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First Name: Arnold

Last Name: Bjorkland

Birthplace: Clinton, WA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Seattle, WA
Middle Name: L.

Date of Birth: 14 April 1918

Date of Death: 28 November 1979

Rank: First Lieutenant

Years Served:
Arnold L. Bjorklund

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Arnold L. Bjorkland
First Lieutenant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

First Lieutenant Arnold L. Bjorklund (14 April 1918 - 28 November 1979) was a U.S. Army officer and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during World War II.

Arnold L. Bjorklund was born on 14 April 1918 in Clinton, WA. He joined the Army from Seattle, WA. On 13 September 1943, he was serving as a First Lieutenant in the 36th Infantry Division. On that day near Altavilla, Italy, he single-handedly attacked and destroyed two German machine gun emplacements and a mortar position. For these heroic actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 36th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Altavilla, Italy, 13 September 1943.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Altavilla, Italy, 13 September 1943. When his company attacked a German position on Hill 424, the first platoon, led by 1st Lt. Bjorklund, moved forward on the right flank to the slope of the hill where it was pinned down by a heavy concentration of machinegun and rifle fire. Ordering his men to give covering fire, with only 3 hand grenades, he crept and crawled forward to a German machinegun position located on a terrace along the forward slope. Approaching within a few yards of the position, and while continuously exposed to enemy fire, he hurled 1 grenade into the nest, destroyed the gun and killed 3 Germans. Discovering a second machinegun 20 yards to the right on a higher terrace, he moved under intense enemy fire to a point within a few yards and threw a second grenade into this position, destroying it and killing 2 more Germans. The first platoon was then able to advance 150 yards further up the slope to the crest of the hill, but was again stopped by the fire from a heavy enemy mortar on the reverse slope. 1st Lt. Bjorklund located the mortar and worked his way under little cover to within 10 yards of its position and threw his third grenade, destroying the mortar, killing 2 of the Germans, and forcing the remaining 3 to flee. His actions permitted the platoon to take its objective.

Bjorklund left the Army while still a First Lieutenant.

Death and Burial

First Lieutenant Arnold L. Bjorklund died on 28 November 1979 at age 61. He is buried at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, OR, in Section O, Grave 3446.

Honoree ID: 1295   Created by: MHOH




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