Walter C. Wetzel

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Walter C. Wetzel

Birthdate: (25)
Birthplace: Huntington, Cabell, West Virginia, USA
Death: April 3, 1945 (25) (KIA)
Place of Burial: Margraten, Margraten, Limburg, The Netherlands
Managed by: Marvin Caulk, (C)
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About Walter C. Wetzel

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Private First Class Walter C. Wetzel, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. Private First Class Wetzel, an acting squad leader with the Anti-Tank Company of the 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division, was guarding his platoon's command post in a house at Birken, Germany, during the early morning hours of 3 April 1945, when he detected strong enemy forces moving in to attack. He ran into the house, alerted the occupants and immediately began defending the post against heavy automatic weapons fire coming from the hostile troops. Under cover of darkness the Germans forced their way close to the building where they hurled grenades, two of which landed in the room where Private First Class Wetzel and the others had taken up firing positions. Shouting a warning to his fellow soldiers, Private First Class Wetzel threw himself on the grenades and, as they exploded, absorbed their entire blast, suffering wounds from which he died. The supreme gallantry of Private First Class Wetzel saved his comrades from death or serious injury and made it possible for them to continue the defense of the command post and break the power of a dangerous local counterthrust by the enemy. His unhesitating sacrifice of his life was in keeping with the U.S. Army's highest traditions of bravery and heroism.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 21 (February 26 1946)

Action Date: 3-Apr-45

Service: Army

Rank: Private First Class

Company: Anti-Tank Company

Regiment: 13th Infantry Regiment

Division: 8th Infantry Division

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Walter C. Wetzel's Timeline

June 7, 1919
Huntington, Cabell, West Virginia, USA
April 3, 1945
Age 25
Margraten, Margraten, Limburg, The Netherlands