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Medal of Honor Recipients

from Wisconsin

during the Vietnam War

This page contains the names of all the Medal of Honor Recipients from Wisconsin during the Vietnam War that I have found. Please note that some of these Recipients are not officially accredited to Wisconsin. I have listed Recipients who were born in Wisconsin or lived in Wisconsin when they entered service; the U.S. Military may use different criteria.


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Read here of the deeds of these brave heroes and do not forget them!

The names which are preceded by an asterisk denote posthumous awards. This table lists the recipients by date, they are listed alphabetically below.

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photo courtesy of Home of Heroes

15 to 18 July 1966
Captain Modrzejewski, Robert J.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Entered service at Milwaukee, Wisconsin
U.S. Marine Corps, Company K, 3D Battalion, 4TH Marines, 3D Marine Division, FMF
Awarded for action in the Republic of Vietnam during Operation Hastings



 

25 April 1967
Specialist 4 Stumpf, Kenneth E.
Born in Neenah, Wisconsin; Entered service at Milwaukee, Wisconsin
U.S. Army, Company C, 1ST Battalion, 35TH Infantry, 25TH Infantry Division
Awarded for action near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam

 

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photo courtesy of Home of Heroes

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photo courtesy of Home of Heroes

20 May 1967
*Private First Class Bellrichard, Leslie Allen
Born in Janesville, Wisconsin; Entered service at Oakland, California
U.S. Army, Company C, 1ST Battalion, 8TH Infantry Regiment
Awarded for action in Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam



 

9 November 1967
*Captain Sijan, Lance P.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, entered service at Milwaukee, Wisconsin
U.S. Air Force, 4TH Allied POW Wing, Pilot of an F-4C aircraft
Awarded for action in North Vietnam

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photo courtesy of Home of Heroes

8 January 1968
Private First Class Wetzel, Gary George
Born in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Entered service at Milwaukee, Wisconsin
U.S. Army, 173D Assault Helicopter Company
Awarded for action near Ap Dong An, Republic of Vietnam



 

 


11 January 1969
First Lieutenant Fritz, Harold A.

Born in Chicago, Illinois; Entered service at Milwaukee, Wisconsin
U.S. Army, Troop A, 1ST Squadron, 11TH Armored Cavalry Regiment
Awarded for action near Quan Loi, Binh Long Province, Republic of Vietnam

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photo courtesy of Home of Heroes

 

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*Bellrichard, Leslie Allen

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 1ST Battalion, 8TH Infantry.

Place and date: Kontum Province Republic of Vietnam, 20 May 1967.

Entered service at: Oakland, California.

Born: 4 December 1941, Janesville, Wisconsin.

Citation: “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Acting as a fire team leader with Company C, during combat operations Pfc. Bellrichard was with 4 fellow soldiers in a foxhole on their unit's perimeter when the position came under a massive enemy attack. Following a 30-minute mortar barrage, the enemy launched a strong ground assault. Pfc. Bellrichard rose in face of a group of charging enemy soldiers and threw hand grenades into their midst, eliminating several of the foe and forcing the remainder to withdraw. Failing in their initial attack, the enemy repeated the mortar and rocket bombardment of the friendly perimeter, then once again charged against the defenders in a concerted effort to overrun the position. Pfc. Bellrichard resumed throwing hand grenades at the onrushing attackers. As he was about to hurl a grenade, a mortar round exploded just in front of his position, knocking him into the foxhole and causing him to lose his grip on the already armed grenade. Recovering instantly, Pfc. Bellrichard recognized the threat to the lives of his 4 comrades and threw himself upon the grenade, shielding his companions from the blast that followed. Although severely wounded, Pfc. Bellrichard struggled into an upright position in the foxhole and fired his rifle at the enemy until he succumbed to his wounds. His selfless heroism contributed greatly to the successful defense of the position, and he was directly responsible for saving the lives of several of his comrades. His acts are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.” Citation from U.S. Army Center of Military History.

 

 

Fritz, Harold A.

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Troop A, 1ST Squadron, 11TH Armored Cavalry Regiment.

Place and date: Binh Long Province, Republic of Vietnam, 11 January 1969.

Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Born: 21 February 1944, Chicago, Illinois.

