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Dirk J. Vlug, Private First Class, U.S. Army

Picture of Dirk J. Vlug, Private First Class, U.S. Army

Rank: Private First Class, U.S. Army,

Organization:  126th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division.

Place:  Near Limon, Leyte, Philippine Islands

Date:  15 December 1944.

Entered service at: Grand Rapids, Mich.

Birth: Maple Lake, Minn.

General Order No. 60, 26 June 1946.

 

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.

 

Private First Class Vlug served in the Michigan Army National Guard from 23 May 1949 to 25 January 1951 and was honorably discharged as a Master Sergeant.

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