On Sunday, September 28, 2014 Mayor Michael J. McGlynn dedicated a corner in honor of PFC Vincent Antonio Mottola, United States Marines Corps, in a ceremony that included Vincent’s family, friends and neighbors. The Office of Veteran Services, the United States Marine Corps Honor Guard, and Medford’s Alumni Band also participated in the dedication.
PFC Mottola lived on Main Street in South Medford. As the Vietnam War began to escalate he decided to leave Medford High School and enlist in the Marines. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. Vincent was an anti tank assault man who was assigned to Vietnam in late 1967. He was wounded in January of 1968 and received the Purple Heart. In February of 1968, PFC Mottola was sent to Khe Sanh in the Quang Tri Province of Vietnam. The region was under intense enemy fire for months. The 6,000 Marines held their ground against 20,000 enemy forces, but on February 23, 1968, PFC Mottola’s bunker took a direct hit and he made the supreme sacrifice. He was only 18-years-old.
PFC Mottola was awarded the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Military Merit Medal, the Gallantry Cross with Palms Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation, and the Bronze Star. Vincent’s unit has been remembered in both a PBS documentary, “Bravo: Common Men, Uncommon Valor,” and in a book by Ray Williams, Battalion of Kings.
Pictured left to right: Marie Mottola (cousin of Vincent), City Councillor Richard Caraviello, School Committee member John Falco, Mayor Michael J. McGlynn, State Representative Paul Donato, City Councillor Fred Dello Russo, Father Paola of St. Clement’s Church, and Lenny Mottola, (brother of Vincent), who made remarks on behalf of the Mottola Family. Lenny also served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.