WATERTOWN — Maj. Wilfred S. LeFrancois, 51, of Carlsbad, Calif., formerly of Watertown and Syracuse, for 23 years with the U.S. Marines, died in a hospital in Japan on June 9  from gunshot wounds received in Korea where he was serving on combat duty.
Maj. LeFrancois, hero of World War II when he was with Carlson’s Raiders on the first Makin Island invasion, had been in Korea since February with the First Marine Division.
Word of his death was received by his wife, the former Mrs. Anne Krone Dohrn, from the Marine Department authorities. No details were given.
He is survived by his wife, his mother, Mrs. Mae LeFrancois, widow of Adelard D Lefrancois, of Oceanside, Calif., formerly of Watertown and Brasher Falls, and two stepchildren, Mrs. C. B. Wright of Syracuse and Jerry of Carlsbad. The body of the Marine major will be buried at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at LaJolla, Calif.
Maj. LeFrancois received the Navy Cross on Jan. 19, 1943, for extraordinary heroism in the Makin Island raid in August, 1942. He was wounded five times in the shoulder during the raid.
He was born in Gananoque, Ont., and later lived at Redwood, Newton Falls and Booneville, coming to this city with his parents in 1910. He was graduated from Watertown High School in 1920 and studied for two years at Syracuse University. He worked for a time at the local F. W. Woolworth store and later was an assistant manager of the Ithaca store. In 1930 he enlisted in the Marines while living in Syracuse. During his 23 years’ service he served in China, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Japan, Korea and in this country.