Memorial Day is a time to honor and remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

  • Filter Recipient Database here
    • Service Branch
    • Conflict / Era
    • Additional Filters

World War II - U.S. Army

Dirk John cornelius Vlug

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 126th Infantry,
    32d Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: December 15, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Limon, Leyte, Philippine Islands
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 six rounds of ammunition, advanced alone under intense machine-gun and 37-mm fire. Loading singlehandedly, 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 one 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 five enemy tanks and greatly facilitated successful accomplishment of his battalion's mission.
Medal of Honor Recipient Dirk J. Vlug
Medal of Honor Recipient Dirk J. Vlug
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: June 7, 1946
    The White House, presented by Pres. Harry S. Truman
  • Born: August 20, 1916, Maple Lake, Wright County, MN, United States
  • Died: June 25, 1996, Grands Rapids, MI, United States
  • Buried: Greenwood Cemetery (MH) (X-203), Grand Rapids, MI, United States
  • Location of Medal: Michigan Heroes Museum, Frankenmuth, MI

Questions? For More Information Contact Us!