FRANK R KERBL - CAPT
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- September 16, 1934
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- October 07, 1967
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Frank Kerbl was born in Paterson, NJ, on September 16, 1934, and moved to Paramus, NJ, in December 1937. His home of record is Paramus, NJ. He graduated from Fairview Grammar School in 1948. Frank was nicknamed "Ronny" for his middle name, Ronald. He also graduated from Hackensack High School in 1952, where he played football on the championship team. Frank received a football scholarship to Fordham University in New York City and graduated in 1956, with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. He was a member of the Air Force ROTC while attending Fordham and received his commission into the US Army in August 1956.
Frank was employed by Underwood Corporation in New York City, training as a Systems Analyst while waiting for his call to active duty. On February 9, 1957, Frank married his high school sweetheart, Joann, and reported to Ft. Bliss, TX, for Officer Training School.
He was assigned to Schofield Barracks, Oahu, HI, in July 1957, in Anti Aircraft Artillery. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in August 1958, and was accepted into Army Aviation Training School at Fort Rucker, AL, in July 1960. Frank received his wings in April 1961, and was transferred to Ft. Campbell, KY, where he served until his 13-month tour (unaccompanied by family) in Korea from February 1963 - March 1964. He was promoted to Captain (CAPT) in November 1961.
Meanwhile, his wife and four children stayed in New Jersey near Ft. Monmouth. Two children were born in Hawaii, one in New Jersey (before moving to Alabama) and one in Kentucky.
After an Artillery Officers course at Ft. Bliss, TX, Frank and his family spent almost three years at Ft. Benning, GA, where one more daughter was born. Frank attended training at Ft. Rucher to add Rotary Wing qualification to his fixed wing and multi-engineer rating.
In November 1966, Frank was assigned to a unit at Ft. Campbell, KY, that was preparing to deploy to Vietnam in April 1967. Kerbl arrived in Vietnam as a platoon leader in the 188th Aviation Company. He went as a helicopter pilot and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Air Medal for heroism in support of ground combat operations.
In September 1967, after attending jungle survival training in the Philippines, he was transferred to the 73rd Aviation Company to fly reconnaissance missions in a "Mohawk", which was his favorite plane.
On October 7, 1967, Kerbl was killed in action when his plane was shot down. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on October 17, 1967.
Sources: Joann Cullen (wife), newspaper clippings and NJVVMF.
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