Andrew Charles Rackow

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class
United States Navy
26 October 1947 - 06 August 1968
Cheltenham, Pennsylvania
Panel 49W Line 020


Silver Star

Fleet Marine Force Corpsman

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Andrew Charles Rackow

02 Apr 2008

Andrew Rackow - Andy - was our brother.

He wanted to be a Navy doctor but was sidetracked by the conflict in Southeast Asia. The terrible effects of the war bothered him and so, in 1966, he interrupted his studies at Penn State University and enlisted as a hospital corpsman. He soon attained the rank of Petty Officer Second Class. His unit was assigned to duty in Vietnam attached to the Marines. For many months Andy's outfit was in the thick of some of the heaviest fighting of the war.

In August, 1968, he fell in the line of duty.

Shortly after Andy's death, our parents received a letter from one of his buddies. Excerpts from that truly remarkable, comforting note bear witness to Andy's courage and the kind of person he was.

"I was with Andy the day he was hit. Your son was a brave man. He died because he valued the lives of the men and was willing to take any risk to help them. At the time he was hit, he was at the very front of the battle, helping a man who was badly wounded.

"More than one man is alive now because of Andy's courage, and I wanted you to know how badly we all feel and what a great man your son really was."

Andy's bravery in action was recognized, as well, by his superior officers. He was awarded the Silver Star, one of the highest medals awarded by the Navy.

Andy was our brother but, in a sense, he and all the other brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country belong to all America. We would give anything to be able to tell him how proud we are of him. We may not all agree with everything our country is, but it is this country that gives us the very freedom we have to disagree - and the opportunity to make things better. And it has always been men and women like Andy who have preserved the gift of those freedoms.

We are forever proud of and in debt to Andy. We miss him.

From his brothers,
Julian P. Rackow
David M. Rackow

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 06 Aug 1968 Fox and Golf Companies, 2/5 Marines, engaged an NVA company about two kilometers southeast of the Liberty Bridge. When the enemy withdrew they left 23 bodies on the battlefield - but two Marines and one sailor died as well:
  • GySgt Lawrence G. Bargaheiser, Tiffin, OH, Golf 2/5;
  • HM2 Andrew C. Rackow, Cheltenham, PA, H&S 2/5 (Silver Star); and
  • Cpl Robert G. Fante, Roseville, MI, Fox 2/5 (Navy Cross).

Fleet Marine Force Corpsman

"You guys are the Marine's doctors -
There's none better in the business
than a Navy Corpsman ..."
-- Lieutenant General "Chesty" Puller --

Visit John Dennison's
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his brother,
David M. Rackow

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 02 Apr 2008
Last updated 04/20/2008