FRANK E PETRICK - LCPL
- perth amboy
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- September 11, 1946
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- August 24, 1967
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Frank E. Petrick was born on September 11, 1946. His home of record is Perth Amboy, NJ. He graduated from Perth Amboy High School in 1964. He served in the US Marine Corps and attained the rank of Lance Corporal (LCPL).
Petrick was killed in action on August 24, 1967, just three weeks before he was scheduled to return home. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
Petrick is buried in Holy Trinity Cemetery in Hope Lawn, NJ.
Frank E. Petrick was born on September 11, 1946, to Frank and Elizabeth (Milo) Petrick. Frank was an active and wiry baby who began walking at 8 ½ months. He was soon followed by two sisters, Elizabeth and Margaret. As a young boy he enjoyed outside activities and family gatherings.
During his childhood, Frank, like many young boys at the time, raised tropical fish and hamsters, which often escaped from their cages. He built and flew gas propeller airplanes and was a member of the Model Airplane Club. He and his buddies often played cards or board games like Monopoly and Risk in our basement. Frank enjoyed saltwater fishing with his uncles, and we never lacked fresh fish for dinner.
Frank attended school in Perth Amboy; Public School # 8, S.E. Shull School, and graduated from Perth Amboy High School, Class of '64. All through high school he delivered the Star Ledger paper, a large route of over one hundred-twenty customers, to earn spending money. He was a conscientious worker and many of his customers kindly offered to drive him on his route in nasty weather. My mother especially appreciated their thoughtfulness, because she did not drive and often worried until he was safely at home.
At 17, Frank bought his first car, an old, green, rusted-out Chevy station wagon called a "Woody". Frank, my sister, and I had many laughs and happy times in that wagon, many times just riding home from mass on Sunday mornings.
After graduation from high school in 1964, Frank took a good job working in Dupont in Parlin, NJ. Here he worked shift work as an X-ray technician. In the morning before the later shifts, he could be heard laughing when watching television. One of his favorite shows was "Leave It to Beaver", with the Beav, Wally, and Eddie Haskel. Life seemed so much simpler then.
In January 1966, Frank was drafted into the US Marine Corps in the Newark draft office. He called home later that same day to tell us he was now a marine and was at Kennedy Airport on a flight to Camp Lejeune, NC. This was to be his first airplane flight and really his first time away from home. Frank was extremely moved with a visit from his family upon graduation from boot camp. A visit he treasured, because he knew what it meant for a family who only made day trips.
After further training in the Marines, Frank was sent to Camp Pendleton, CA, and from there, on August 15, 1966, to Vietnam. Frank served from August 15, 1966, until his death on August 24, 1967, in many combat operations. His unit participated in Operation Hickory, Operation Perry, Operation Union, and in combat in the DMZ.
The last four months before his tour was up, Frank was stationed on the cruiser, USS Duluth. Three weeks before his tour was up, Frank was sent to a hot spot where he was the point man for his unit. The men met with hostile gunfire and Frank was fatally wounded by a mortar to the chest. Two weeks later, Frank's body was sent home and he was buried with full military honors. Frank was the first causality of the war from Perth Amboy. Unfortunately, three others soldiers would follow that same year.
The following year, Frank, and the other soldiers were honored in an assembly in Perth Amboy High School. A memorial with their pictures and contributions still remain at the high school today. Frank was later honored at a ceremony for his citizenship and charitable acts on the 20th Anniversary of his death by the Perth Amboy Republican Club. On Sunday, May 7, 1995, Frank's family was invited, and attended, the dedication ceremony of New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial. This ceremony helped us heal, and this memorial will help us all remember and honor all who died.
Written by Margaret Petrick Marion, Sister
Information provided by Margaret Marion (sister), Pete Cullen (veteran) and NJVVMF.
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