LeFrançois, Wilfred Sylvio

Date of birth:
1901 (Watertown/New York, United States)
Date of death:
June 9th, 1952 (Japan)
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

He stayed in the Marines and served in the Korean War with the 1st Marine Division. The Korean War was his last war; he was wounded sometime in 1952 and evacuated to a military hospital in Japan where he died on June 9, 1952.

An oddity was his age. Born about the turn of the century, he was middle-aged at the time of the Makin Raid, and only a lieutenant. He also was nearly 30 when he enlisted. By the time of his death in 1952 he had only been promoted twice more - to Major - despite having well over 20-years in the Marine Corps. He was well into his 50''s when he died, still on active duty.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Second Lieutenant
Unit:
Company A, 2d Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Raiders
Awarded on:
November 21st, 1942
Action:
"For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous devotion to duty while serving as Platoon Leader of the First Platoon, Company A, SECOND Marine Raider Battalion, during the Marine Raider Expedition against the Japanese-held island of Makin in the Gilbert Islands on 17 and 18 August 1942. By his discriminating disposal of the advance guard, Second Lieutenant LeFrancois enabled it to engage the enemy effectively, initiating the fire with great success. Displaying exemplary leadership and determination, he led his platoon in advance until severely wounded in the right shoulder by enemy machine-gun fire. Throughout the engagement, his aggressiveness, courage and utter disregard for his own personal safety were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Details:
Approved by the Secretary of the Navy on November 21, 1942. Received on 19 January 1943.
Navy Cross
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Second Lieutenant
Unit:
Company A, 2d Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Raiders
Details:
Makin Island Raid. Received 5 bullet wounds to the chest and shoulder.
Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal (NDSM)

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