Frank A. Audino, 84, of Collegeville, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, died Wednesday, Feb. 13, of an infection at Phoenixville Hospital.
Col. Audino was a career military man. He joined the U.S. Army in May 1955 and was assigned to Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Valley Forge General Hospital, Phoenixville; an Army base in Frankfurt, Germany; and Camp Zama, Japan.
He was deployed to active duty in Vietnam with the First Infantry Division from September 1965 to August 1966. He served as a hospital administrator with a medical services unit.
The division was deployed to an area north of Saigon in October 1965, one of the first Army infantry divisions to arrive in Vietnam. The division engaged the Vietcong in combat near Saigon and along the Vietnam and Cambodia border; it suffered a high rate of wounded and casualties.
“He did talk about his time in Vietnam,” said daughter Susan A. Fedoris. “It was a solemn discussion. He was proud of his service and felt it was worthwhile for him to do. He was proud to have been there and proud to have served with the people he did.”
In recognition of its achievements in battle, the entire division was awarded the Vietnamese Civil Action Medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm.
Col. Audino was individually decorated with the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, and the Combat Medical Badge. The latter recognizes the recipient for performing medical duties in the heat of battle.
In 1967, Col. Audino was selected as an Outstanding Young Man of America by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce.
He was honorably discharged from active duty and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel from the Army in June 1975, according to his military record. From 1975 to 2000, he worked as a civilian director of facilities for the U.S. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and as a construction and maintenance manager for the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.
Born in New Castle, a town 50 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, Col. Audino was the son of Ralph and Flora Ann Audino. He attended public school in New Castle and studied for three years at the University of Pittsburgh.
Col. Audino was a member of the American-Italian Bocce Club. He was also a life member of the VFW, and a member of the Military Officers Association of America and the Silver Caduceus Association. The association promotes the history and traditions of the Army Medical Service Corps.
He served on advisory councils for veterans’ homes in Philadelphia and Spring City.
Col. Audino enjoyed traveling with his wife, Alice. He also liked hunting, puttering in his garden, and making eggplant parmesan and Christmas cookies. He was a longtime member and secretary of the Upper Providence Fire Commission and had been active with St. Eleanor Catholic Church in Collegeville since 1972.
“He was an exemplary leader and a steadfast friend and neighbor,” his family said.
In addition to his daughter, Susan, and his wife of 62 years, he is survived by sons Charles Michael and F. Anthony Jr.; five grandchildren; a great-granddaughter; a sister; and nieces and nephews. A daughter, Bremner Audino-Scherer, died in 2011.
A viewing from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, will be followed by an 11:30 a.m. funeral Mass at St. Eleanor Catholic Church, 647 Locust St., Collegeville. Burial will be private.