Albanese, Lewis, PFC

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Private First Class
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1966-1966, 11B10, B Company, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry (Airmobile)
Service Years
1965 - 1966

Private First Class

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

21 kb

Home Country
Year of Birth
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Seattle, Wa
Last Address
Seattle, WA
(B: Venice, Italy)

Casualty Date
Dec 01, 1966
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Vietnam, South (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park - Seattle, Washington
Wall/Plot Coordinates
12E 131

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Congressional Medal Of Honor SocietyVietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
  1968, Congressional Medal Of Honor Society [Verified]
  2015, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2018, The National Gold Star Family Registry

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Unit Assignments
5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry (Airmobile)
  1966-1966, 11B10, B Company, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry (Airmobile)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1966-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Lewis Albanese (April 27, 1946,  December 1, 1966) was an American United States Army Private First Class during the Vietnam War who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during a fire fight where he freed his platoon from sniper fire.

medal of honor image


Albanese was born in Venice, Italy, enlisted in Seattle, Washington and was sent to Vietnam as part of the 7th Cavalry or 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 metres 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, and he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, which was presented to his family at the Pentagon by Secretary of the Army Stanley Rogers Resor on February 16, 1968. He is buried in Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park and Funeral in Seattle Washington and his name is found on Panel 12E, Row 131 of the Vietnam War Memorial.


Medal of Honor citation


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. Lewis Albanese Funeral. Rosary for Army Pfc. Lewis Albanese, 20 of 1135 Sturgis, Av. S., who died in action in Viet-Nam 2 Dec (actual date 1 Dec 1966) will be said at 7:15 o'clock tomorrow evening in Manning & Sons' chapel. Requiem Mass will be said at 9 o'clock Tuesday at St. James Cathedral, with burial in Washelli. A native of Italy, Private Albanese lived in the United States 18 years. Surviving are his father, Ralph Albanese; his mother, Mrs. Giannina Albanese, and a sister, Rosita Albanese, all of Seattle. (Evergreen Washelli, Seattle WA Interment Records)

Seattle Soldier To Be Awarded Medal of Honor

 A Seattleite whose bravery in Vietnam saved many members of his Army platoon will be awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously tomorrow in Pentagon ceremonies. 

Pfc. Lewis Albanese, 20, was killed on a combat operation 1 Dec 1966 while protecting his platoon from Communist snipers.

Secretary of the Army Stanley R. Resor will make the presentation to Albanese's mother, Mrs. Giannina Albanese, 1135 Sturgus Ave. S., the Associated Press reported. 

Albanese was a member of the 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, which came under attack near Phu Muu 1 Dec 1966.

    "Heavy fire from the left flank of the platoon promted Private Albanese to fix his bayonet and move aggressively into a well-organized complex of enemy defenses, " Army officials said in Washington.

    "Disregarding the danger to himself, he advanced 100 meters along the ditch and killed six snipers armed with automatic weapons. When his ammunition was exhausted, he engaged and killed two more enemy soldiers in fierce hand-to-hand combat." 

Many other members of Albanese's platoon would have fallen to the heavy enemy sniper fire if it had not been for his one-man attack, the Pentagone said. 

Albanese, born in Italy, had been in Vietnam four months. He graduated from Franklin High School in 1964. 

He was employed by the Boeing Co. before entering the Army in October, 1965.

Surviving besides his mother are his father, Ralph Albanese, Seattle, and a sister, Rosita Albanese, Seattle.  The mother and daughter will be in Washington for the ceremony.

Albanese was not related to Sgt. Luigi Albanese, 19, of Seattle, who was killed 27Jan (1968) in Vietnam. (Seattle Times, Seattle WA, 15 Feb 1968)

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