PFC FRANK J. PETRARCA
U.S. Army, Medical Detachment
145th Infantry, 37th Infantry Div.
Horseshoe Hill, New Georgia
27 – 31 July 1943
On 27 July, Pfc. Petrarca was with the leading element and hade maneuvered to within 100 yards of the enemy when all hell broke loose. Mortar and small-arms fire enveloped them causing a number of casualties.
Triaging the most seriously wounded, he eventually worked his way to the aid of Pfc. Scott, who was down within 75 yards of the enemy. PFC Scott’s wounds were such that he could not be moved so Petrarca placed his own body between the enemy and his patient and then rendered extensive aid.
On 29 July, Pfc. Petrarca braved an intense mortar barrage to render aid to his sergeant who had been buried under the debris of a shell explosion. Pterarca dug him out, stabilized his condition then made sure he was evacuation.
On 31 July , although an obvious suicide mission he went to the aid of a casualty that forced him to crest a hill and expose himself to enemy observation and fire from only 20 yards distance.
Petrarca was targeted by intense knee mortar and automatic rifle fire. He continued and worked his way to within 2 yards of his objective where he was mortally wounded by hostile mortar fire.
In is dying act Pfc Petrarca raised himself to his knees, shouted defiantly at the enemy and lunged toward his wounded comrade in one last attempt to render medical aid.
The last paragraph of Pfc Frank J. Petrarca’s Medal of Honor Citation reads as follows:
“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.