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Frank Mucedola 1921-2007

Frank Mucedola (1921-2007) with his wife Adriana (1926-2017).

 Frank Mucedola, 85, of 7007 State Street Road, died peacefully Saturday, March 24, 2007, after his heroic battle with prostate cancer. At his side were his loving wife and family.

Frank was born in San Severo, Foggia, Italy, but lived most of his life in Auburn. He was a communicant of St. Francis of Assisi Church. After the love for his family, music was his life. Frank was a performer, a teacher and a composer. For many years, Frank toured Auburn and central New York playing with the Sammy Speno Orchestra. He performed as a soloist with several symphony orchestras, such as the Syracuse Symphony and the New Haven Symphony. The highlight of his musical career was performing with the world-renowned Mantovani Orchestra from 1985 until his death. They toured the world including all 50 United States, performing for millions of people.

He owned and operated the Frank Mucedola Accordion School. He composed many pieces of music for the accordion; the most famous was the “Fox and the Hound,” which is played throughout the world. Frank was a member of the American Federation of Musicians, the American Accordionist Association, the Italian Heritage Society and the VFW.

Sgt. First Class Frank Mucedola was an Army veteran of World War II, having served with the 304th Infantry Regiment of the 76th Division as part of General Patton”s Third Army that fought through France, Luxembourg and Germany. He was awarded the Bronze Star with the V Device for Valor for single-handedly taking out a German gun nest with a bazooka, that had his company pinned down during a night action.

The son of the late Felix and Angelina Mucedola, Frank is survived by his devoted wife, Adriana Coppola Mucedola; three sons, Felix and his wife, Mary Ann, Randolph and his wife, Amy, all from Auburn and Joseph and his wife Cathy, of Weedsport; a daughter, Anna Maria Tuori and her husband, Guy, of Cicero; sister, Dora Longo; brother, Anthony Mucedola and his wife, Margaret, all of Auburn; nine grandchildren, Felix, Mike, Frank, Joey, Diana, Adriana, Alexander, Guy and Jason; and several nieces and nephews.

Frank”s life defined the American experience… initiated as an immigrant, tested as a patriot, and demonstrated to all as a role model. His talents as a soldier helped free a continent, his skills as a musician brought happiness to millions and ultimately, his gifted ways as a husband, father and honor bound friend set an unparalleled standard for all who knew him.

This obituary was originally published in The Citizen (Auburn, NY).


Frank Mucedola’s Funeral –

March 28, 2007

After the mass, the funeral procession got to drive by my Dad’s accordion school one last time and then by City Hall where they rang the Wheeler Bell in honor of the passing of a veteran.  There was an accordion on the front steps where the mayor was standing as we drove by.

At the cemetery there were a couple of soldiers who played taps and then folded the American flag that laid over the casket and presented it to my Mother. It was a great tribute to him.

-Joe Mucedola (Frank’s son)

Frank Mucedola interview from 2003 published by the New York State Military Museum.

Sgt. First Class Frank Mucedola – 1944

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German City Honors 76th Infantry Division

Frank Mucedola

Frank Mucedola (1921-2007) served as a Tech Sergeant in I-304-76. A musician in civilian life, he established the Frank Mucedola Accordian School in Auburn, New York and has toured with the world-renowned Mantovani Orchestra.

The following article originally ran in
The Auburn Citizen August 24, 2003.


The 76th Infantry Division received its “Baptism of Fire” during the battle of the Bulge.

After crossing into Germany from Belgium and Luxembourg, the division was the spearhead of General George S. Patton’s 3rd Army final drive across central Germany and were among the first troops to make contact with the Soviet Red Army in the vicinity of Chemnitz, Germany, in May 1945.

The 76th Division had gone further east into Germany than any other American unit.

When Germany was divided into East and West, the 76th Division found itself in the East and was subsequently pulled back into the Western Zone.

However, between May and August 1945, when the Russians arrived, the 76th Division was on occupation duty in Schmolln, Thuringen, Germany.

From August 1945 until the Berlin wall fell, schools in occupied East Germany were required to teach students that Germany had been liberated from the Nazis by “The Glorious Red Army.”

The pre-1945 generation knew better, but kept silent out of fear of reprisals.

When the 76th Division was relieved of its occupation duties in August 1945, it was deactivated and its troops were reassigned to other units slated for the invasion of Japan which, for a brief time, was still at war with the United States.

Fortunately, that assignment never materialized as the atomic bomb ended the war and the troops were sent home.

Many years later, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the people of Schmolln in the former East Germany wanted to correct what they knew was a historical lie. They were not liberated from the Nazis by the Soviet Army, but by the 76th Infantry Division of the United States Army.

On April 13, 2003, the people of Schmolln erected a memorial to the 76th Division to show their appreciation.

I am one of the nine Auburnians who served in the 76th Infantry Division during World War II and am grateful that the people of Schmolln have honored us with their thoughtfulness.

-Frank Mucedola


Auburnians who served in the 76th Division in WWII

George P. Diehl
Paul J. DiFabion
Ronald P. Hart
Robert T. Mott
Frank Mucedola
James Napoli
George T Ryan
James Smith
Paul A. Tripociano

Pictures from a 2003 Veterans Tour that included Schmölln.

Mayor Köhler and Jay Hamilton unveiling plaque.
@2003 Sven Krause
Veterans of the 76th Division
@2003 Anne Adams
@2003 Charles Themar

Inscription on plaque:

THIS PLAQUE RESPECTFULLY
PRESENTED TO
THE PEOPLE OF SCHMOLLN, THURINGEN, GERMANY
BY
THE 76TH INFANTRY DIVISION
AND
COMPANY I, 304TH INFANTRY REGIMENT

UNITED STATES ARMY
WHO SERVED IN THIS CITY FROM MAY TO JULY 1945
“THANK YOU FOR REMEMBERING US”
76TH INFANTRY DIVISION ASSOCIATION
APRIL 13, 2003

Postscript

Dave Keefe

In 2010 David Keefe, a US Marine and grandson to Richard Keefe (I-304-76), visited Schmölln to honor his Grandfather’s service in the War and to see the plaque firsthand. Here’s the video he took.


For more pics of Schmölln taken by David Keefe, go to
Schmölln, Germany – Then and Now

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