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World War II - U.S. Army

Frank Joseph Petrarca

Details
  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Medical Detachment, 145th Infantry,
    37th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: July 27, 1943
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Horseshoe Hill, New Georgia, Solomon Islands
Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Petrarca advanced with the leading troop element to within 100 yards of the enemy fortifications where mortar and small-arms fire caused a number of casualties. Singling out the most seriously wounded, he worked his way to the aid of Pfc. Scott, lying within 75 yards of the enemy, whose wounds were so serious that he could not even be moved out of the direct line of fire. Pfc. Petrarca fearlessly administered first aid to Pfc. Scott and two other soldiers and shielded the former until his death. On 29 July 1943, Pfc. Petrarca, during an intense mortar barrage, went to the aid of his sergeant who had been partly buried in a foxhole under the debris of a shell explosion, dug him out, restored him to consciousness, and caused his evacuation. On 31 July 1943 and against the warning of a fellow soldier, he went to the aid of a mortar fragment casualty where his path over the crest of a hill exposed him to enemy observation from only 20 yards distance. A target for intense knee mortar and automatic fire, he resolutely worked his way to within two yards of his objective where he was mortally wounded by hostile mortar fire. Even on the threshold of death he continued to display valor and contempt for the foe; raising himself to his knees, this intrepid soldier shouted defiance at the enemy, made a last attempt to reach his wounded comrade and fell in glorious death.

Medal of Honor Recipient Frank J. Petrarca
Medal of Honor Recipient Frank J. Petrarca
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: December 23, 1943

    To his parents at their home in Cleveland, Ohio, by Major General Charles L. Scott.

  • Born: July 31, 1918, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, OH, United States
  • Died: July 31, 1943, New Georgia, Solomon Islands
  • Buried: Calvary Cemetery (MH) (110-2168-3), Cleveland, OH, United States
 

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