The two Holmesburg Prison inmates, Joseph Bowen and Frederick Burton, wanted a room to meet with their Muslim religious group.

So on May 31, 1973, they made their way into Deputy Warden Robert Fromhold's office. After their request was denied, they attacked him.

Hearing sounds of a struggle, Warden Patrick Curran, 47, rushed in and suffered the same fate as Fromhold, 51, stabbed to death with table knives Bowen and Burton had honed to razor sharpness.

They were the first and only correctional officers to be killed in the line of duty in the city.

Yesterday, in front of the old Holmesburg Prison on Torresdale Avenue, rows and rows of correctional officers, police officers and police commanders stood tall under the blazing sun to honor Curran and Fromhold during a plaque-dedication ceremony.

The Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on State Road was named in honor of the warden and deputy warden, whose ultimate sacrifice was commended yesterday by public officials and Jimmy Binns, the attorney who founded the plaque program.

Robert Fromhold Jr., son of the slain deputy and a retired city firefighter, told those gathered that his father never got the chance to see his grandchildren or great-grandchildren. He said his father was always willing to help people, and his "second love after my mom was his motorcycle."

Patrick Curran, a son of the slain warden, and now a Fire Department battalion chief, said his father was "a quiet, unassuming man" of great strength and character, who taught him and his brothers to take care of each other, and especially their sister.

Before the 1973 prison murders, Bowen fatally shot Philadelphia Police Officer Joseph Kelly in 1971 and Burton was part of a group of men who conspired to fatally shoot Fairmount Park Police Sgt. Frank VonColln in 1970.