FRANCIS W MACK - HM3
- jersey city
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- November 21, 1941
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- August 17, 1966
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Francis W. Mack was born on November 21, 1941. Of the twelve children born to Helen and George Mack, Francis was the seventh son. His home of record is Jersey City, NJ. Frank, with his eight brothers and three sisters, filled the Mack home with sounds of love, laughter and the closeness that binds a large family together.
Frank attended grammar and high school in his hometown of Hoboken. Frank was on his high school's basketball and football teams.
Frank entered the seminary to become a Dominican Brother. His desire was to serve God and the Church by being in the field and doing missionary work. His dream was not to be. He could not afford the cost of his schooling and had to leave after 6 months.
Frank knew there were many ways to serve. Following in his older brothers' footsteps, he enlisted in the US Navy. After Navy boot camp, he completed corpsman's school, Marine boot camp and was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, FMF, Camp LeJeune, NC. He attained the rank of Hospital Corpsman Third Class (HM3).
While with the 2nd Marines, Mack did tours in Cuba, Puerto Rico and was assigned to Mediterranean cruises. Working in sick bays, Mack got the nickname "Doc".
Mack had many conversations with Marines returning from Vietnam. They told him of their great need for corpsmen. Frank felt Vietnam was his calling, his "Mission Field". After obtaining permission, he was assigned to F Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines in Vietnam.
On August 17, 1966, Mack's lead platoon was suddenly taken under devastating enemy fire by automatic weapons and snipers from concealed positions during a reconnaissance in-force operation in the Cam Lo River Valley, Quang Tri Province. Mack immediately began to administer aid to the wounded. While rendering that first aid, Mack was mortally wounded. He is buried at Fort leavenworth National Cemetery.
He was posthumously awarded The Navy Cross. His citation reads:
For extraordinary heroism as a corpsman with Company F, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines in the Republic of Vietnam on 17 August 1966. When the lead platoon was suddenly taken under devastating enemy fire by automatic weapons and snipers from concealed positions during a reconnaissance-in-force operation in the Cam Lo River Valley, Quang Tri Province, Petty Officer Mack immediately began to administer aid to the wounded. Upon being informed that two seriously wounded Marines needed medical aid, but couldn't be evacuated due to intense and accurate enemy fire, he unhesitatingly moved over two hundred meters down the fire-swept road to reach the casualties. With bullets striking the ground near him, he nonetheless succeeded in administering lifesaving aid to the wounded men and remained with them until they were evacuated. Before moving back to a covered position in preparation for an air strike, Petty Officer Mack once again exposed himself to the intense enemy fire to assist a wounded Marine in the advance element who needed medical aid prior to being evacuated. While rendering first aid to the wounded man, Petty Officer Mack, himself, was mortally wounded. By his extraordinary initiative, inspiring valor and unswerving devotion to duty, he was directly responsible for saving the lives of three fellow servicemen. His heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Sources: John Mack (brother) and NJVVMF.
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