Alfred B. Nietzel


Medal_of_Honor_ribbon-131x37Medal of Honor
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  • Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division
  • Place and date: Heistern, Germany, 18 November 1944
  • G.O. No.: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 38 (2014)

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Sergeant Alfred B. Nietzel distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a section leader for Company H, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Heistern, Germany on November 18, 1944. That afternoon, Sergeant Nietzel fought tenaciously to repel a vicious enemy attack against his unit. Sergeant Nietzel employed accurate, intense fire from his machinegun and successfully slowed the hostile advance. However, the overwhelming enemy force continued to press forward. Realizing he desperately needed reinforcements, Sergeant Nietzel ordered the three remaining members of his squad to return to the company command post and secure aid. He immediately turned his attention to covering their movement with his fire. After expending all his machinegun ammunition, Sergeant Nietzel began firing his rifle into the attacking ranks until he was killed by the explosion of an enemy grenade. Sergeant Nietzel’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.


Medal_of_Honor_ribbon-131x37Distinguished Service Cross
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  • Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division
  • Place and date: Heistern, Germany, 18 November 1944
  • G.O. No.: HQ, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 53 (1945)

Citation: Sergeant Alfred B. Nietzel, 12018923, 16th Infantry, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on 18 November 1944, in Germany. When a powerful enemy assault threatened to overrun his machine gun position, Sergeant Nietzel opened fire and slowed the hostile advance. Despite the accuracy and intensity of his fire, the enemy continued to close in upon his position. Realizing the need for reinforcements, Sergeant Nietzel ordered the three remaining members of his squad to return to the company command post and secure aid, covering their movement with his fire. When his machine gun ammunition was expended, he fired his rifle into the attacking ranks until he was killed by the explosion of an enemy grenade. By his superb courage and unhesitating self-sacrifice, Sergeant Nietzel delayed the enemy sufficiently, permitting reinforcements to occupy defensive positions and stop the hostile drive. Entered military service from New York.

Please note: this award was upgraded to the Medal of Honor on March 18, 2014.

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