Drabik, Alexander A, born on 28-02-1910 in Holland, Ohio, was the first American soldier of the 9th Army under General William Simpson to cross the Rhine River into Germany. Under heavy machine-gun fire, Drabik dashed across the Erich Ludendorff
bridge near Remagen on 07-03-1945, while Germans tried desperately to detonate it. For his heroism, Drabik was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross . U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur has repeatedly sponsored legislation to award him the Medal of Honor. The German General Walter Model committed suicide close by, soon after the lost of this bridge and the last commander of the bridge, Major der Wehrmacht, Johannes “Hans” Scheller
was executed for leaving the bridge intact, age 22, on 14-03-1945, by a flying court near Birnbach. Drabik later said, we ran down the middle of the bridge, shouting as we went.
I didn’t stop because I knew that if I kept moving they couldn’t hit me. My men were in squad column and not one of them was hit. We took cover in some bomb craters. Then we just sat and waited for others to come. That’s the way it was. Drabik was the son of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Drabik, Polish immigrants who raised thirteen children on a farm near Holland and Toledo, Ohio. Prior to his enlistment, he worked as a butcher in Holland, Ohio. Early in his military career, he distinguished himself by rescuing 120 recruits who had become lost on the California desert. Drabik was seriously wounded during the Battle of the Bulge. He receives the Distinguished Service Cross, April 1945. On 18-08-1945, Toledo honored him and his commanding officer, Major General John William Leonard, with a parade.
Death and burial ground of Drabik, Alexander A.
General John Leonard died in 1974 and Alexander Drabik was killed, at the old age of 83, in an auto accident on 28-09-1993, en route to a reunion of his unit. Drabik is buried with his wife Margarit, who died age 79 in the same accident, on the Resurrection Cemetery in Toledo, Ohio.