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First Name: Arthur

Last Name: DeFranzo

Birthplace: Saugus, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Saugus, MA
Middle Name: Frederick

Date of Birth: 20 March 1919

Date of Death: 10 June 1944

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Years Served: 1940 - 1944
Arthur Frederick DeFranzo

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Arthur Frederick DeFranzo
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Staff Sergeant Arthur Frederick DeFranzo (20 March 1919 - 10 June 1944) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during World War II.

Arthur Frederick DeFranzo was born on 20 March 1919 in Saugus, MA. He also joined the Army from Saugus. On 10 June 1944, he was serving as a Staff Sergeant in the 1st Infantry Division. On that day near Vaubadon, France, he was wounded while rescuing an injured man from hostile fire. Despite his own injuries, he led an attack on the enemy positions and continued to advance and encourage his men even after being hit several more times. He destroyed an enemy machine gun position just before succumbing to his wounds. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 1st Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Vaubadon, France, 10 June 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, on 10 June 1944, near Vaubadon, France. As scouts were advancing across an open field, the enemy suddenly opened fire with several machineguns and hit 1 of the men. S/Sgt. DeFranzo courageously moved out in the open to the aid of the wounded scout and was himself wounded but brought the man to safety. Refusing aid, S/Sgt. DeFranzo reentered the open field and led the advance upon the enemy. There were always at least 2 machineguns bringing unrelenting fire upon him, but S/Sgt. DeFranzo kept going forward, firing into the enemy and 1 by 1 the enemy emplacements became silent. While advancing he was again wounded, but continued on until he was within 100 yards of the enemy position and even as he fell, he kept firing his rifle and waving his men forward. When his company came up behind him, S/Sgt. DeFranzo, despite his many severe wounds, suddenly raised himself and once more moved forward in the lead of his men until he was again hit by enemy fire. In a final gesture of indomitable courage, he threw several grenades at the enemy machinegun position and completely destroyed the gun. In this action, S/Sgt. DeFranzo lost his life, but by bearing the brunt of the enemy fire in leading the attack, he prevented a delay in the assault which would have been of considerable benefit to the foe, and he made possible his company's advance with a minimum of casualties. The extraordinary heroism and magnificent devotion to duty displayed by S/Sgt. DeFranzo was a great inspiration to all about him, and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the armed forces.

Death and Burial

Staff Sergeant Arthur Frederick DeFranzo was killed in action on 10 June 1944. He is buried at Riverside Cemetery in his hometown of Saugus, MA.

Honoree ID: 1364   Created by: MHOH




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