Dirk J. Vlug

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Dirk J. Vlug
Born (1916-08-20)August 20, 1916
Maple Lake, Minnesota
Died June 25, 1996(1996-06-25) (aged 79)
Place of burial Greenwood Cemetery, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1941 - 1951
Rank Master Sergeant
Unit 1st Battalion, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Medal of Honor

Dirk John Vlug [1] (August 20, 1916 – June 25, 1996) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.

Personal photo taken by Dirk J. Vlug of destroyed Japanese tanks.
Dirk J. Vlug is welcomed home during parade in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Vlug joined the Army from Grand Rapids, Michigan in April 1941,[2] and by December 15, 1944 was serving as a private first class in the 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division. On that day, near Limon in the Philippine province of Leyte, Vlug single-handedly destroyed five enemy tanks. For his actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor a year and a half later, on June 26, 1946. He subsequently left the army and joined the Michigan National Guard in May 1949, retiring with the rank of Master Sergeant in January 1951.[3]

Vlug died at age 79 and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

See also[edit]