Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Co. C, 325th
Glider Infantry, 82d Airborne Division.
Place and date: Merderet River
at la Fiere, France, 9 June 1944.
Entered service at: Grand Island, N.Y.
Birth: Grand Island, N.Y.
G.O. No.: 22, 28 February 1946.
was a member of Company C, 325th Glider Infantry, on 9 June 1944 advancing
with the forward platoon to secure a bridgehead across the Merderet River
at La Fiere, France. At dawn the platoon had penetrated an outer line of
machineguns and riflemen, but in so doing had become cut off from the rest
of the company. Vastly superior forces began a decimation of the stricken
unit and put in motion a flanking maneuver which would have completely
exposed the American platoon in a shallow roadside ditch where it had taken
cover. Detecting this danger, Pfc. DeGlopper volunteered to support his
comrades by fire from his automatic rifle while they attempted a withdrawal
through a break in a hedgerow 40 yards to the rear. Scorning a concentration
of enemy automatic weapons and rifle fire, he walked from the ditch onto
the road in full view of the Germans, and sprayed the hostile positions
with assault fire. He was wounded, but he continued firing. Struck again,
he started to fall; and yet his grim determination and valiant fighting
spirit could not be broken. Kneeling in the roadway, weakened by his grievous
wounds, he leveled his heavy weapon against the enemy and fired burst after
burst until killed outright. He was successful in drawing the enemy action
away from his fellow soldiers, who continued the fight from a more advantageous
position and established the first bridgehead over the Merderet. In the
area where he made his intrepid stand his comrades later found the ground
strewn with dead Germans and many machineguns and automatic weapons which
he had knocked out of action. Pfc. DeGlopper's gallant sacrifice and unflinching
heroism while facing unsurmountable odds were in great measure responsible
for a highly important tactical victory in the Normandy Campaign.
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)