Silvera, Frank, Sp(S)2c

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Last Rank
Petty Officer Second Class
Last Primary NEC
Sp(S)-Shore Patrol & Security
Last Rating/NEC Group
Personnel Supervisors
Primary Unit
1943-1945, Sp(S), Naval Station, Great Lakes, IL/Camp Robert Smalls
Service Years
1942 - 1945
Sp(S)-Specialist S

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home Country
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Silvera, Frank, Sp(S)2c.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Born in Kingston Jamaica, raised in Boston.
Last Address
New York City

Date of Passing
Jun 11, 1970
Location of Interment
Long Island National Cemetery - Farmingdale, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 2X, Grave 3947

 Official Badges 

U.S. Navy Master-at-Arms WW II Honorable Discharge Pin

 Unofficial Badges 

US Naval Reserve Honorable Discharge

 Military Association Memberships
Famous People Who Served
  2016, Famous People Who Served [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
BMA 2/c Frank Alvin Silvera, USNR
Boatswain's Mate Master-at-Arms

WWII Emergency Service, Specialist "S": Entertainer / Shore Patrol Security

Frank Alvin Silvera (July 24, 1914 - June 11, 1970) was a Jamaican-born American character actor and theatrical director. Silvera was known as "the man with a thousand faces" because of his ability to play a wide array of roles.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Boston, Silvera dropped out of law school in 1934 after winning his first stage role. During the 1930s and 1940s, he was active in numerous stage productions on and off Broadway and appeared in radio shows. Silvera made his film debut in 1952. Over the course of his 36-year career, he was cast in a wide variety of ethnic roles in film and television. Silvera also remained active onstage. Silvera was nominated for a Best Actor Tony Award in 1963 for his role in The Lady of the Camellias. He founded The Theatre of Being, a Los Angeles theatre for black actors, in 1965. At the time of his death he had a recurring role in the NBC Western series The High Chaparral.

Silvera was born in Kingston, Jamaica, the son of a Spanish Jewish father and a mixed-race Jamaican mother. His family emigrated to the United States when he was six-years old, settling in Boston. Silvera became interested in acting and began performing in amateur theatrical groups and at church.

He graduated from English High School of Boston, and then studied at Boston University, followed by the Northeastern Law School.

Silvera left Northeastern Law School in 1934, when he was cast in Paul Green's production of Roll Sweet Chariot. He next joined the New England Repertory, Theatre where he appeared in productions of MacBeth, Othello, and The Emperor Jones. He also worked at Federal Theatre and with the New Hampshire Repertory Theatre. In 1940, Silvera made his Broadway debut in a small role in Big White Fog.

His career was interrupted in 1942, when he enlisted in the United States Navy during World War II. He was assigned to Camp Robert Smalls, where he and Owen Dodson were in charge of entertainment. Silvera directed and acted in radio programs and appeared in USO shows. 
Camp Robert Smalls was the segregated training camp for black recruits at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois. He was honorably discharged at the war's end in 1945. He joined the cast of Anna Lucasta and became a member of the Actors Studio.

Frank Silvera died in an accident at home on June 11, 1970. Silvera was accidentally electrocuted at the age of 56. He was buried with military honors at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York.


In 1973, Silvera and his efforts to support African-American actors and playwrights were honored with the co-founding of the Frank Silvera Writers' Workshop Foundation, Inc. The organization sponsors promising African-American playwrights. In 2005, the workshop was among 406 New York City arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which was made possible through a donation by New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg.
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 Duty Stations
Naval Station, Great Lakes, IL
  1942-1942, Sp(S), Naval Station, Great Lakes, IL/Camp Robert Smalls
  1943-1945, Sp(S), Naval Station, Great Lakes, IL/Camp Robert Smalls
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1945 World War II/American Theater
 Colleges Attended 
Boston UniversityNortheastern University
  1931-1933, Boston University
  1933-1934, Northeastern University
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jun 11, 1970, BIO: Frank Alvin Silvera6
  Jun 08, 2016, General Photos
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