Lewis Albanese MOH

b. 27/04/1946 Vicenza, Italy. d. 01/12/1966 near Phu Muu II, Vietnam.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 01/12/1966 near Phu Muu II, Vietnam.

Lewis Albanese MOH

Lewis/Louie (Luigi in Italian) was born on 27th April 1946 in Cornedo Vicentino, Vicenza, Italy. His family moved to Seattle, Washington when Lewis was a child, and he attended Franklin High School. Following graduation, he briefly worked for Boeing before joining the Army on 26th October 1965. He completed his basic training at Fort Carson, Colorado and was posted to Vietnam in August 1966 as part of the 7th Cavalry.

In December 1966, while on patrol in the Republic of Vietnam with Company B of the 5th Battalion, his unit received heavy fire from concealed enemy positions. During an attempted encirclement of the platoon by the Vietnamese forces, Albanese fixed a bayonet to his weapon and charged the enemy positions. Upon arriving and momentarily silencing the enemy fire, Albanese discovered that the ditch he had charged was a well-entrenched position. He continued 100 metres through the position, killing at least eight enemy snipers despite running out of ammunition, being forced to fight hand to hand, and being mortally wounded.

His actions enabled his unit to advance further, and he posthumously received the Medal of Honor, which was presented to his family at the Pentagon by Secretary of the Army Stanley Rogers Resor on February 16, 1968. He is buried in Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Seattle, Washington. His name is found on Panel 12E, Row 131 of the Vietnam War Memorial.

In 2014 in his native country town Cornedo Vicentino in Italy named a street in his honor.



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Albanese’s platoon, while advancing through densely covered terrain to establish a blocking position, received intense automatic weapons fire from close range. As other members maneuvered to assault the enemy position, Pfc. Albanese was ordered to provide security for the left flank of the platoon. Suddenly, the left flank received fire from enemy located in a well-concealed ditch. Realizing the imminent danger to his comrades from this fire, Pfc. Albanese fixed his bayonet and moved aggressively into the ditch. His action silenced the sniper fire, enabling the platoon to resume movement toward the main enemy position. As the platoon continued to advance, the sound of heavy firing emanated from the left flank from a pitched battle that ensued in the ditch which Pfc. Albanese had entered. The ditch was actually a well-organized complex of enemy defenses designed to bring devastating flanking fire on the forces attacking the main position. Pfc. Albanese, disregarding the danger to himself, advanced 100 meters along the trench and killed 6 of the snipers, who were armed with automatic weapons. Having exhausted his ammunition, Pfc. Albanese was mortally wounded when he engaged and killed 2 more enemy soldiers in fierce hand-to-hand combat. His unparalleled actions saved the lives of many members of his platoon who otherwise would have fallen to the sniper fire from the ditch, and enabled his platoon to successfully advance against an enemy force of overwhelming numerical superiority.



Veterans Cemetery, Section KO, Lot E, Grave 75