Congressional Medal of Honor Society

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World War II - U.S. Army

Thomas W Wigle

Details
  • Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company K, 135th Infantry,
    34th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 14, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Monte Frassino, Italy
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 three parallel high terraced stone walls, was twice thrown back by the withering crossfire. Second 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 three 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 to 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.
Medal of Honor Recipient Thomas W. Wigle
Medal of Honor Recipient Thomas W. Wigle
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: May 18, 1909, Indianapolis, Marion County, IN, United States
  • Died: September 16, 1944, Italy
  • Buried: Arlington National Cemetery (MH) (34-3307), Arlington, VA, United States
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