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 • Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial
 • Margraten
 • Eijsden-Margraten Municipality
 • Limburg
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PFC Walter C. Wetzel
Birth: 1919
Huntington
Cabell County
West Virginia, USA
Death: Apr. 3, 1945
Birken-Honigsessen
Altenkirchener Landkreis
Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

World War II Medal of Honor Recipient. He received the award posthumously from US President Harry S. Truman on February 26, 1946 for his actions as a private first class in the 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division, US Army, on April 3, 1945, near Birken, Germany during the final days of World War II. Born June 7, 1919, he joined the US Army from Roseville, Michigan during World War II and was sent to the European Theater of Operations. During the Allied advance into Germany at the beginning of April 1945, he purposely smothered enemy grenade blasts in order to protect his fellow soldiers and he died as a result at the age of 25. In addition to the Medal of Honor, he also was awarded the Purple Heart, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. His Medal of Honor citation reads: "Pfc. Wetzel, an acting squad leader with the Antitank Company of the 13th Infantry, 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, 2 of which landed in the room where Pfc. Wetzel and the others had taken up firing positions. Shouting a warning to his fellow soldiers, Pfc. Wetzel threw himself on the grenades and, as they exploded, absorbed their entire blast, suffering wounds from which he died. The supreme gallantry of Pfc. 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." (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Note: Entered the service from Michigan.
 
Burial:
Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial
Margraten
Eijsden-Margraten Municipality
Limburg, Netherlands
Plot: Plot N, Row 18, Grave 10
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 05, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10248256
PFC Walter C. Wetzel
Added by: Roy Webb
 
PFC Walter C. Wetzel
Added by: John
 
PFC Walter C. Wetzel
Added by: Mr D
 
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-Anonymous
 Added: Apr. 3, 2016
Remembering you on the anniversary of your passing. May you rest in peace and may God richly bless you.
- Jeffrey Maksymowski
 Added: Apr. 3, 2016

- Bunny
 Added: Apr. 3, 2016
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