Vlug, Dirk John

Date of birth:
August 20th, 1916 (Maple Lake/Minnesota, United States)
Date of death:
June 25th, 1996 (Grand Rapids/Michigan, United States)
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Private 1st Class
Unit:
1st Battalion, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division, U.S. Army
Awarded on:
June 26th, 1946
"He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty when an American roadblock on the Ormoc Road was attacked by a group of enemy tanks. He left his covered position, and with a rocket launcher and 6 rounds of ammunition, advanced alone under intense machinegun and 37-mm. fire. Loading single-handedly, he destroyed the first tank, killing its occupants with a single round. As the crew of the second tank started to dismount and attack him, he killed 1 of the foe with his pistol, forcing the survivors to return to their vehicle, which he then destroyed with a second round. Three more hostile tanks moved up the road, so he flanked the first and eliminated it, and then, despite a hail of enemy fire, pressed forward again to destroy another. With his last round of ammunition he struck the remaining vehicle, causing it to crash down a steep embankment. Through his sustained heroism in the face of superior forces, Pfc. Vlug alone destroyed 5 enemy tanks and greatly facilitated successful accomplishment of his battalion's mission."
Medal of Honor - Army (MoH)

Sources

  • Photo 1: Find a Grave
  • Photo: John "J-Cat" Griffith via Find a Grave
  • - Jordan, Kenneth N., Yesterday’s Heroes – 433 men of World War II awarded the Medal of Honor 1941-1945, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., USA, 1996
    - Blakeley, H.W., The 32nd Infantry Division – In world War II, The Battery Press, Nashville, USA, 2000
    - 32nd-division.org

Photo