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Dirk John Vlug

Date of birth: August 20, 1916
Date of death: June 25, 1996
Burial location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Place of Birth: Minnesota, Maple Lake
Home of record: Grand Rapids Michigan

Dirk Vlug joined the Michigan National Guard after earning the Medal of Honor on active duty.


Medal of Honor

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private First Class Dirk John Vlug (ASN: 36155103), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Headquarters, 1st Battalion, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry Division, in action on 15 December 1944, at Limon, Leyte, Philippine Islands. When an American roadblock on the Ormoc Road was attacked by a group of enemy tanks, Private First Class Vlug left his covered position, and with a rocket launcher and six 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 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, Private First Class Vlug alone destroyed five enemy tanks and greatly facilitated successful accomplishment of his battalion's mission.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 60 (June 26, 1946)

Action Date: 15-Dec-44

Service: Army

Rank: Private First Class

Company: Headquarters

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 126th Infantry Regiment

Division: 32d Infantry Division