Frank C. "Fritz" Pesesky
Award: Veterans' Hall of Fame
Frank C. “Fritz” Pesesky, a World War II Navy veteran, served in the Pacific theater as a flag signalman aboard LCI(L)-1076 [Landing Craft Infantry (Large)] during the invasions of New Guinea, Borneo, Moratai, Yap, Leyte, Luzon and other Philippine Islands.
After graduating from Thomas A. Edison High School, where he was an excellent athlete and President of his senior class, Mr. Pesesky enlisted in the Navy on September 24, 1943. He rose to the rank of Signalman Second Class and was honorably discharged in April 1946.
Mr. Pesesky’s longtime association with local veterans began during high school when he joined the American Legion Post 154 Drum & Bugle Corps in Elmira Heights. Upon his Naval discharge, he immediately joined Post 154 as a member and went on to hold many offices at the district, state and national levels. According to Mr. Pesesky’s five children, they grew up thinking that the American Legion was their religion.
From 1969-91, Mr. Pesesky served as counselor and Director of the Chemung County Veterans Service Office, and to this day, his unwavering commitment to helping veterans remains legendary. He was a principal motivator in the community drive to reopen the Woodlawn National Cemetery and held leadership positions with the County Veterans Service Officer Association of New York, Catholic War Veterans Post 1178, VFW Post 6083, Horseheads Elks Lodge 2297, and the Chemung County Veterans Council.