Paul Joseph Wiedorfer (1921 - 2011)

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Birthplace: Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Death: Died in Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Managed by: Marvin Caulk, (C)
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About Paul Joseph Wiedorfer

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Paul Joseph Wiedorfer, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty on 25 December 1944, while serving with Company G, 2d Battalion, 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division, in action at Chaumont, Belgium. Staff Sergeant Wiedorfer alone made it possible for his company to advance until its objective was seized. Company G had cleared a wooded area of snipers, and one platoon was advancing across an open clearing toward another wood when it was met by heavy machinegun fire from two German positions dug in at the edge of the second wood. These positions were flanked by enemy riflemen. The platoon took cover behind a small ridge approximately 40 yards from the enemy position. There was no other available protection and the entire platoon was pinned down by the German fire. It was about noon and the day was clear, but the terrain was extremely difficult due to a three-inch snowfall the night before over ice-covered ground. Private Wiedorfer, realizing that the platoon advance could not continue until the two enemy machinegun nests were destroyed, voluntarily charged alone across the slippery open ground with no protecting cover of any kind. Running in a crouched position, under a hail of enemy fire, he slipped and fell in the snow, but quickly rose and continued forward with the enemy concentrating automatic and small-arms fire on him as he advanced. Miraculously escaping injury, Private Wiedorfer reached a point some ten yards from the first machinegun emplacement and hurled a hand grenade into it. With his rifle he killed the remaining Germans, and, without hesitation, wheeled to the right and attacked the second emplacement. One of the enemy was wounded by his fire and the other six immediately surrendered. This heroic action by one man enabled the platoon to advance from behind its protecting ridge and continue successfully to reach its objective. A few minutes later, when both the platoon leader and the platoon sergeant were wounded, Private Wiedorfer assumed command of the platoon, leading it forward with inspired energy until the mission was accomplished.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 45, June 12, 1945

Action Date: December 25, 1944

Service: Army

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Company: Company G

Battalion: 2d Battalion

Regiment: 318th Infantry Regiment

Division: 80th Infantry Division

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Paul Wiedorfer's Timeline

1921
January 17, 1921
Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
2011
May 25, 2011
Age 90
Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
????
Parkville, Baltimore, Maryland, USA