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Pfc. Frank J. Petrarca

Date of Award: December 23, 1943
Conflict: World War II
Branch: U.S. Army

Pfc. Frank J. Petrarca portraitOne of 10 children in his family, Pfc. Frank Petrarca grew up in Cleveland and lived the typical life of a young man in America. He attended parochial school, graduated from high school in 1938 and joined his father in the carpentry business. But almost a year later, Petrarca joined the 145th Ohio National Guard Regiment. While on active duty, he officially served with the Medical Detachment, 145th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Division, and was stationed in the Solomon Islands. As a medic, Petrarca fearlessly faced hostile enemy fire to aid fallen comrades, and ultimately lost his life on the battlefield after attempting to rescue a wounded soldier.

Citation: “

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 2 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

.”

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