Sgt. Ronald "Ron" Monte Fraser

Army Badge
  • Name: Sgt. Ronald "Ron" Monte Fraser
  • Location of Birth:
  • Date of Birth: January 12, 1946
  • Date of Death: September 14, 1968 (22 years old)
  • Parents: Ronald A. "Sandy" Fraser and Ruth A. (Miska) Fraser
  • High School and Class: Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: Staples Vocational School - Staples, Minnesota Itasca Junior College - Grand Rapids, Minnesota
  • Highest Rank: SGT (Sergeant)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: July 18, 1967
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: September 14, 1968
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:
    Purple Heart
    Bronze Star
    Combat Infantryman Badge
    Marksmanship Badge
    National Defense Service Medal
    Vietnam Campaign Medal
    Vietnam Service Medal
    Army Presidential Unit Citation
    Vietnam Gallantry Cross
    Army Good Conduct Medal

  • Military Highlights:
    Ron served with the Minnesota Company B of the First Battalion, 11th Infantry, Fifth Infantry Division.

    Ronald was drafted into the Army. He entered the service via Selective Service and served during the Vietnam War. He began his tour on July 24, 1968 and had the rank of Sergeant. His military occupation or specialty was Infantry Indirect Fire Crewman and he was attached to the 5th Infantry Division, 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry, B Company.

    Ronald died through hostile action, small arms fire in South Vietnam, Quang Tri province.

    Ronald is honored on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington, D.C. His name is inscribed on Panel 44w, Line 56.

    Information from the Historical Review Section of the Grand Rapids Herald Review dated August 10, 1970:
    Mr. and Mrs. Ronald A. Fraser recently received the Military Merit Award and Gallantry Cross with Palm which was awarded posthumously to their son, Ronald, who died in Vietnam.

    News article from Minneapolis Tribune:
    Ronald Ross, Minneapolis Tribune Far East correspondent, wrote of the death of Sgt. Ronald Fraser of LaPrairie in the Tuesday, Sept. 24, issue of his newspaper.

    His story about the death of Sgt. Fraser, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald A. (Sandy) Fraser is printed below.
    Con Thien, South Vietnam - - "We'd talked a lot about what we were going to do when we got home.
    "Share an apartment, go to trade school in Minneapolis. Maybe get a job with the same outfit."
    The medic from Urbank, Minnesota, stopped. His young face was tight with fatigue and shadowed with a two-day beard.
    His mouth worked hard but no sound came and his eyes glistened in the gloom of the bunker.
    And then in a barely audible voice he said:
    "They shot him and I couldn't get to him. I couldn't get to him.
    Then slowly the story came out. It was a story I had heard many times. But each time it is as starkly fresh as the first.
    Men die hard in Vietnam and their buddies die a little bit with each one of them--that was George Woida's story.
    Specialist 5 Woida, 20, is a medic with B Company of the 1st Battalion, 11th Light Infantry Regiment based at Con Thien.
    One day recently Woida was in a line of 1st Platoon soldiers moving out on the sweep northwest of the base.
    Up ahead in his position as a forward observer for the company's mortar unit was his friend, Sgt. Ronald Fraser, who was raised in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, but for the two years before entering the Army had studied at a Minneapolis trade school.
    Woida and Fraser met in the Army. Sometime in November they would have gone home together.
    And then Woida's world blew up . An automatic rifle in the hands of a North Vietnamese soldier spit bullets into Fraser's head and he was dead before he hit the ground.
    Woida saw him fall, started toward him.
    Machine-gun and automatic fire was intense, pinning the platoon to the ground.
    "A couple of the guys grabbed me," Woida said, "and held me down.
    "I didn't know he was dead then.
    "All I knew was that they had shot him and I couldn't get to him"
    "I will go and see his folks as soon as I get home. He was a great guy."

    Sergeant Ronald M. Fraser was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman's Badge posthumously at ceremonies in the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald A. Fraser of Grand Rapids,

    Sgt. Fraser was killed in battle September 14, 1968, while serving with Company B of the First Battalion, 11th Infantry, Fifth Infantry Division in the vicinity of Con Thein, Vietnam.

    He was a graduate of Greenway High School and had attended Staples Vocational School and Itasca Junior College prior to entering the Army on July 18, 1967

    The medals were presented to his parents March 11 at their home by representatives of the United States Army.

    Information from Grand Rapids Herald Review, Historical Review Section, dated April 18, 2021:
    April 21, 1991 - Names of eight Itasca County soldiers killed, missing, or prisoners of war during the Vietnam War will appear on a Northland Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Duluth. Local names appearing on the memorial will be: Lauren D. Huerd, Bovey; Richard R. Antonovich, Calumet; Norris L. Brenden, Deer River; Denny C. Smith, Deer River; Robert L. Anders, Ronald M. Fraser, Ronald L. Zempel, Grand Rapids; and Richard A. Koski, Pengilly.

  • Wars Involved:
    Vietnam Era

  • MIA / POW:
    Killed in Action

  • Civilian Life:
    Ron was a lifelong resident of our area. Survivors are his parents and two sisters, Alice and Ruth Ann.

    He is buried in Itasca Calvary Cemetery at Grand Rapids, Minnesota. (Plot I-C-26-2-7)

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):