Stuart S. Stryker
Private First Class, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II
Private First Class Stuart S. Stryker (30 October 1924 - 24 March 1945) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II. The Stryker vehicle is named in honor of both him and fellow Medal of Honor recipient Robert F. Stryker.
Stuart S. Stryker was born on 30 October 1924 in Portland, OR; he also entered the Army from that city. On 24 March 1945, he was serving as a Private First Class with Company E, 513th Parachute Infantry, 17th Airborne Division. Near Wesel, Germany, that day, he was a platoon runner whose heroism and self-sacrifice made possible the capture of more than 200 enemy soldiers and the freeing of 3 members of an American bomber crew they were holding prisoner. For his actions he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company E, 513th Parachute Infantry, 17th Airborne Division.
Place and date: Near Wesel, Germany, 24 March 1945.
Citation: He was a platoon runner, when the unit assembled near Wesel, Germany after a descent east of the Rhine. Attacking along a railroad, Company E reached a point about 250 yards from a large building used as an enemy headquarters and manned by a powerful force of Germans with rifles, machineguns, and 4 field pieces. One platoon made a frontal assault but was pinned down by intense fire from the house after advancing only 50 yards. So badly stricken that it could not return the raking fire, the platoon was at the mercy of German machine gunners when Pfc. Stryker voluntarily left a place of comparative safety, and, armed with a carbine, ran to the head of the unit. In full view of the enemy and under constant fire, he exhorted the men to get to their feet and follow him. Inspired by his fearlessness, they rushed after him in a desperate charge through an increased hail of bullets. Twenty-five yards from the objective the heroic soldier was killed by the enemy fusillades. His gallant and wholly voluntary action in the face of overwhelming firepower, however, so encouraged his comrades and diverted the enemy's attention that other elements of the company were able to surround the house, capturing more than 200 hostile soldiers and much equipment, besides freeing 3 members of an American bomber crew held prisoner there. The intrepidity and unhesitating self-sacrifice of Pfc. Stryker were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.
Death and Burial
Private First Class Stuart S. Stryker was killed in action on 24 March 1945. He is buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, CA, in Section B, Grave 719.