Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company A, 38th Armored
Infantry Battalion, 7th Armored Division.
Place and date: Kirchain, Germany,
29 March 1945.
Entered service at: Kingston, N.Y.
Birth: Kingston, N.Y.
G.O. No.: 119, 17 December 1945.
Citation: He was a squad leader when the
task force to which his unit was attached encountered resistance in its
advance on Kirchain, Germany. Between the town's outlying buildings 300
yards distant, and the stalled armored column were a minefield and 2 bridges
defended by German rocket-launching teams and riflemen. From the town itself
came heavy small-arms fire. Moving forward with his men to protect engineers
while they removed the minefield and the demolition charges attached to
the bridges, S/Sgt. Dietz came under intense fire. On his own initiative
he advanced alone, scorning the bullets which struck all around him, until
he was able to kill the bazooka team defending the first bridge. He continued
ahead and had killed another bazooka team, bayoneted an enemy soldier armed
with a panzerfaust and shot 2 Germans when he was knocked to the ground
by another blast of another panzerfaust. He quickly recovered, killed the
man who had fired at him and then jumped into waist-deep water under the
second bridge to disconnect the demolition charges. His work was completed;
but as he stood up to signal that the route was clear, he was killed by
another enemy volley from the left flank. S/Sgt. Dietz by his intrepidity
and valiant effort on his self-imposed mission, single-handedly opened
the road for the capture of Kirchain and left with his comrades an inspiring
example of gallantry in the face of formidable odds.
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)