Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 9th Infantry,
Place and date: At Mouzon, France, 9 November 1918. Entered
service at: Glen Rock, N.J.
Birth: Holland. G.O. No.: 34, W.D., 1919. Citation:
While a member of the reconnaissance patrol, sent out at night to ascertain
the condition of a damaged bridge, Sgt. Van Iersel volunteered to lead
a party across the bridge in the face of heavy machinegun and rifle fire
from a range of only 75 yards. Crawling alone along the debris of the ruined
bridge he came upon a trap, which gave away and precipitated him into the
water. In spite of the swift current he succeeded in swimming across the
stream and found a lodging place among the timbers on the opposite bank.
Disregarding the enemy fire, he made a careful investigation of the hostile
position by which the bridge was defended and then returned to the other
bank of the river, reporting this valuable information to the battalion
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)