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First Name: Fred

Last Name: Bertolino

Birthplace: Bushnell, IL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Gordon

Date of Birth: 09 April 1944

Date of Death: 19 June 1967

Rank: First Lieutenant

Years Served: 1966 - 1967
Fred Gordon Bertilino

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1966

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Fred Gordon Bertolino
First Lieutenant, U.S. Army

Fred Gordon Bertolino was born on 9 April 1944 in Bushnell, IL, the first son of George and Margaret Bertolino. He graduated from Bushnell-Prairie City High School where his father, George, began his career as the high school's coach. Fred was an easy-going guy who was a member of the National Honor Society, senior class president, a member of the Men’s chorus, a Boys State appointee, and a Junior Rotarian. He had a small group of friends, dated a little, and loved cars. By the time of Fred's graduation in 1962, he had received an appointment through Illinois Congressman Paul Findley to enter the U.S. Military Academy with the class of 1966.

As the graduation of the Class of 1966 approached, the Vietnam war had substantially escalated. As it had been with the Class of 1950 and the Korean War, many graduates of the Class of 1966 would be deployed to Vietnam within a short time after they were commissioned. Normally, graduates with a high academic standing could potentially avoid war by choosing units that were not destined for combat and, typically, many did. Although Fred had graduated near the upper third of his class, he did not choose that option.

Following his commissioning as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry, Fred went to Ft. Riley, KS, to join the 9th Infantry Division, which would soon be deploying to Vietnam. The records show that his tour of service with A Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division in Gia Dinh Province, South Vietnam, began on 10 January 1967.

On 19 June 1967, First Lieutenant Fred Bertolino and A Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, were serving as a part of Operation Concordia. Just eleven days earlier, he had received his promotion to First Lieutenant.

On the late morning of that day, 1LT Bertolino and A Company, 4/47th Infantry, walked into a "L"-shaped Viet Cong ambush, forcing the VC to open fire. A/4/47 took very heavy losses in the initial onslaught, but the combination of other infantry units, fire support from the river monitors, and air/artillery support gradually broke the VC lines and forced them from their prepared defensive positions. Operation Concordia eventually succeeded, but at a very high price: The 3/47th Infantry and 4/47th Infantry lost 44 men and many more were wounded. 1LT Bertolino was one of them.

1LT Bertolino was initially listed as Missing but was then reclassified as Died While Missing after he sustained multiple fragmentation wounds. His body was recovered.

Medals and Badge

Combat Infantryman Badge
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal


The name Fred G Bertolino is located on Panel 22E Line 009 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.


First Lieutenant Bertolino is buried at Bushnell Cemetery in Bushell, McDonough County, IL.


[Some of the information in this biography was derived from Cullum Number 26281, West Point Association of Graduates. Specific author(s) are unknown.]

Honoree ID: 3451   Created by: MHOH




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