Rank and organization:   Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 329th Infantry,
83d Infantry Division.
Place and date:   Birgel, Germany, 14 December 1944.
Entered service at:   Glidden, lowa.
Birth:   Willey, lowa.
G.O. No.: 77, 10
Citation:   He was leader of a machinegun squad defending
an approach to the village of Birgel, Germany, on 14 December 1944, when
an enemy tank, supported by 20 infantrymen, counterattacked. He held his
fire until the Germans were within 100 yards and then raked the foot soldiers
beside the tank killing several of them. The enemy armor continued to press
forward and, at the pointblank range of 30 yards, fired a high-velocity
shell into the American emplacement, wounding the entire squad. Sgt. Neppel,
blown 10 yards from his gun, had 1 leg severed below the knee and suffered
other wounds. Despite his injuries and the danger from the onrushing tank
and infantry, he dragged himself back to his position on his elbows, remounted
his gun and killed the remaining enemy riflemen. Stripped of its infantry
protection, the tank was forced to withdraw. By his superb courage and
indomitable fighting spirit, Sgt. Neppel inflicted heavy casualties on
the enemy and broke a determined counterattack.
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)