Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Arthur

Last Name: Beyer

Birthplace: Saint Ansgar, IA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: St. Ansgar, IA
Middle Name: Otto

Date of Birth: 20 May 1909

Date of Death: 16 February 1965

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served: 1941 - 1945
Arthur Otto Beyer

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Arthur Otto Beyer
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Sergeant Arthur Otto Beyer (20 May 1909 - 16 February 1965) was a U.S. Army soldier and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during World War II.

Arthur Otto Beyer was born on 20 May 1909 to Richard and Anna Beyer in Saint Ansgar, IA. His father died prematurely, and Beyer went to work to help support his mother and three siblings after he completed eighth grade. He was an auto-mechanic at the time he joined the Army in 1941.

Beyer joined the military from St. Ansgar. On 15 January 1945, he was serving as a Corporal in Company C, 603rd Tank Destroyer Battalion. On that day near Arloncourt, Belgium, he used hand grenades and his carbine to single-handedly destroy two German machine gun positions before working his way through a honeycombed series of enemy foxholes-killing and capturing German soldiers as he went. For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry Truman.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company C, 603rd Tank Destroyer Battalion.

Place and date: Near Arloncourt, Belgium, 15 January 1945.

Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry in action. His platoon, in which he was a tank-destroyer gunner, was held up by antitank, machinegun, and rifle fire from enemy troops dug in along a ridge about 200 yards to the front. Noting a machinegun position in this defense line, he fired upon it with his 76-mm. gun killing 1 man and silencing the weapon. He dismounted from his vehicle and, under direct enemy observation, crossed open ground to capture the 2 remaining members of the crew. Another machinegun, about 250 yards to the left, continued to fire on him. Through withering fire, he advanced on the position. Throwing a grenade into the emplacement, he killed 1 crewmember and again captured the 2 survivors. He was subjected to concentrated small-arms fire but, with great bravery, he worked his way a quarter mile along the ridge, attacking hostile soldiers in their foxholes with his carbine and grenades. When he had completed his self-imposed mission against powerful German forces, he had destroyed 2 machinegun positions, killed 8 of the enemy and captured 18 prisoners, including 2 bazooka teams. Cpl. Beyer's intrepid action and unflinching determination to close with and destroy the enemy eliminated the German defense line and enabled his task force to gain its objective.

Beyer also witnessed the horrors at Buchenwald when American troops liberated the prisoners held in the German concentration camp. Beyer rose to the rank of Sergeant before leaving the Army.

After returning from the war, he moved to rural Buffalo, ND, and worked as a farm hand. He married Marian Hicks in 1962, and they traveled to the White House with other Medal of Honor recipients for a special reception hosted by President John F. Kennedy in May 1963.

Death and Burial

Sergeant Arthur Otto Beyer died on 16 February 1965, at his farm in Saint Ansgar, IA, at age 55. He is buried at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in his hometown of St. Ansgar, IA.

Honoree ID: 1291   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image