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First Name: Dirk

Last Name: Vlug

Birthplace: Maple Lake, MN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Grand Rapids, MI
Middle Name: John

Date of Birth: 20 August 1916

Date of Death: 25 June 1996

Rank: Master Sergeant

Years Served: 1941 - 1951
Dirk John Vlug

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Dirk John Vlug

Master Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Master Sergeant Dirk John Vlug (20 August 1916 - 25 June 1996) 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.

Dirk John Vlug was born on 20 August 1916 in Maple Lake, MN. He joined the Army from Grand Rapids, MI. On 15 December 1944, he was serving as a Private First Class in the 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division. During a battle that day near Limon in the Philippine province of Leyte, Vlug single-handedly destroyed five enemy tanks. For his actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 126th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Limon, Leyte, Philippine Islands, 15 December 1944.

Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty when an American roadblock on the Ormoc Road was attacked by a group of enemy tanks. He left his covered position, and with a rocket launcher and 6 rounds of ammunition, advanced alone under intense machinegun 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, and 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 steep embankment. 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 mission.

Death and Burial

Master Sergeant Dirk John Vlug died on 25 June 1996 at age 79. He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Grand Rapids, MI, in X-203.

Honoree ID: 1690   Created by: MHOH




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