Frank N. Mitchell

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Frank Nicias Mitchell
Mitchell FN.jpg  A light blue neck ribbon with a gold star shaped medallion hanging from it. The ribbon is similar in shape to a bowtie with 13 white stars in the center of the ribbon.
Frank N. Mitchell, posthumous Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1921-08-18)August 18, 1921
Indian Gap, Texas
Died November 26, 1950(1950-11-26) (aged 29)
KIA in Korea
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1939-1950
Rank First Lieutenant
Unit 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division
Battles/wars World War II
*Battle of Wake Island
Korean War
Awards Medal of Honor
Silver Star
Bronze Star w/ Combat "V"
Purple Heart Medal (2)
Combat Action Ribbon

Frank Nicias Mitchell (August 18, 1921–November 26, 1950) was an American combat Marine and first lieutenant who served in World War II and the Korean War. He posthumously received the United States' highest military decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions on November 26, 1950 in Korea.

Biography[edit]

Frank Mitchell was born on August 18, 1921 in Indian Gap, Texas, and was a 1938 graduate of Roaring Springs High School. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1939, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1945, following World War II service aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise at Wake Island, additional service in the Marshall Islands, and occupation duty in China. He was also attached to Fleet Marine Force Pacific as a member of its rifle and pistol team.

He attended Colorado College under the Navy V-12 program, and also attended Southwestern University and North Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College. He played varsity football in college for two years.

During the Korean War, First Lieutenant Mitchell was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines when he displayed extraordinary heroism in waging a single-handed battle against the enemy on November 26, 1950, near Hansan-ni, to cover the withdrawal of wounded Marines, despite multiple wounds to himself. For this action in which he sacrificed his own life to save the lives of his fellow wounded, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. His body was never recovered.[1]

The Medal of Honor was presented August 6, 1952 to Mitchell's widow and daughter by Lieutenant Colonel Henry D. Strunk, the acting director of the 6th Marine Corps Reserve District, at their home in Atlanta, Georgia.

Military decorations and awards[edit]

Lt. Mitchell's military awards include:

V
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Medal of Honor
Silver Star Bronze Star w/ Combat "V" Purple Heart Medal w/ gold 5/16 inch star Presidential Unit Citation w/ two bronze service stars
Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal w/ bronze service star American Defense Service Medal w/ fleet clasp American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal China Service Medal Korean Service Medal w/ two bronze service stars United Nations Service Medal

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

FIRST LIEUTENANT FRANK N. MITCHELL
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Leader of a Rifle Platoon of Company A, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 26 November 1950. Leading his platoon in point position during a patrol by his company through a thickly wooded and snow-covered area in the vicinity of Hasan-ni, First Lieutenant MITCHELL acted immediately when the enemy suddenly opened fire at point-blank range, pinning down his forward elements and inflicting numerous casualties in his ranks. Boldly dashing to the front under blistering fire from automatic weapons and small arms, he seized an automatic rifle from one of the wounded men and effectively trained it against the attackers and, when his ammunition was expended, picked up and hurled grenades with deadly accuracy, at the same time directing and encouraging his men in driving the outnumbering enemy from his position. Maneuvering to set up a defense when the enemy furiously counterattacked to the front and left flank, First Lieutenant MITCHELL, despite wounds sustained early in the action, reorganized his platoon under devastating fire and spearheaded a fierce hand-to-hand struggle to repulse the onslaught. Asking for volunteers to assist in searching for and evacuating the wounded, he personally led a party of litter bearers through the hostile lines in growing darkness and, although suffering intense pain from multiple wounds stormed ahead and waged a singlehanded battle against the enemy, successfully covering the withdrawal of his men before he was fatally struck down by a burst of small-arms fire. Stouthearted and indomitable in the face of tremendous odds. First Lieutenant MITCHELL by his fortitude, great personal valor and extraordinary heroism, saved the lives of several Marines and inflicted heavy casualties among the aggressors. His unyielding courage throughout reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

/S/ HARRY S. TRUMAN[2]

Legacy[edit]

The following have been named in honor of 1stLt Mitchell:

  • Roaring Spring, Texas has renamed the highway bypass surrounding the town, and built a town park in his honor.
  • The Marine Archives building in Washington D.C. is named in his honor.
  • The Infantry Officers Course building at The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia is named in his honor.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Inline
  1. ^ "Frank N. Mitchell". Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 2006-06-07. 
  2. ^ "1stLt Frank N. Mitchell, Medal of Honor, 1950, 1/7/1, Korea (Medal of Honor citation)". Archived from the original on 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2006-06-06. 
  3. ^ "Mitchell Hall". Historical Marker Database. 
General
 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
  • Leatherwood, Art (2001-06-06). "Frank N. Mitchell". Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 2006-06-07.