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First Name: Dale

Last Name: Wayrynen

Birthplace: Moose Lake, MN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Minneapolis, MN
Middle Name: Eugene

Date of Birth: 18 January 1947

Date of Death: 18 May 1967

Rank: Specialist 4

Years Served: 1965 - 1967
Dale Eugene Wayrynen

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Dale Eugene Wayrynen
Specialist Four, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Specialist Four Dale Eugene Wayrynen (18 January 1947 - 18 May 1967) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded America's highest military award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the Vietnam War.

Dale Eugene Wayrynen was born on 18 January 1947 in Moose Lake, MN. He entered the Army at Minneapolis, MN. On 18 May 1967, Wayrynen was in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam when his unit came under attack. During the fight, Wayrynen threw himself on an enemy-thrown grenade that was tossed into his company, saving many lives at the cost of his own.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Specialist Four, U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion, 502d Infantry, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.

Place and date: Quang Ngai, Province, Republic of Vietnam, 18 May 1967.

Entered service at: Minneapolis, MN. Born: 18 January 1947, Moose Lake, MN.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4 Wayrynen distinguished himself with Company B, during combat operations near Duc Pho. His platoon was assisting in the night evacuation of the wounded from an earlier enemy contact when the lead man of the unit met face to face with a Viet Cong soldier. The American's shouted warning also alerted the enemy who immediately swept the area with automatic weapons fire from a strongly built bunker close to the trail and threw hand grenades from another nearby fortified position. Almost immediately, the lead man was wounded and knocked from his feet. Sp4 Wayrynen, the second man in the formation, leaped beyond his fallen comrade to kill another enemy soldier who appeared on the trail, and he dragged his injured companion back to where the point squad had taken cover. Suddenly, a live enemy grenade landed in the center of the tightly grouped men. Sp4 Wayrynen, quickly assessing the danger to the entire squad as well as to his platoon leader who was nearby, shouted a warning, pushed one soldier out of the way, and threw himself on the grenade at the moment it exploded. He was mortally wounded. His deep and abiding concern for his fellow soldiers was significantly reflected in his supreme and courageous act that preserved the lives of his comrades. Sp4 Wayrynen's heroic actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the service, and they reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The name Dale Eugene Wayrynen is inscribed on Panel 20E - Line 52.

Death and Burial

Specialist Four Dale Eugene Wayrynen was killed in action on 18 May 1967. He is buried at Rice River Lutheran Cemetery in McGregor, MN.

Honoree ID: 1105   Created by: MHOH




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