Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 14 years, 10 months, 12 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: Detective Bureau (DB)

District of Incident (Present Day): 004 - South Chicago

Location of Occurrence: 

Cause of Death: Drowned

Age at Time of Death: 43


Date of Birth: 13 May 1902

Date of Appointment: 01 Jul 1929

Date of Incident: 004 - South Chicago

End of Watch: 25 May 1945

Date of Interment: 14 Jun 1945


Interment Details

 Cemetery: St. Mary Catholic Cemetery - Evergreen Park, Illinois
 Grave Location: Section G, Lot 2 SW GRS X81, Block --, Section G
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Not Enshrined

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Not Listed

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed

Officer Down Memorial Page: Not Listed



 Military Service: No Military Record Found


Incident & Biographic Details

Detective Francis “Frank” Anthony Byrnes, Star #5936, aged 43 years, was a 14 year, 10 month, 12 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Detective Bureau, Homicide Detail.

On May 25, 1945, Detective Byrnes was off duty while fishing in Lake Michigan off of 78th Street. He was in the company of retired Captain August Borda, age 60, of the Chicago Fire Department. While fishing their boat capsized. Borda, unable to swim, clung to the side of the capsized boat. Detective Byrnes attempted to swim to the breakwater in an effort to get help for Borda. As he attempted to swim to the breakwater he was overcome and drowned. Borda was later rescued. Detective Byrnes’ Body was recovered from Lake Michigan on June 12, 1945.

A Coroner’s Inquest was held and on June 13, 1945 Detective Byrnes’ death was ruled accidental.

On February 18, 1949, Judge Joseph Graber of the Superior Court award the widow of Detective Byrnes a full widow’s pension. The pension board was required to pay Mrs. Byrnes $125.00 monthly instead of the previous $24.00 per month annuity. The death of Detective Byrnes was ruled in the line of duty by Judge Graber and therefore ruled the widow was entitled to the $125.00 a month paid to widows of policemen killed in the line of duty. The ruling was made retroactive and Mrs. Byrnes received an additional $4,444.00 in retro pay.

Detective Byrnes was waked in a funeral home located at 79th Street and Phillips Avenue. His funeral mass was held at St. Brides Church located at 7811 South Coles Avenue. He was laid to rest on June 14, 1945 in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, 3801 West 87th Street, Evergreen Park, Illinois. His grave is located in Section G, Lot 2 SW GRS X81, Block –, Section G.

Detective Francis “Frank” Anthony Byrnes was born on May 13, 1902 and received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 1,1929.

Detective Byrnes was a member of the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his wife, Flora E. (Erich), age 39; son, Robert Francis, age 16; mother, Ellen (nee Kanneally) and siblings: Arthur, Florence M. and Mrs. Edward Hansen.