Medal of Honor recipient Alfred B. Nietzel was born, April 27, 1921, in Queens, N.Y.
He joined the U.S. Army, Oct. 5, 1940.
Nietzel is being recognized for his valorous actions in Heistern, Germany, Nov. 18, 1944. When an enemy assault threatened to overrun his unit's position, Nietzel selflessly covered for the retreating members of his squad, expending all his ammunition and holding his post until he was killed by an enemy hand grenade.
Nietzel received the Medal of Honor, March 18, 2014; Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one Bronze Service Star, World War II Victory Medal, Presidential Unit Citation and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Medal of Honor Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
Sergeant Alfred B. Nietzel distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a section leader for Company H, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Heistern, Germany on November 18, 1944. That afternoon, Sergeant Nietzel fought tenaciously to repel a vicious enemy attack against his unit. Sergeant Nietzel employed accurate, intense fire from his machinegun and successfully slowed the hostile advance. However, the overwhelming enemy force continued to press forward. Realizing he desperately needed reinforcements, Sergeant Nietzel ordered the three remaining members of his squad to return to the company command post and secure aid. He immediately turned his attention to covering their movement with his fire. After expending all his machinegun ammunition, Sergeant Nietzel began firing his rifle into the attacking ranks until he was killed by the explosion of an enemy grenade. Sergeant Nietzel’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Citation represents Soldier's rank at time of action.
*NIETZEL, ALFRED B. (KIA)
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Distinguished
Service Cross (Posthumously) to Alfred B. Nietzel (12018923), Sergeant, U.S. Army,for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company H, 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 18 November 1944.
Sergeant Nietzel's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty at the cost of his life, exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 53 (1945)
Home Town: Queens, New York