FRANKIE Z MOLNAR - SSGT
- new brunswick
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- February 14, 1943
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- May 20, 1967
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Frankie Zoly Molnar was born on February 14, 1943, in Logan, WV, to Paul Molnar and Margaret Puskas. The family later lived in New Brunswick, NJ. He had four sisters, Margaret, Yolonda, Ann and Mary, and three brothers, Gaza, Paul and John. His home of record is New Brunswick.
Molnar entered the US Army from Fresno, CA, in 1961. He served in Europe and Vietnam then returned to New Brunswick, NJ, to live with his mother, Margaret David. From there, he re-enlisted, feeling it was his duty to return to the military.
He was stationed in Fort Lewis, WA, where he met his wife, Sharon. The couple had a child, Michelle, who was just 8 days old when he left for Vietnam. Sharon took Michelle and they went to Calgary, Alberta, to be with her family and wait for her husband's return.
Molnar attained the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSGT) and was assigned to Vietnam, Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division.
On May 20, 1967, at the age of 24, Molnar was killed in action.
In 1983, Molnar was honored by the city of New Brunswick with a ceremony at Monument Square. He was the first resident of the city to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor, since Charles Titus was honored for his action in April 1865 during the Civil War.
In 1999, a bridge in Logan County, WV, was named in honor of Molnar, by a resolution of the West Virginia state legislature.
Molnar was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. His citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Molnar distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader with Company B, during combat operations. Shortly after the battalion's defensive perimeter was established, it was hit by intense mortar fire as the prelude to a massive enemy night attack. S/Sgt. Molnar immediately left his sheltered location to insure the readiness of his squad to meet the attack. As he crawled through the position, he discovered a group of enemy soldiers closing in on his squad area. His accurate rifle fire killed 5 of the enemy and forced the remainder to flee. When the mortar fire stopped, the enemy attacked in a human wave supported by grenades, rockets, automatic weapons, and small-arms fire. After assisting to repel the first enemy assault, S/Sgt. Molnar found that his squad's ammunition and grenade supply was nearly expended. Again leaving the relative safety of his position, he crawled through intense enemy fire to secure additional ammunition and distribute it to his squad. He rejoined his men to beat back the renewed enemy onslaught, and he moved about his area providing medical aid and assisting in the evacuation of the wounded. With the help of several men, he was preparing to move a severely wounded soldier when an enemy hand grenade was thrown into the group. The first to see the grenade, S/Sgt. Molnar threw himself on it and absorbed the deadly blast to save his comrades. His demonstrated selflessness and inspirational leadership on the battlefield were a major factor in the successful defense of the American position and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Army. S/Sgt. Molnar's actions reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Sources: Various websites, newspaper clippings and NJVVMF.
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