Hoeven Presents Donald Diederich WWII Military Honors
DICKINSON, N.D. – At a ceremony in Dickinson today, Senator John Hoeven presented former Technical Sergeant Donald Diederich with a host of medals Mr. Diederich earned for valor in the U.S. Army during World War II, but never received. Inquiries made by the senator revealed documentation of the decorations on Mr. Diederich’s discharge papers and the senator worked to secure them.
“These long-overdue honors mark in tangible form Donald Diederich’s courage and our admiration, respect and gratitude for his service,” Hoeven said. “When you learn the story of Donald Dietrich’s experiences more than 60 years ago in a dangerous world and fierce war, you understand why he and his contemporaries have come to be known as ‘the greatest generation.’”
Mr. Diederich, now nearly 90-years-old, was a Technical Sergeant who served in the U.S. Army from April 1943 until his honorable discharge in January 1946. He served in New Guinea and Leyte Island as a winch operator, unloading ships at sea and shore. His ship was attacked by suicide bombers, was sunk, and had to be pulled to shore.
Donald stayed on the ship to help recover wounded soldiers and fight fires. The next day he went back to recover company papers on the ship despite being under fire. For the next ten days he unloaded ships while under fire by Japanese fighter planes. He is being awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and Bronze Star, and WWII Honorable Service Lapel Button.
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - awarded to any member of the United States Military who served in the Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1945.
- World War II (WWII) Victory Medal - awarded to any member of the United States military who served on active duty, or as a reservist, between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946.
- Army Good Conduct Medal - awarded to any active-duty enlisted member of the United States military who completes three consecutive years of “honorable and faithful service.”
- Philippine Liberation Ribbon with Bronze Star - presented to any service member, of both the Philippine Commonwealth and allied militaries, who participated in the liberation of the Philippine Islands between the dates of October 17, 1944 and September 2, 1945; and also participated in the initial landing operation of Leyte and adjoining islands from October 7 to October 20, 1944. The star denotes both engagements.
- Honorable Service Lapel Button - awarded to United States military service members who were discharged under honorable conditions during World War II.
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