CPT Frank H. Dubose was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 07/23/2021 at the age of 81.8 from Cancer
Tustin, CA
Date of Birth 10/18/1939
Served in the U.S. Marine Corps
This information was provided by Larry Ford

More detail on this person: Frank H. DuBose, Jr. died on July 23, 2021, at his home in Tustin, California. Although he miraculously prevailed over a diagnosis of stage 4 stomach cancer 5 years earlier, his cancer returned this year.After exhausting viable treatment options, Frank made the difficult decision to begin palliative care, and he died peacefully at home surrounded by his family. Frank was born in La Grange, GA on October 18, 1939 to Caroline Drake DuBose and Frank H. DuBose.When Frank was a young boy the family moved to California -- first to Santa Barbara, and then settling in Manhattan Beach, where he spent most of his youth. Frank joined the Sea Scouts and developed a love of sailing.He was locally famous for sailing an 8 foot Sabot 22 miles to Catalina Island with his best friend and Mira Costa High classmate, Val Newell.He also was a beach loving teen who preferred body surfing to almost anything else.While working a summer job as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service he would sprint his entire route so he would have time in the afternoon to hit the waves. He spent so much time at the beach, his mother cut the pockets out of his pants so he wouldn't track sand into the house.Frank loved to tell stories of his boyhood days in Manhattan Beach and the simple pleasures of exploring the neighborhoods and sandlots or chasing after the Helman's bakery truck. Frank followed in the footsteps of his parents and attended Auburn University in Alabama, graduating in 1961 with a degree in literature and science.He was president of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and was in the ROTC program. His time at Auburn was also the beginning of a life-long love for the Auburn football team, and cries of "War Eagle!" could frequently be heard in the family home on Fall Saturdays. After graduating college, Frank enlisted in the Marine Corps.Because of his experience sailing, he adapted to flying helicopters easily and was selected to attend flight school in Pensacola. It was there that he met the love of his life, Carolyn Grace Lowell, by intentionally cutting in front of her at a church luncheon. This unlikely courting maneuver must have worked because they were married seven months later on May 16, 1964 beginning a long and incredibly happy marriage. Frank was deployed to Vietnam in August 1965 and was stationed near Marble Mountain just south of Da Nang and flew CH-37 helicopters, tasked with flying into combat zones to pick up and transport wounded soldiers. He was shot at many times but came out unscathed. His base was on the beach and in his spare time he built a catamaran out of discarded gas tanks and parachutes and taught his Marine buddies to sail. Although he experienced the pain of war and lost friends, he was in awe of the beauty of Vietnam. He enjoyed flying high above the treetops and he took many photographs of the landscape and the local people he met. He continued to fly helicopters for the Marine Reserves for many years after returning home, and he commanded the Marine reserve squadron HMM-764 in Tustin and served as the "Air Combat Element Commander" in CAX exercises. He retired in 1992 as a full bird Colonel. As a civilian, Frank briefly flew helicopters for L.A. Airways then took a job at Home Savings & Loan in 1971.Frank began as a Branch Manager, and was promoted to Regional Manager, Group Manager, and finally, Vice President, where he was ultimately responsible for over 200 branches nationwide. Frank was also a partner in the design of many historic branches that are still recognizable today. He was known throughout the bank for his kindness, love of people, a good story, and a booming laugh (often at his own jokes) that could be heard far beyond its intended audience. Throughout his 25-year career at Home Savings, he nurtured leadership and camaraderie with hundreds of colleagues and became a mentor and role model for many. Frank, like his mother, was an accomplished artist and he enjoyed painting, tile mosaics and briefly dabbled in candle making.He was a self-taught carpenter and loved to tinker and fix things such as radios and electronic trains.He built wooden toys for his kids and grandkids and even a chicken coop for the family's adopted rooster.But his true passion was drawing, and it was a pursuit that both energized and soothed him. He made many beautiful drawings for family and friends and developed a following among fellow service members for his highly detailed renderings of military aircraft. In retirement, Frank nurtured his art, enjoyed occasional travel with Carolyn and lots of time with kids and grandkids. Frank continued his love of sailing throughout his life, bringing together family and friends on his Catalina 36 sailboat, the Southern Belle.He once again got to sail into the Catalina Island harbor - but this time in comfort. More than anything, his family was the central focus of his life. As a father he was kind, strong and patient, and he always put the needs of his family above his own. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Carolyn, his three children: Mark Edwin DuBose, Dana Elizabeth DuBose and Kirk Martin DuBose, and his 4 grandchildren:Lillian Carnese-Driscoll and Elijah Douglas DuBose (Kirk), Oliver Drake DuBose (Dana), and Hugh Steffen DuBose (Mark).He is also survived by his two sisters Polly DuBose Pitsker (Peter) and Frances DuBose Johnson, as well as beloved nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his parents and his brother, Edwin "Chip" DuBose.Each of these family members, and many others, benefited from his generosity and kindness and his absolute commitment to their happiness. He loomed larger than life and will remain firmly in our hearts and minds and memories.

Burial information: Cremated

This information was last updated 08/30/2021

Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters

Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list

Return to VHPA web site

Date posted on this site: 06/15/2024

Copyright © 1998 - 2024 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association