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June 22, 2010 The Korea Herald/First U.S. quadruplets fought in Korean War

  • Writeradmin
  • Date2012-02-09 10:58:15
  • Count1268

First U.S. quadruplets fought in Korean War

The first reported U.S. male quadruplets served in the same unit in the Korean War.

According to data kept by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and U.S. news reports, Bernard Perricone and his brothers -- Anthony, Carl and Donald -- served in the same tank combat outfit for seven months in 1952.

They were born within 45 minutes of each other in Beaumont in 1929.

In 1951, they were drafted into the Army, which made a major publicity event out of their induction.

They were sometimes separated as they went to various tank training schools. When Carl was ordered to Korea, however, the quadruplets decided that they’d go as a team.

At that time, the U.S. armed services forbade siblings from serving in the same combat unit, since five brothers from the same family were killed on the same boat in November, 1942, as it was torpedoed by a German submarine.

The Perricones petitioned for their assignment to the same unit.


U.S. quadruplets return home at San Francisco by ship after fighting in the Korean War. From left are Anthony, Bernard, Carl, and Bernard Perricone. Yonhap News

U.S. Sen. Lyndon Johnson came to their aid and they were exempted from the Sullivan rule. Sen. Johnson served as the 36th U.S. President (1963-1969).

They came to Korea in May, 1952, spent seven months in the same tank unit and returned home without injury.

According to Houston Chronicle, the Perricones were Italian immigrants. Their house didn’t have electricity. A local newspaper started a campaign to raise money for them. Headline writers liked to call them the ABCD quads, with the letters referring to each of their initials.

Benito Mussolini sent a congratulatory telegram to their parents. The Perricones, though, had no love for dictators, so they did not answer.

Bernard was the first of the brothers to die. He suffered a heart attack in July, 1990, and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. He was 60. The other brothers are still living.

(
swchun@heraldm.com)