Taps, Present Arms
Colonel (Retired) Francis B. "Frank" Conway, 92, a
resident of Las Cruces, New Mexico died April 25, 2011. He was born
February 7, 1919 in Boston, Massachusetts, and lived a full and
the call to duty in World War II, he joined the U.S. Army the day
after Pearl Harbor and was assigned to the Small Arms Repair Section,
Company C, 130th Maintenance Battalion, 8th Armored Division. He
served in that organization throughout World War II seeing action in
Normandy, France; Battle of the Bulge, Alsace, Belgium; Germany; and
Czechoslovakia until the division was the deactivated in November 1945.
World War II, he had tours with missile and ordnance organizations
in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, and
White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico.
a Master Sergeant, he joined the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) in
1953. He was commissioned as a Captain in the Ordnance Corps by the
Army Chief of Staff in 1957, and served as the Commander of the
U.S. Army European Marksmanship Unit in Grafenwöhr, Germany
from 1963 to 1966, and as the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's
Ordnance Shop Officer from 1966 to 1970. After tours in Aberdeen
Proving Ground, Maryland; Korea; Germany; and Fort Benning, Georgia,
he retired with 29 years of service on October 1, 1970.
was his passion, and 1950 was the beginning of his reign in high
power rifle shooting. His victories include the Infantry Center Rifle
Championships, Third Army Rifle Championships, Coast Guard Cup,
Member Trophy, Marine Corps Cup, and the Wimbledon Cup in 1955 and
again in 1956. Along the way, he also set several national and
international shooting records. His passion continued through his 40
years of retirement, both as a shooter and as a gunsmith. He was the
chief architect of the Butterfield Trail Shooting Range, Coach of the
1977 Bolivian National Rifle and Pistol teams, and he provided
weapons displays and seminars at gun shows and at schools. He is the
"father" of the XM-21 military sniper rifle and contributed
to several technical shooting publications.
was a proud and active supporter of numerous organizationsbeing
a life member of mostincluding the Picacho Gun Club, New
Mexico Shooting Sports Association, Reserve Officers Association,
Military Order Of The World Wars, American Legion, Veterans of
Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, U.S. Marine Corps
League, Military Officers Association of America, a Benefactor Member
of the NRA, and the Military Marksmanship Association.
military awards include the Army Commendation Medal, European-African-Middle
Eastern Campaign Medal with three stars, World War II Victory Medal,
Army of Occupation Medal (Germany), Good Conduct Medal with five
loops, U.S. Army Distinguished Rifleman Badge, and the Presidents
was inducted into three halls of fame: the New Mexico Shooting
Sports Hall of Fame, the United States Army Marksmanship Unit Hall of
Fame, and the NRA Legion of Honor.
complete listing of Army Awards and Decorations can be viewed at The
Institute of Heraldry.