Francis L. Raub
90th Infantry Division, 357th Infantry Regiment, Company F
Before the War
In 1913, Francis L. Raub was born in Indianapolis, Indiana the only child of Leland and Ella Raub. Francis graduated from Arsenal Technical High School (today Arsenal Tech) in 1931 and married Ruby Alice Moore seven years later. The couple did not have any children.
In 1940, they lived on 520 North Tuxedo Street in south central Indianapolis. Francis worked as a driver for Mechanics Laundry and Supply Company. His draft papers listed him as a delivery man.
On March 29, 1943, Raub was drafted, and reported at Fort Benjamin Harrison outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. He was placed in the 357th Infantry Regiment, Company F. The 357th Infantry Regiment spent most of 1943 training for desert combat in North Africa. The unit operated out of Fort Barkeley, Texas. before joining maneuvers along the Arizona/California border.
The unit transferred to Fort Dix, New Jersey for staging in late 1943 and departed for England in March 1944. While in England, the unit specialized in speed movement and intense physical training. This later prepared them for their arrival on Utah Beach on June 8, 1944. During June, July, and August the unit suffered heavy casualties as they fought across Northern France. By September, the unit found themselves running into fortified German positions along the Moselle River.
On September 15, 1944, Company F moved toward Fèves, France. The men found themselves behind enemy lines. Raub and two other soldiers moved from cover to investigate a farmhouse. A shot knocked Raub’s glasses off his head and he fell to the ground. The other soldiers fell back to cover. Raub was observed lying still and unmoving for at least ten minutes. Two other American soldiers wanted to retrieve Raub, but they were denied by their commanding officer. Artillery fire barraged the area. The next day two French civilians were hired to look for Raub, but they found nothing. The Germans retook the battlefield and held it for the next 15 days. This made other searches for Raub impossible. Raub was classified as killed in action, but his remains were not found.
A Plea for Help
From 1943 to 1946, tragedy after tragedy beset the Raub family. Francis’s father, Leland, died in 1943. In October 1945, Francis’s mother, Ella’s health was failing, and she knew she had a limited time left. As a last request she wrote a letter to Congressman Louis L. Ludlow, pleading with him to help find her son’s body and return it to the family:
“Adj. General. Will you please grant this that my lone baby be returned to rest in our family lot. Sgt. Francis Raub 3509910 A.P. O. 90. Please, I am 74 years old a widow and he is our only child. I have been sick a year and I want him home so bad while I am here. Please help. Mrs. Ella Raub Indianapolis, Indiana. God Bless you in your effort.”
Congressman Ludlow pushed the U.S. Army to search for Francis Raub’s remains. The American Graves Registration Command sent agents to the surrounding towns where Raub was killed, but ultimately failed to locate his remains. Although the investigative team found a body, it was determined not to be Francis L. Raub.
Unfortunately, the conclusion of their investigation came long after Ella Raub had died in early spring of 1946. Ruby, Francis’s wife, remarried only to divorce shortly after. She took her own life in the early 1950s. Francis L. Raub’s remains were never recovered. His only memorialization is on the tablets of the missing in the Luxembourg American Cemetery in Luxembourg.
90th Infantry Division; World War II Operations Reports, Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1917-, Record Group 407 (Box 11108); National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.
90th Infantry Division; World War II Operations Reports, Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1917-, Record Group 407 (Box 11109); National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.
Francis L. Raub, Individual Deceased Personnel File, Department of the Army.
Francis L. Raub, Official Military Personnel File, Department of the Army, RG 319, National Records Administration- St. Louis.
Francis L. Raub, VA Master Index Card and Hospital Admission Cards, Department of the Army. National Archives and Records Administration – St. Louis.
Indianapolis. Marion Count. 1920 U.S. Census. Digital Images. http://ancestry.com.
Indianapolis. Marion County. 1940 U.S. Census. Digital Images. http://ancestry.com.
Infantry move through the town of…the Germans still shelled the town. Photograph. August 6, 1944. National Archives and Records Administration (111-SC-192359). Image.
PFC Lawrence Hoyle, Left...Near Maizeres Les Metz France. Photograph. August 6, 1944. National Archives and Records Administration (111-SC-196133). Image.
Records for Francis L. Raub; World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [Electronic File], Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD [retrieved from the Access to Archival Databases at http://aad.archives.gov/aad/series-description.jsp?s=3360&cat=WR26&bc=,sl, August 5, 2019.
von Roder, Staff Sergeant George. “Regimental History of the 357th Infantry.” 90th Division Association. Accessed August 5, 2019. http://www.90thdivisionassoc.org/90thdivisionfolders/357thbook/357hist.pdf.