Military Wiki
Frank Stanley Reasoner
Frank S. Reasoner,
Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1937-09-16)16 September 1937
Died 12 July 1965(1965-07-12) (aged 27)
Place of birth Spokane, Washington
Place of death Killed in action at Da Nang, Vietnam
Place of burial "Greenwood Cemetery Kellogg Idaho". Retrieved 5 October 2010. [dead link]
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1955–1965
Rank First Lieutenant 1st Lieutenant Bar
Unit 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion
Commands held Company A, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion
Battles/wars Vietnam War

Frank Stanley Reasoner (16 September 1937 – 12 July 1965) was an officer of the United States Marine Corps who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Vietnam War.


Reasoner was born in Spokane, Washington in 1937 and moved with his parents to Kellogg, Idaho, in 1948. Graduating from Kellogg High School in June 1955, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps three months before his 18th birthday.

Promoted to Private First Class after recruit training at the San Diego Recruit Depot in August, he went on to advanced infantry training at Camp Pendleton, California. He was designated an Airborne Radio Operator in 1956 upon completing Airman School, Naval Air Technical Training Center, Jacksonville, Florida, and the Communication Electronics School at San Diego. He was next assigned to Marine Wing Service Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, El Toro, California, and while there was promoted to Corporal.

He was transferred to the Naval Academy Preparatory School, Bainbridge, Maryland, in 1957, then served as a guard at Marine Barracks, Annapolis, Maryland. He was promoted to sergeant in January 1958, prior to receiving Congressional appointment to the U.S. Military Academy, sponsored by Senator Henry Dworshak of Idaho.

Successfully completing the Academy's entrance examinations in June 1958, Sgt Reasoner was transferred to the inactive Marine Corps Reserve and enrolled as a cadet. While at the Military Academy, he lettered in baseball and wrestling winning an unprecedented four straight Brigade boxing championships in four different weight classes. Upon graduation, 6 June 1962, he was awarded a B.S. degree and returned to the Marine Corps as a second lieutenant. He was promoted to first lieutenant in December of the following year.

First Lieutenant Reasoner completed Officers Basic School at Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, in January 1963, then embarked for a three-year tour of duty with the Fleet Marine Force in the Pacific area.

During his entire overseas tour, he served with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion. Assigned initially to the 1st Marine Brigade, at Kāne'ohe Bay, Hawaii, he served with Company B, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marines, and moved with his organization to Vietnam in April 1965. On 20 June 1965, he was designated Commanding Officer, Company A, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, the unit he was with when he was mortally wounded, aged 27.

In his book "A Rumour of War" covering the 4th Marines tour of Vietnam the journalist Philip Caputo states that USS Reasoner (FF-1063) was named after Reasoner. A Marine Corps camp in Vietnam was named “Camp Reasoner” and dedicated to his memory. The hand-lettered sign near the gates of Camp Reasoner read: “…First Lieutenant Reasoner sacrificed his life to save one of his wounded Marines. ‘Greater Love Hath No Man’.” (See John 15:13 for "Greater love..." quote.)


First Lieutenant Frank Reasoner decorations include:

A light blue ribbon with five white five pointed stars
Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
Combat Action Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal Vietnam Service Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal

Medal of Honor citation

3rd Reconnaissance Medal of Honor Monument Ocala, Florida Memorial Park

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


for service as set forth in the following


"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. The reconnaissance patrol led by 1st Lt. Reasoner had deeply penetrated heavily controlled enemy territory when it came under extremely heavy fire from an estimated 50 to 100 Viet Cong insurgents. Accompanying the advance party and the point that consisted of 5 men, he immediately deployed his men for an assault after the Viet Cong had opened fire from numerous concealed positions. Boldly shouting encouragement, and virtually isolated from the main body, he organized a base of fire for an assault on the enemy positions. The slashing fury of the Viet Cong machinegun and automatic weapons fire made it impossible for the main body to move forward. Repeatedly exposing himself to the devastating attack he skillfully provided covering fire, killing at least 2 Viet Cong and effectively silencing an automatic weapons position in a valiant attempt to effect evacuation of a wounded man. As casualties began to mount his radio operator was wounded and 1st Lt. Reasoner immediately moved to his side and tended his wounds. When the radio operator was hit a second time while attempting to reach a covered position, 1st Lt. Reasoner courageously running to his aid through the grazing machinegun fire fell mortally wounded. His indomitable fighting spirit, valiant leadership and unflinching devotion to duty provided the inspiration that was to enable the patrol to complete its mission without further casualties. In the face of almost certain death he gallantly gave his life in the service of his country. His actions upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service."

/s/ Richard M. Nixon

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

Further reading

  • Vetter, Larry. Never Without Heroes: Marine Third Reconnaissance Battalion in Vietnam, 1965–70, Ivy Books – "Chapter 2, The Reasoner Patrol," pages 17–26. ISBN 0-8041-0807-2

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).