Frank Anthony Celano

Army Of The United States
19 July 1949 - 22 January 1971
Los Banos, CA
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SPECIAL FORCES Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Frank Anthony Celano

Frank was my high school girlfriend's "little brother."

He was then an ever-present pest.

He became a hero.

VirtualWall Note - 14 Aug 2001

On 22 January 1971, an OH-6A (hull number 68-17337) of D/3/4 CAV 25 INF was shot down. Efforts were immediately instituted to rescue the crew:

  • CW2 Rog Johnson, pilot;
  • SGT Michael Harris Petty, observer; and
  • SP4 Frederick Anthony Vigil, crew chief.
Another helicopter was lost in that effort. According to fellow pilot Hugh ("Sandy") McLeod
"They were in the area training at the time of the crash, and responded to my call for assistance. They were hovering over a hole in the canopy, and with Special Forces folks on rapelling lines, they were shot down." (Feb 1999)
WO1 William H. Seaborn, Jr., 240 AHC/222 CAB, was piloting the second helicopter, a UH-1D (hull number 66-16356). Three Special Forces troopers, SGT Frank A. Celano, SSG Kenneth Lovelace, and SGT Hugh D. Opperman, were the men rapelling to the ground in an effort to rescue the men in the OH-6A.

These four men died when the UH-1 was shot down. The bodies of all seven men - three from the OH-6A, four from the UH-1D - were recovered.

The sponsor of this memorial wishes to remain anonymous.
E-Mail may be forwarded via the
21 Feb 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)