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First Name: Thomas

Last Name: Wigle

Birthplace: Indianapolis, IN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Detroit, MI
Middle Name: W.

Date of Birth: 18 May 1909

Date of Death: 16 September 1944

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Years Served:
Thomas W. Wigle

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Thomas W. Wigle

Second Lieutenant, U. S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Second Lieutenant Thomas W. Wigle (18 May 1909 - 16 September 1944) was a U.S. Army officer who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II.

Thomas W. Wigle was born on 18 May 1909 in Indianapolis, IN. He joined the Army from Detroit, MI. On 14 September 1944, he was serving as a Second Lieutenant in Company K, 135th Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division. In Monte Frassino, Italy, that day, Wigle assumed command of a platoon and led an assault on a heavily fortified German position. He single-handedly attacked three German-held houses before being wounded. He died of his wounds two days later. For his heroism, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company K, 135th Infantry, 34th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Monte Frassino, Italy, 14 September 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in the vicinity of Monte Frassino, Italy. The 3d Platoon, in attempting to seize a strongly fortified hill position protected by 3 parallel high terraced stone walls, was twice thrown back by the withering crossfire. 2d Lt. Wigle, acting company executive, observing that the platoon was without an officer, volunteered to command it on the next attack. Leading his men up the bare, rocky slopes through intense and concentrated fire, he succeeded in reaching the first of the stone walls. Having himself boosted to the top and perching there in full view of the enemy, he drew and returned their fire while his men helped each other up and over. Following the same method, he successfully negotiated the second. Upon reaching the top of the third wall, he faced 3 houses which were the key point of the enemy defense. Ordering his men to cover him, he made a dash through a hail of machine-pistol fire to reach the nearest house. Firing his carbine as he entered, he drove the enemy before him out of the back door and into the second house. Following closely on the heels of the foe, he drove them from this house into the third where they took refuge in the cellar. When his men rejoined him, they found him mortally wounded on the cellar stairs which he had started to descend to force the surrender of the enemy. His heroic action resulted in the capture of 36 German soldiers and the seizure of the strongpoint.

Death and Burial

Second Lieutenant Thomas W. Wigle died on 16 September 1944 of wounds received in action two days earlier. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA, in Section 34, Lot 3307.

Honoree ID: 1711   Created by: MHOH




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