Veterans Voices: Frank Agosh

Veterans Voices

BROOKE COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – After seeing his friends serve during the Vietnam War, Francis “Frank” Agosh decided he would also do his duty and enlist. 

He didn’t know exactly which branch he hoped to join, and in some ways left it up to fate. 

I went down and first recruiting office I hit was the Navy, and I went in there and I said ‘I’d like to join’.

Frank Agosh, U.S. Navy Veteran

Even though he enlisted in the Navy in 1972, Agosh had his sights set on a career in aviation.

I fell in love with airplanes when I was oh a kid and I started building models I had all kinds. I’ve got at least 30 models down in the basement that aren’t even built yet.

Frank Agosh, U.S. Navy Veteran

In this Digital Exclusive, Agosh explains why he enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

He first tried to become an aviation electrician, but the program was full, so instead he went to school within the Navy for aviation control, but he had to buy his time after boot camp stationed in Vietnam until a spot opened for training. 

Basically we were there in case we had planes coming off the carriers and they were attacking Vietnam. If they couldn’t make it back to the boat, or had to make an emergency landing, they’d come to Tan Son Nhut and we’d park them and stuff like that. Well, that lasted six months.

Frank Agosh, U.S. Navy Veteran

After going to school to become an air traffic controller, Agosh’s travels with the Navy really began. He was stationed in Sicily, which he said was one of his favorite places.

Watch this Digital Exclusive to hear Frank Agosh describe a celebrity encounter he had while in Sicily.

Agosh then went back to school again to learn radar, reenlisted, and ended up spending four years aboard the USS Independence. That’s where he was during the Iran hostage crisis, which extended the ship’s time at sea.

Commanding officer gets on and says ‘gentlemen we’re on our way to the Persian Gulf. They took some hostages in Iran. We can’t go through the Suez, so we have to go around the tip of Africa’.

Frank Agosh, U.S. Navy Veteran

Agosh also spent time in the Philippines, which is where he met his wife, and at several stations in the United States, including with Tactical Air Control Squadron 21. 

Agosh met his wife while eating dinner in the Philippines one evening, as he tells in this digital exclusive.

What I did was if we had a Marine unit, and the Marine unit says ‘we have a tank that’s in our 12:00 position for a half a mile, enemy need to be taken out’, I would talk to one of the aircraft I had on my frequency and I’d tell him he had a mission.

Frank Agosh, U.S. Navy Veteran

After more than 20 years, and plenty of travels, Agosh retired from the Navy in 1998 as an E6 Petty Officer First Class.

I’d do it all over again. I like what I did. We had some good times. We had some bad times.

Frank Agosh, U.S. Navy Veteran

Even before he retired from the military, Agosh began working as a controller at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport. He continued that position after his retirement.

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