b. 01/05/1918 Cherry Grove, West Virginia. d. 28/03/1945 Lembeck, Germany.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 27-28/03/1945 Lembeck, Germany.
Hedrick joined the Army from Riverton, West Virginia in September 1940, and by March 27, 1945 was serving as a technical sergeant in Company I, 194th Glider Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division. On that day and the next, near Lembeck, Germany, he repeatedly charged through heavy fire to attack German positions and alone followed a group of German soldiers when they retreated into a castle. When the Germans indicated that they wished to surrender, Hedrick and four other men entered the castle, only to be fired upon by a German self-propelled gun. Hedrick was fatally wounded, but successfully covered the withdrawal of his men. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor seven months later, on October 19, 1945.
He displayed extraordinary heroism and gallantry in action on 27-March 28, 1945, in Germany. Following an airborne landing near Wesel, his unit was assigned as the assault platoon for the assault on Lembeck. Three times the landing elements were pinned down by intense automatic weapons fire from strongly defended positions. Each time, T/Sgt. Hedrick fearlessly charged through heavy fire, shooting his automatic rifle from his hip. His courageous action so inspired his men that they reduced the enemy positions in rapid succession. When 6 of the enemy attempted a surprise, flanking movement, he quickly turned and killed the entire party with a burst of fire. Later, the enemy withdrew across a moat into Lembeck Castle. T/Sgt. Hedrick, with utter disregard for his own safety, plunged across the drawbridge alone in pursuit. When a German soldier, with hands upraised, declared the garrison wished to surrender, he entered the castle yard with 4 of his men to accept the capitulation. The group moved through a sally port, and was met by fire from a German self-propelled gun. Although mortally wounded, T/Sgt. Hedrick fired at the enemy gun and covered the withdrawal of his comrades. He died while being evacuated after the castle was taken. His great personal courage and heroic leadership contributed in large measure to the speedy capture of Lembeck and provided an inspiring example to his comrades.
BURIAL LOCATION: NORTH FORK MEMORIAL CEMETERY, RIVERTON, WEST VIRGINIA.