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Neppel, Ralph George

Date of birth:
October 31st, 1923 (Willey/Iowa, United States)
Date of death:
January 27th, 1987
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Sergeant
Unit:
Company M, 329th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division "Thunderbolt", U.S. Army
Awarded on:
September 10th, 1945
"He was leader of a machinegun squad defending an approach to the village of Birgel, Germany, on 14 December 1944, when an enemy tank, supported by 20 infantrymen, counterattacked. He held his fire until the Germans were within 100 yards and then raked the foot soldiers beside the tank killing several of them. The enemy armor continued to press forward and, at the pointblank range of 30 yards, fired a high-velocity shell into the American emplacement, wounding the entire squad. Sgt. Neppel, blown 10 yards from his gun, had 1 leg severed below the knee and suffered other wounds. Despite his injuries and the danger from the onrushing tank and infantry, he dragged himself back to his position on his elbows, remounted his gun and killed the remaining enemy riflemen. Stripped of its infantry protection, the tank was forced to withdraw. By his superb courage and indomitable fighting spirit, Sgt. Neppel inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy and broke a determined counterattack."
Medal of Honor - Army (MoH)

Sources

Photo