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First Name: Lewis

Last Name: Albanese

Birthplace: Venice, ITA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Date of Birth: 27 April 1946

Date of Death: 01 December 1966

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1965 - 1966
Lewis Albanese

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Lewis Albanese
Private First Class, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Lewis Albanese (27 April 1946 - 1 December 1966) was an Italian-born Private First Class in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during a fire fight where he freed his platoon from sniper fire.

Lewis Albanese was born on 27 April 1946, in Venice, Italy. He graduated from Franklin High School in Seattle, WA, and was drafted into the Army on 26 October 1965. He received basic training with B Co 1st Battalion 11th Infantry at Fort Carson, CO, and was sent to Vietnam in August 1966 as part of the 7th Cavalry attached to the 1st Cavalry Division.

While on patrol in the Republic of Vietnam with Company B of the 5th Battalion, his unit received heavy fire from concealed enemy positions. During an attempted encirclement of the platoon by the Vietnamese forces, Albanese fixed a bayonet to his weapon and charged the enemy positions. Upon arriving and momentarily silencing the enemy fire, Albanese discovered that the ditch he had charged was a well-entrenched position. He continued 100 meters through the position, killing at least eight enemy snipers despite running out of ammunition and being forced to fight hand to hand, and being mortally wounded. His actions enabled his unit to advance further.

Medal of Honor


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Albanese's platoon, while advancing through densely covered terrain to establish a blocking position, received intense automatic weapons fire from close range. As other members maneuvered to assault the enemy position, Pfc. Albanese was ordered to provide security for the left flank of the platoon. Suddenly, the left flank received fire from enemy located in a well-concealed ditch. Realizing the imminent danger to his comrades from this fire, Pfc. Albanese fixed his bayonet and moved aggressively into the ditch. His action silenced the sniper fire, enabling the platoon to resume movement toward the main enemy position. As the platoon continued to advance, the sound of heavy firing emanated from the left flank from a pitched battle that ensued in the ditch which Pfc. Albanese had entered. The ditch was actually a well-organized complex of enemy defenses designed to bring devastating flanking fire on the forces attacking the main position. Pfc. Albanese, disregarding the danger to himself, advanced 100 meters along the trench and killed 6 of the snipers, who were armed with automatic weapons. Having exhausted his ammunition, Pfc. Albanese was mortally wounded when he engaged and killed 2 more enemy soldiers in fierce hand-to-hand combat. His unparalleled actions saved the lives of many members of his platoon who otherwise would have fallen to the sniper fire from the ditch, and enabled his platoon to successfully advance against an enemy force of overwhelming numerical superiority. Pfc. Albanese's extraordinary heroism and supreme dedication to his comrades were commensurate with the finest traditions of the military service and remain a tribute to himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

PFC Albanese' Medal of Honor was presented to his family at the Pentagon by Secretary of the Army Stanley Rogers Resor on 16 February 1968.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Private First Class Lewis Albanese' name is listed on Panel 12E, Row 131.

Death and Burial

Private First Class Lewis Albanese was killed in action on 1 December 1966. He is buried at Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Seattle, WA. His grave is located in the Veterans Cemetery, Section KO, Lot E, Grave 75.

Honoree ID: 879   Created by: MHOH




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