PFC William Franklin (Frank) Cavin was born on December 4th 1924 in Hancock County Tennessee to Mae Edds Cavin and O. Fred Cavin. Frank had two older sisters – Queena Rae (Born October 23, 1920) and Roxie Jeanette Cavin (Born December 27, 1922). Mae Cavin died January 9, 1925, shortly after the birth of Frank, and all three siblings were sent to be raised by relatives. Frank was raised by his grandparents – Henry (Tip) Cavin and Julie Cavin.
Frank enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on August 5, 1941 – approximately four months prior to the attack at Pearl Harbor. At the time of his enlistment Frank was still four months short of his seventeenth birthday. He and his grandfather both attested to his being born December 4th, 1923. In November 1943, Frank was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines for the invasion of Tarawa. He was killed on the first day of the battle, November 20th, along with about one thousand Marines killed before the battle was concluded.
At the time of his death, Frank was survived by his sisters Queena Rae Testerman (Cavin) and Jeanette Cavin (later Sessoms), his father O. Fred Cavin, his grandfather and grandmother Henry and Julie Cavin. Today the immediate family consists of Claude Cavin (cousin); Faye Testerman-Bozeman (niece); James (Jimmy, cousin) Cavin; Sheila Kunkel (Sessoms, niece) and Steve Sessoms (nephew). The family of Frank Cavin today includes numerous great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.
With regret, Frank’s sisters did not live to see his remains returned with full military honors to be buried with family members in the Overton private cemetery in Hancock County. However, both sisters would have been overjoyed at the repatriation of his remains.
Graveside ceremony will be held Saturday October 13 at 1:00 PM. Everyone is asked to meet at Robinette Funeral Home in Rose Hill, VA by 12:00 p.m. to travel in procession to the cemetery.
With many thanks to the men and women who have worked so very hard to identify the remains and to inform the family of all of the known circumstances of Frank’s death as one of many heroes of the Second World War. The program to identify the unknown remains is one of the great things that the Department of the Navy and the Marine Corp have done for the Marines who died and were buried in unmarked or mass graves. A special thanks is also extended to Ms. Hattie Johnson for her efforts, concern, and empathy.
Online condolences may be sent by visiting, www.RobinetteFuneralHome.com. Robinette Funeral Home of Rose Hill is honored to serve the family of Mr. Cavin.