Citation: “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. (then 1st Lt.) Fritz, Armor, U.S. Army, distinguished himself while serving as a platoon leader with Troop A, near Quan Loi. Capt. Fritz was leading his 7-vehicle armored column along Highway 13 to meet and escort a truck convoy when the column suddenly came under intense crossfire from a reinforced enemy company deployed in ambush positions. In the initial attack, Capt. Fritz' vehicle was hit and he was seriously wounded. Realizing that his platoon was completely surrounded, vastly outnumbered, and in danger of being overrun, Capt. Fritz leaped to the top of his burning vehicle and directed the positioning of his remaining vehicles and men. With complete disregard for his wounds and safety, he ran from vehicle to vehicle in complete view of the enemy gunners in order to reposition his men, to improve the defenses, to assist the wounded, to distribute ammunition, to direct fire, and to provide encouragement to his men. When a strong enemy force assaulted the position and attempted to overrun the platoon, Capt. Fritz manned a machinegun and through his exemplary action inspired his men to deliver intense and deadly fire which broke the assault and routed the attackers. Moments later a second enemy force advanced to within 2 meters of the position and threatened to overwhelm the defenders. Capt. Fritz, armed only with a pistol and bayonet, led a small group of his men in a fierce and daring charge which routed the attackers and inflicted heavy casualties. When a relief force arrived, Capt. Fritz saw that it was not deploying effectively against the enemy positions, and he moved through the heavy enemy fire to direct its deployment against the hostile positions. This deployment forced the enemy to abandon the ambush site and withdraw. Despite his wounds, Capt. Fritz returned to his position, assisted his men, and refused medical attention until all of his wounded comrades had been treated and evacuated. The extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by Capt. Fritz, at the repeated risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect the greatest credit upon himself, his unit, and the Armed Forces. Citation from U.S. Army Center of Military History.

 

 

Modrzejewski, Robert J.

Rank and organization: Major (then Capt.), U.S. Marine Corps, Company K, 3D Battalion, 4TH Marines, 3D Marine Division, FMF.

Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 15 to 18 July 1966.

Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Born: 3 July 1934, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Citation: “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On 15 July, during Operation HASTINGS, Company K was landed in an enemy-infested jungle area to establish a blocking position at a major enemy trail network. Shortly after landing, the company encountered a reinforced enemy platoon in a well-organized, defensive position. Maj. Modrzejewski led his men in the successful seizure of the enemy redoubt, which contained large quantities of ammunition and supplies. That evening, a numerically superior enemy force counterattacked in an effort to retake the vital supply area, thus setting the pattern of activity for the next 2 1/2 days. In the first series of attacks, the enemy assaulted repeatedly in overwhelming numbers but each time was repulsed by the gallant marines. The second night, the enemy struck in battalion strength, and Maj. Modrzejewski was wounded in this intensive action which was fought at close quarters. Although exposed to enemy fire, and despite his painful wounds, he crawled 200 meters to provide critically needed ammunition to an exposed element of his command and was constantly present wherever the fighting was heaviest, despite numerous casualties, a dwindling supply of ammunition and the knowledge that they were surrounded, he skillfully directed artillery fire to within a few meters of his position and courageously inspired the efforts of his company in repelling the aggressive enemy attack. On 18 July, Company K was attacked by a regimental-size enemy force. Although his unit was vastly outnumbered and weakened by the previous fighting, Maj. Modrzejewski reorganized his men and calmly moved among them to encourage and direct their efforts to heroic limits as they fought to overcome the vicious enemy onslaught. Again he called in air and artillery strikes at close range with devastating effect on the enemy, which together with the bold and determined fighting of the men of Company K, repulsed the fanatical attack of the larger North Vietnamese force. His unparalleled personal heroism and indomitable leadership inspired his men to a significant victory over the enemy force and reflected great credit upon himself, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service.” Citation from U.S. Army Center of Military History.

 

 

*Sijan, Lance P.

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Air Force, 4TH Allied POW Wing, Pilot of an F-4C aircraft.

Place and date: North Vietnam, 9 November 1967.

Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Born: 13 April 1942, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Citation: “While on a flight over North Vietnam, Capt. Sijan ejected from his disabled aircraft and successfully evaded capture for more than 6 weeks. During this time, he was seriously injured and suffered from shock and extreme weight loss due to lack of food. After being captured by North Vietnamese soldiers, Capt. Sijan was taken to a holding point for subsequent transfer to a prisoner of war camp. In his emaciated and crippled condition, he overpowered 1 of his guards and crawled into the jungle, only to be recaptured after several hours. He was then transferred to another prison camp where he was kept in solitary confinement and interrogated at length. During interrogation, he was severely tortured; however, he did not divulge any information to his captors. Capt. Sijan lapsed into delirium and was placed in the care of another prisoner. During his intermittent periods of consciousness until his death, he never complained of his physical condition and, on several occasions, spoke of future escape attempts. Capt. Sijan's extraordinary heroism and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty at the cost of his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Armed Forces. Citation from U.S. Army Center of Military History.

