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Libutti, Frank

Lieutenant General Frank Libutti is a native of Huntington, Long Island, New York. Following graduation from the Citadel, he entered the Marine Corps Officer Candidate Program in August 1966 and received his commission as Second Lieutenant in October of that year. General Libutti’s exploits during Operation Buffalo, which took place near Con Thien, Republic of Vietnam from 1-14 July 1967, are chronicled in a book entitled “Operation Buffalo”, written by Keith W. Nolan. One incident worthy of mention that occurred during the engagement in which he received the Silver Star Medal is that on two separate occasions enemy hand grenades were thrown at him, bouncing off him, failing to explode. On 2 July 1967, Frank Libutti, then a Second Lieutenant, distinguished himself while serving as a Platoon Commander with the United States Marine Corps in the Republic of Vietnam. On that date, he was given the mission of reinforcing a beleaguered Marine company, which had sustained heavy casualties and was in danger of being overrun by a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force. Upon arrival, Second Lieutenant Libutti's platoon assumed the point position, and while maneuvering forward, came under enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire. As his unit approached the besieged unit, the enemy commenced a vicious artillery and mortar attack. Although he was wounded during the barrage, Second Lieutenant Libutti ignored his painful injuries and assisted in placing casualties aboard tanks for evacuation. As the intensity of the attack increased, he sustained a second wound; however, he steadfastly continued to assist the wounded. While his unit maneuvered to the landing zone, Second Lieutenant Libutti was wounded a third time. Disregarding his own safety, he continued to lead his platoon and only after he was assured that all casualties had received medical treatment and were evacuated did he submit to medical evacuation. For his courage, superb leadership and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Frank Libutti received the Silver Star Medal for conspicuous gallantry and three awards of the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in action. After serving for thirty-five years on active duty, General Libutti retired from the United States Marine Corps. He and his wife, a retired U.S. Navy Captain, currently reside in Huntsville. General Libutti serves on the board of directors of several local companies and is active in community veteran’s events and programs.