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PFC Wetzel is truly one of Michigan's Own. He was a resident of Roseville, Macomb County, Michigan at the time of his enlistment in the U.S. Army on July 9, 1941. He saw combat with the 13th Infantry Regiment of the 8th Infantry Division in France and Germany from July 1944 until his death on April 3, 1945. The Michigan's Own Military & Space Museum in Frankenmuth, MI is proud to honor his memory and display his Medal of Honor.
Medal of Honor Award: Birken, Germany, April 3, 1945 - Private Wetzel, an acting squad leader with the Anti-tank Company of the 13th infantry, was guarding his platoon's command post in a house at Birken, Germany, during the early morning hours of April 3, 1945, when he detected strong enemy forces moving in to attack. He ran into the house, alerted the occupants and immediately began defending the post against heavy automatic weapons fire coming from the hostile troops. Under the cover of darkness the Germans forced their way close to the building where they hurled grenades, two of which landed in the room where Private Wetzel and others had taken up firing positions. Shouting a warning to his fellow soldiers, Private Wetzel through himself on the Grenades and as they exploded, absorbed the entire blast, suffering wounds from which he died. The supreme gallantry of Private Wetzel saved his comrades from death or serious injury and made it possible for them to continue the defense of the command post and break the power of a dangerous local counterthrust by the enemy. His unhesitating sacrifice of his life was in keeping with the U.S. Army's highest traditions of bravery and heroism. -