Awarded for actions during the World War II
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Private First Class Walter J. Dilbeck, Jr. (ASN: 35481476), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company F, 253d Infantry Regiment, 63d Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 6 April 1945, in the vicinity of Buchhof, Germany. When his company was hit from two sides by a strong and determined enemy force of over two hundred SS troops, Private First Class Dilbeck observed that panic was running wild among our troops. Everyone just took off for the rear allowing the enemy forces to move into the foxholes as fast as they were vacated. From this new position the Germans poured out a deadly stream of automatic and small arms fire causing terrific casualties among the Americans and giving them no chance to reorganize. Realizing that something had to be done to stop the enemy attack, Private First Class Dilbeck stopped voluntarily on a bare knoll and began to pour deadly automatic rifle fire into the ranks of the charging SS troops. With conspicuous gallantry and determination he stood his ground even through all the fire power of the enemy was almost upon him, but he continued to fire as fast as he could change magazines. The enemy attack finally stalled because of their terrible losses. Private First Class Dilbeck had killed or wounded over sixty of the SS troops. Because of his indomitable courage and fearless tenacity, Private First Class Dilbeck saved the lives of many of his comrades and made it possible for his company to withdraw successfully, reorganize and hold its new position. Private First Class Dilbeck's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
General Orders: Headquarters, Seventh U.S. Army, General Orders No. 92 (1946)
Action Date: 6-Apr-45
Rank: Private First Class
Company: Company F
Regiment: 253d Infantry Regiment
Division: 63d Infantry Division