In Memory of
U.S. Army First Lieutenant
Willibald C. Bianchi
Brookings County
Brookings, South Dakota
Killed in Action on January 9, 1945

Willibald C. Bianchi

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 reads:

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 Leaf Clusters.

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.