John Francis Francavilla

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
24 June 1948 - 09 April 1968
Renton, Washington
Panel 49E Line 001


John F. Francavilla

Purple Heart (3 awards), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for John Francis Francavilla

21 Dec 2003

Semper Fi from Platoon 1020

Phillip R Whitlock
PFC 2344226 USMC 1967-68

02 Apr 2007

John received 3 Purple Hearts and his unit received a Presidental Unit Citation. Semper Fi, John , you will never be forgotten.

From a fellow Marine,
Phillip Ray Whitlock

30 May 2007

I met John when we both started our sophomore year at Renton High School in 1965. We became instant friends. Together, we attended many classes, and remained friends from 1965 through our senior year 1967.

My memory of John was that he was such an easy going, fun loving guy. We had many laughs together in class and in those crowded hallways, as Renton High was in those years.

As we both approached our senior year, I saw the change that we all felt with the intensifying conditions of Vietnam, seen on the nightly news. It was harder to hold onto that youthful high school feeling with all that was happening.

I recall John's intensity about wanting to serve his country. It was without boundaries. He was fervent in his decision to become a Marine.

It is with great fondness I remember a classmate, but more as a great friend. I shall never forget him and will always pay tribute to his memory as a true American Hero.

From a friend and classmate,
Steve Nathan
Class of 1967
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Between 26 December 1967 and 18 April 1968, India Company, 3/26 Marines, reinforced with two platoons from Mike 3/26 and elements of other Marine units, held Hill 881 South against repeated attacks by North Vietnamese Army troops. Surrounded during most of the siege at Khe Sanh, Hill 881S could be resupplied only by air. Then-Captain Bill Dabney, Commanding Officer of India 3/26, called it "that God-awful hill", and it was.

The photo above was taken on Hill 881S;
Frankavilla is on the left side.
Photo by David Assum; courtesy Hill 881S .

Marine Lance Cpl. John Francis Francavilla, 19, was killed in action 9 Apr (1968) on Hill 881 South, near Khe Sanh. He entered the Marine Corps last summer after graduating from Renton High School. He went to Vietnam 3 Dec (1967) after training at Camp Pendleton CA.

Born in Detroit, Corporal Francavilla moved to Renton in 1964. He earned a letter in wrestling at Renton High School. He was a member of the Region of Mary of St. Anthony's Church, Renton.

His father, Army Maj. Anthony F. Francavilla (ret.), said his son had not learned of his promotion to corporal when he was killed by rocket fire. He had been wounded 20 Jan (1968) by an enemy grenade and again by artillery shrapnel 20 Feb (1968), making him eligible for two Purple Hearts.

Corporal Francavilla was serving with the 3rd Platoon, I Co, 26th Marines.

Surviving are his father and stepmother, 14017 S. E. 118th St., Renton; his mother, Mrs. Marcella Francavilla, New York City; two brothers, Anthony, 3 at home, and David Francavilla, 9, Colorado Springs CO; a stepsister, Patti Jo Mantello, 12, and a stepbrother, Michael Mantello, 11, both at home, and his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Francavilla, Lincoln Park MI. Memorial services here for Corporal Francavilla will be announced. Funeral services and burial will be in Lincoln Park MI.

Seattle Times, Seattle WA, 16 Apr 1968
Obituary and photo at the top of this page courtesy of
Faces from the Wall

Lance Corporal Francavilla is remembered as one of the
Warriors of Hill 881S
is remembered by his Marine brothers .

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a fellow marine,
Phillip Ray Whitlock
Box 82 Sasakwa Oklahoma 74867

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WA State Index . Panel 49E

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 22 Dec 2003
Last updated 12/06/2007