Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 36th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Altavilla, Italy, 13 September 1943.
Entered service at: Seattle, Wash.
Birth: Clinton, Wash.
G.O. No.: 73, 6 September 1944.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life
above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Altavilla,
Italy, 13 September 1943. When his company attacked a German position on
Hill 424, the first platoon, led by 1st Lt. Bjorklund, moved forward on
the right flank to the slope of the hill where it was pinned down by a
heavy concentration of machinegun and rifle fire. Ordering his men to give
covering fire, with only 3 hand grenades, he crept and crawled forward
to a German machinegun position located on a terrace along the forward
slope. Approaching within a few yards of the position, and while continuously
exposed to enemy fire, he hurled 1 grenade into the nest, destroyed the
gun and killed 3 Germans. Discovering a second machinegun 20 yards to the
right on a higher terrace, he moved under intense enemy fire to a point
within a few yards and threw a second grenade into this position, destroying
it and killing 2 more Germans. The first platoon was then able to advance
150 yards further up the slope to the crest of the hill, but was again
stopped by the fire from a heavy enemy mortar on the reverse slope. 1st
Lt. Bjorklund located the mortar and worked his way under little cover
to within 10 yards of its position and threw his third grenade, destroying
the mortar, killing 2 of the Germans, and forcing the remaining 3 to flee.
His actions permitted the platoon to take its objective .
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)