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Ralph George Neppel



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Holy Family Cemetery

neppel_ralph2.jpg (88019 bytes)

Born:  October 31, 1923 at Willey, IA

Entered Service in the US Army from Glidden, IA

Earned The Medal of Honor During World War II For heroism December 14, 1944 at Birgel, Germany

Died:  January 27, 1987 at the age of 63

Sergeant Ralph Neppel was the leader of a machinegun squad defending an approach to the village of Birgel, Germany, on 14 December 1944, when an enemy tank supported by 20 infantrymen, counterattacked. He held his fire until the Germans were within 100 yards of him, then raked the foot soldiers beside the tank killing several of them. The enemy armor continued to press forward and, at the pointblank range of 30 yards, fired a high-velocity shell into the American emplacement, wounding the entire squad. Sergeant Neppel was blown 10 yards from his gun by the blast and his left leg was severed below the knee. He also suffered from other wounds. Despite his injuries and the danger from the onrushing tank and infantry, he dragged himself back to his position on his elbows, remounted his gun and killed the remaining enemy riflemen. Stripped of its infantry protection, the tank was forced to withdraw.



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