Brigadier General, United States Army
a contemporary press report: January 24, 2002
Former Fort Stewart/Hunter Commander dies
The Army General who built a flight training school at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield during the Vietnam era died Wednesday morning in Savannah, Georgia
Funeral arrangements for retired Brigadier General Frank Meszar, 86, were incomplete Wednesday night. His daughter, Sarah Sloan, said a memorial service will be held in Savannah, but the General will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His grave will be next to his first wife and son, Captain Frank Meszar III, who was killed in action in Vietnam.
Meszar served at Fort Stewart and Hunter rom March 1967 to June 1969 as Commander of the U.S. Army Flight Training Center. He was also Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Alabama, during that time.
During Meszar's command, the Army trained helicopter pilots who later served in Vietnam, said Walter Meeks, director of the Fort Stewart Museum. At the time, helicopter pilots were in great demand, and all of them spent time at Fort Stewart before seeing combat, he said.
"Anybody who lived in coastal Georgia at the time remembers the sky being full of helicopters," Meeks said. "This guy was where he was and doing what he was doing because he was squared away. There were a whole of lot people prepared here to go fight battles. He took a patch of piney woods and a bunch of World War II buildings and made a flight training center."
Meszar graduated from West Point in 1940. He served in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War, Sloan said. He was highly decorated, including a Silver Star and a Bronze Star. He began his career as an infantry officer and the Army sent him to flight school as a Colonel.
"There was this bald-headed colonel with a cigar," Sloan said. "He kept up with all of those young guys."
After two years at Fort Stewart/Hunter, Meszar served in Vietnam. While Meszar was serving in Vietnam, his son, an infantry officer, was killed in combat.
The General returned to Hunter in June 1970 and served about a month as interim Commander at the flight school until his retirement.
Meszar and his wife made their home in Savannah after retirement. He then became vice president of U.S. Medicine and was involved in civic functions in the community, she said.
"He could do everything," Sloan said. "He was
remarkable man. He took care of everybody. He was a true officer and a
MESZAR, SARAH F W/O FRANK
Posted: 26 January 2002 Updated: 9 October 2002 Updated: 12 October 2002 Updated: 25 June 2003 Updated: 18 September 2004
Updated: 12 September 2006