In Memory of
U.S. Army First Lieutenant
Willibald C. Bianchi
Brookings, South Dakota
Killed in Action on January 9, 1945
Willibald C. Bianchi was born in New Ulm, Minnesota. He came to South Dakota
to attend South Dakota State College. He graduated in 1940. He entered the
army from employment in Brookings. He was know at State College as "Bill."
He was a member of 45th Infantry Regiment, Philippine Scots. He
was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on March 5, 1942. His citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the
call of duty in action with the enemy on 3 February 1942, near Bagac, Province
of Bataan, Philippine Islands. When the rifle platoon of another company was
ordered to wipe out 2 stro9ng enemy machinegun nests, 1st Lt.
Bianchi voluntarily and of his own initative, advanced with the platoon
leading part of the men. When wounded early in the action by 2 bullets
through the left hand, he did not stop for first aid but discarded his rifle
and began firing a pistol. He located a machinegun nest and personally
silenced it with grenades. When wounded the second time by 2 machinegun
bullets through the chest muscles, 1st Lt. Bianchi climbed to the
top of an American tank, manned with its antiaircraft machinegun, and fired
into strongly held enemy position until knocked completely off the tank by a
third severe wound.
He was the third person to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor during
World War II. He also received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart with three Oak
He was killed on January 9, 1945. He is listed on the tablets of the Missing
at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines.
This entry was respectfully
submitted by Bonnie Bjork, Pierre, South Dakota.
Information for this entry was obtained from the American Battle Monument
Commission, the Medal of Honor Citations, and South Dakota in World War II.