Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 19 years, 11 months, 19 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: 17th District - New City

District of Incident (Present Day): 006 - Gresham

Location of Occurrence: 

Cause of Death: Struck - By Truck

Age at Time of Death: 49

Timeline


Date of Birth: 16 Jun 1892

Date of Appointment: 25 Aug 1919

Date of Incident: 006 - Gresham

End of Watch: 06 May 1942

Date of Interment: 09 May 1942

 

Interment Details


 Cemetery: Holy Sepulchre Cemetery - Alsip, Illinois
 Grave Location: Grave 3, Lot 46, Block 5, Section 22
 Interment Disposition: Burial

 

Memorial Details


Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Not Enshrined

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 25

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed

Officer Down Memorial Page: Not Listed

 

Service


 Military Service: U.S. Army

 

Incident & Biographic Details


Sergeant Francis “Frank” Joseph McGraw, Star #232, aged 49 years, was a 19 year, 11 month, 19 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 17th District – New City.

On May 6, 1942, Sergeant McGraw was on duty and killed in a futile attempt to pull Mrs. Hilda Nelson, age 62, of 8111 South Carpenter Street, from the path of an oncoming truck. Sergeant McGraw and Mrs. Nelson were crossing Ashland Avenue near the intersection of 82nd Street. An auto driven by Ben Demorst, age 41, of 9558 South Sawyer Avenue, Evergreen park, slowed down for them. Mr. Demorst’s auto was then struck in the rear by a truck and trailer driven by Robert Trueax, age 26 of Mishawaka, Indiana. As a result, the truck jack-knifed toward another truck driven by Alfred Thiebault, age 41, of 6147 South Kenwood Avenue. Thiebault was driving alongside and swerved away, striking a street car which was discharging passengers. As the truck careened off the street car, Sergeant McGraw attempted to pull Mrs. Nelson out of the way, but the truck struck both of them. Both Sergeant McGraw and Mrs. Nelson were transported to St. George’s Hospital where they were later pronounced dead on May 6, 1942.

A coroner’s Inquest was continued to May 20, 1942

Sergeant McGraw was waked at the chapel located at 5908 South Kedzie Avenue Street. His funeral mass was held at Little Flower Catholic Church located at 8000 South Wood Street. He was laid to rest on May 9, 1942 in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 West 111th Street, Alsip, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 3, Lot 46, Block 5, Section 22

Sergeant Frank “Frank” Joseph McGraw, born June 16, 1892, received a Temporary Appointment, #842, to the Chicago Police Department on August 25, 1919 and was issued Star #1922. He received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on June 8, 1922 and was issued star #812. On October 13, 1928 he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and issued Star #219. On June 17, 1930, he was returned to the rank of Patrolman and reissued Star #812. On July 1, 1938, he was once again promoted to the rank of Sergeant and issued Star #232. He earned 1 Credible Mention and 2 Extra Compensations for Meritorious Conduct totaling $420.00 during his career. He was cited for serving in the 1919 Race Riots from August 25, 1919 thru September 13, 1919. Prior to joining the police department he worked as a Custodian Bailiff.

Sergeant McGraw served in the U.S. Army from September 22, 1917 to March 22, 1919 in 86th Infantry Division, 172nd Infantry Brigade, 333rd Machine Gun. Battalion, Company A. and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Farrier Private. He was also a member of the Chicago Police Post No. 207 American Legion. Sergeant McGraw was survived by his wife, Beatrice (nee Durkin), age 45 and Daughter, Mary Margaret, age 7. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Infant McGraw, age 0 months.

On September 7, 2023, Officer McGraw’s star was retired by Interim Superintendent Fred L. Waller and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.