An American Silver Star; KIA Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam
An American Silver Star; KIA Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam - Bronze gilt with a silver star affixed to the centre on the obverse, engraved in capitals "FRANK N. VAVRIN" on the reverse, 35 mm x 36 mm, original ribbon with brooch pinback, extremely fine. Accompanied by assorted research papers. Footnote: Frank Neal Vavrin was born in Puerto Rico on October 28, 1946, the son of Chaplain and Mrs. Frank O. Vavrin. He attended school at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and later, was educated in Minnesota, while his father was in Korea. He moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he resided for five years, before moving in 1960 to Berlin, Germany, residing there for eight months, before the full construction of the Berlin Wall. Vavrin graduated from Orleans American High in France, Class of 1964. He returned to the United States and attended Carthage College in Konesha, Wisconsin. Vavrin transferred to the University of Texas at El Paso, while his father went to Vietnam with an Ordnance Unit, but the senior Vavrin soon found himself with an Airborne Unit. The younger Vavrin's brother and sister remained behind with their mother, the family later moving to Fort Gordon, Georgia. Vavrin contracted mononucleosis while in El Paso and dropped out of school long enough to lose his credits for the year. He talked to his father and he convinced him to join the Army. After Basic and Advanced Training, he entered the Reserve Officers' Training Corps School at Fort Benning, where he was granted the commission of 2nd Lieutenant on March 28, 1968. He attended Ranger Training School, followed by an assignment to the 2nd Ranger Training Company at Dahlonega, Georgia. Before being assigned to Vietnam in 1969 for his first tour, he completed Airborne Training, accumulating thirteen jumps. Captain Vavrin was on patrol with the 199th Light Infantry Brigade, spread in a circle around Saigon, South Vietnam, when a grenade was thrown from the bamboo that lined the roadside, with every member of the patrol being either killed or wounded. Captain Vavrin received a severe gash to his hand, landing him in the hospital at Camp Zama, which was followed by his return to the United States. He was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his Saigon experience and before his life was to end, he would be awarded three Bronze Stars and a Silver Star (posthumously). He was intended to be assigned to the Transportation School at Fort Eustis, but a wrong MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) number was listed, sending him to Ranger School in Florida. He "stuck it out", becoming a qualified Ranger and went to Fort Eustis as a junior member of the School Faculty. At the end of August 1970, he returned to Vietnam for his second tour of duty, after a thirty day refresher training session in Hawaii. One week after arriving "in country", mortar and rocket attacks struck his command, wounding two of his colleagues, one temporarily blinded by grit blasted into his eyes and the other losing a foot, with both surviving the war. SSN: 212-48-2299 Captain Vavrin was with I Corps, attached to the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), when he was Killed in Action on September 8, 1970 by an enemy mortar and rocket attack on his base camp in Quang Ngai Province, while serving as an Advisor to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. He is alleged to have run from a secure area, to help an injured Advisor and was hit while crossing an open area. He was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.