Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Arnold L Bjorklund

  • Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    142d Infantry Regiment,
    36th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 13, 1943
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Altavilla, Italy

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his 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 machine-gun and rifle fire. Ordering his men to give covering fire, with only three hand grenades, he crept and crawled forward to a German machine-gun 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 one grenade into the nest, destroyed the gun, and killed three Germans. Discovering a second machine gun 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 two 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. First Lt. Bjorklund located the mortar and worked his way under little cover to within ten yards of its position and threw his third grenade, destroying the mortar, killing two of the Germans, and forcing the remaining three to flee. His actions permitted the platoon to take its objective.

Medal of Honor Recipient Arnold L. Bjorklund
Medal of Honor Recipient Arnold L. Bjorklund
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Seattle, King County, Washington
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: August 30, 1944

    The White House (Oval Office), presented by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • Born: April 14, 1918, Clinton, Island County, WA, United States
  • Died: November 28, 1979, Vancouver, WA, United States
  • Buried: Williamette National Cemetery (MH) (0-3446), Portland, OR, United States

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