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PETRARCA, FRANK J.

PETRARCA, FRANK J. (31 July 1918-31 July 1943) Congressional Medal of Honor winner for service during WORLD WAR II was the son of Dominic and Bettina (Tondia) Petrarca. One of 10 children, Frank grew up in Cleveland, attending St. Marian's parochial school and graduating from East High School in 1938. After working for his father as a carpenter, he joined the 145th Ohio National Guard Regiment in 1939.

On active duty with the Medical Detachment, 145th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Division on New Georgia in the Solomon Islands, Pfc. Petrarca gave aid to 3 wounded solders in direct line of fire (27 July 1943) and rescued a wounded sergeant also in direct line of fire (29 July 1943). He was mortally wounded by enemy mortar fire while trying to rescue another wounded soldier under the same circumstances on his 25th birthday. The Medal of Honor was awarded to Petrarca posthumously, 23 Dec. 1943, and his body was buried at CALVARY CEMETERY in Cleveland 26 June 1948.

A number of local sites and organizations were named after him, including a classroom at St. Marian's School, Petrarca Rd. in Cleveland, the Petrarca Ohio National Guard Armory in BROOK PARK, and the Petrarca Post, American Legion, organized in 1947.