His name was Dirk John Vlug and he was a
United States Army soldier.
It was December 15, 1944, while he was
serving as a private first class in the 126th Infantry Regiment,
32nd Infantry Division when Vlug single-handedly destroyed five
enemy tanks. Here is the chronology of what happened:
- He left his covered position, and with a
rocket launcher and 6 rounds of ammunition, advanced alone
under intense machine gun 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.
- He 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
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
Dirk John Vlug was awarded the Medal of
Honor a year and a half later, on June 26, 1946. Vlug
passed away in 1996.