John Frink was born on October 7, 1951, in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. He enlisted in the Warrant Officer Aviation Training Program on August 31, 1970, and was appointed a Warrant Officer and awarded his Army Aviator Wings on November 29, 1971. After completing OH-6 Cayuse transition training, he deployed to Southeast Asia, where he served as a UH-1 Huey pilot with F Troop, 8th Cavalry Regiment of the 196th Infantry Brigade in South Vietnam from February 1972 until he was killed in action on April 2, 1972. WO1 Frink was officially listed as Missing in Action until declared dead on April 16, 1973. His remains were returned to the U.S. on February 8, 1993, and he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
His Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
For heroism while participating in aerial flight: Warrant Officer John W. Frink distinguished himself by heroism while serving as pilot of a UH-1H helicopter and lead recovery ship with F Troop, 8th Cavalry, 196th Infantry Brigade on 2 April 1972. Warrant Officer Frink's aircraft was part of a team that was flying a rescue mission of downed United States Air Force pilots in an area north of Dong Ha in the Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam. As Warrant Officer Frink's aircraft approached the pilots' location, he was engaged by heavy anti-aircraft fire including .30 caliber machineguns and small arms fire from 360 degrees around. All radio contact with his ship was lost but he continued his approach until smoke was noted from the engine and the aircraft went into a seemingly uncontrollable attitude and fell into a known enemy locations where visual contact with Warrant Officer Frink's ship was rendered impossible. Warrant Officer Frink's extraordinary heroism against a numerically superior North Vietnamese force was kin keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.