 

 

Stumpf, Kenneth E.

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant (then Sp4c.), U.S. Army, Company C, 1ST Battalion, 35TH Infantry, 25TH Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, 25 April 1967.

Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Born: 28 September 1944, Neenah, Wisconsin.

Citation: “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Stumpf distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader of the 3d Platoon, Company C, on a search and destroy mission. As S/Sgt. Stumpf's company approached a village, it encountered a North Vietnamese rifle company occupying a well fortified bunker complex. During the initial contact, 3 men from his squad fell wounded in front of a hostile machinegun emplacement. The enemy's heavy volume of fire prevented the unit from moving to the aid of the injured men, but S/Sgt. Stumpf left his secure position in a deep trench and ran through the barrage of incoming rounds to reach his wounded comrades. He picked up 1 of the men and carried him back to the safety of the trench. Twice more S/Sgt. Stumpf dashed forward while the enemy turned automatic weapons and machineguns upon him, yet he managed to rescue the remaining 2 wounded squad members. He then organized his squad and led an assault against several enemy bunkers from which continuously heavy fire was being received He and his squad successfully eliminated 2 of the bunker positions, but one to the front of the advancing platoon remained a serious threat. Arming himself with extra hand grenades, S/Sgt. Stumpf ran over open ground, through a volley of fire directed at him by a determined enemy, toward the machinegun position. As he reached the bunker, he threw a hand grenade through the aperture. It was immediately returned by the occupants, forcing S/Sgt. Stumpf to take cover. Undaunted, he pulled the pins on 2 more grenades, held them for a few seconds after activation, then hurled them into the position, this time successfully destroying the emplacement. With the elimination of this key position, his unit was able to assault and overrun the enemy. S/Sgt. Stumpf's relentless spirit of aggressiveness, intrepidity, and ultimate concern for the lives of his men, are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.” Citation from U.S. Army Center of Military History.

 

He graduated from Menasha High School in 1962. He served in the U.S. Army for 29 years, earning the rank of Sergeant Major. He was decorated with the Medal of Honor by President Lyndon Johnson on 19 Sep. 1968. On 8 Sep. ’07, the Isle of Valor in Menasha’s Smith Park was dedicated in honor of SSG Stumpf as well as 1SG Elmer Burr, also from Menasha, who was bestowed with the Medal of Honor during WWII. The Elmer Burr and Ken Stumpf Scholarship of Honor is also named in their honor and, since 2004, has recognized a graduating Menasha High School senior with plans to enlist in the military or pursue a career in public safety or community service.

 

 

Wetzel, Gary George

Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class (then Pfc.), U.S. Army, 173D Assault Helicopter Company.

Place and date: Near Ap Dong An, Republic of Vietnam, 8 January 1968.

Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Born: 29 September 1947, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Citation: “Sp4c. Wetzel, 173D Assault Helicopter Company, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life. above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Wetzel was serving as door gunner aboard a helicopter which was part of an insertion force trapped in a landing zone by intense and deadly hostile fire. Sp4c. Wetzel was going to the aid of his aircraft commander when he was blown into a rice paddy and critically wounded by 2 enemy rockets that exploded just inches from his location. Although bleeding profusely due to the loss of his left arm and severe wounds in his right arm, chest, and left leg, Sp4c. Wetzel staggered back to his original position in his gun-well and took the enemy forces under fire. His machinegun was the only weapon placing effective fire on the enemy at that time. Through a resolve that overcame the shock and intolerable pain of his injuries, Sp4c. Wetzel remained at his position until he had eliminated the automatic weapons emplacement that had been inflicting heavy casualties on the American troops and preventing them from moving against this strong enemy force. Refusing to attend his own extensive wounds, he attempted to return to the aid of his aircraft commander but passed out from loss of blood. Regaining consciousness, he persisted in his efforts to drag himself to the aid of his fellow crewman. After an agonizing effort, he came to the side of the crew chief who was attempting to drag the wounded aircraft commander to the safety of a nearby dike. Unswerving in his devotion to his fellow man, Sp4c. Wetzel assisted his crew chief even though the lost consciousness once again during this action. Sp4c. Wetzel displayed extraordinary heroism in his efforts to aid his fellow crewmen. His gallant actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country. Citation from U.S. Army Center of Military History.


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