 to June 1944, he was Commanding General, Air Service Command, Patterson Field, Ohio. He was assigned to Headquarters Army Air Forces, Washington, D.C., with station at Dayton, Ohio, from July 1944 to September 1945.
He is a command pilot, combat observer and technical observer. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Air Medal.
First lieutenant, July 1, 1916; captain, May 15, 1917; major, Signal Corps (temporary), Oct. 23, 1917; honorably discharged as major, Signal Corps, reverting to the grade of captain, Regular Army, May 28, 1920 and was transferred to the Air Service on July 1, 1920; major, July 1, 1920; lieutenant colonel, Jan. 1, 1935; colonel (temporary), Aug. 26, 1936; brigadier general (temporary), Sept. 30, 1938; colonel (permanent), June 12, 1939; brigadier general (permanent), Oct. 1, 1940; major general, Oct. 31, 1941.