Frank Rocco Fratellenico MOH

b. 14/07/1951 Sharon, Connecticut. d. 19/08/1970 near Fire Base Barnett, Quang Tri, Vietnam.

DATE OF MOH ACTION; 19/08/1970 near Fire Base Barnett, Quang Tri, Vietnam.

Frank R Fratellenico MOH

Fratellenico joined the Army from Albany, New York in 1969, and by August 19, 1970 was serving as a Corporal in Company B, 2d Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. During a firefight on that day, in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, Fratellenico was about to throw a hand grenade when he was wounded, causing him to drop the activated device. He then smothered the grenade with his body, sacrificing his life to protect his fellow soldiers from the blast.

He received the award posthumously (presented to his family) from Vice President Gerald R. Ford at Blair House in Washington DC on August 8, 1974. His body was originally brought back to the US and was interred. In 1997, following the wishes of his family, his body was exhumed, cremated, and the ashes were taken to Thailand. There is a memorial to him in Spencertown, New York.



Cpl. Fratellenico distinguished himself while serving as a rifleman with Company B. Cpl. Fratellenico’s squad was pinned down by intensive fire from 2 well-fortified enemy bunkers. At great personal risk Cpl. Fratellenico maneuvered forward and, using hand grenades, neutralized the first bunker which was occupied by a number of enemy soldiers. While attacking the second bunker, enemy fire struck Cpl. Fratellenico, causing him to fall to the ground and drop a grenade which he was preparing to throw. Alert to the imminent danger to his comrades, Cpl. Fratellenico retrieved the grenade and fell upon it an instant before it exploded. His heroic actions prevented death or serious injury to 4 of his comrades nearby and inspired his unit which subsequently overran the enemy position. Cpl. Fratellenico’s conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary heroism, and intrepidity at the cost of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.