Wiedorfer, Paul Joseph.

Back to all people

Wiedorfer, Paul Joseph, born 17-01-1921 in Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland, USA, to Joseph Paul Wiedorfer (1889–1957) and his wife Mary E, born Youngbauer, Wiedorfer (1896–1975).   Paul had tree sisters and one brother: Ann Marie Wiedorfer Amtmann (1918–2007), Joseph Paul Wiedorfer Jr (1919–1998), Margaret Frances Wiedorfer Pitt (1922–2019) and Catherine Laura Wiedorfer Smith (1924–2020).

Paul raised in the 2400 block of McElderry Street, he attended St. Andrew’s School, and graduated in 1940 from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. On 11-11-2008, a plaque honoring him was placed in Poly’s Memorial Hall. Wiedorfer joined the United States Army from his birth city in July 1943.

When he joined the Army, he had been married to his bride, Alice Cecelia Stauffer, (1920-2008) for just six months, and working as an apprentice power station operator at the Baltimore Gas & Electric Company in Baltimore, and was living in the 1900 block of Bank Street.

Wiedorfer received basic training at Camp Lee, Virginia. Paul was then assigned to the Quartermaster Corps, and then passed the examination for cadet air training. He was training to be a pilot, but the Army switched him to infantry because of greater need. On the way to England he crossed the Atlantic Ocean on RMS Queen Mary, and by 25-12-1944, was serving as a private in Company G, 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division.. under command of Lieutenant General Horace Logan McBride  

On that Christmas Day, near Chaumont, Belgium, Wiedorfer single-handedly charged across 40 yards (37 m) of open ground, destroyed two German machine gun emplacements and took six Germans prisoner. Paul was subsequently promoted to staff sergeant and on 29-05-1945, issued the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.

While crossing the Saar River, he was severely wounded 10-02-1945, by a mortar shell that blew up near him; shrapnel broke his left leg, ripped into his stomach, and seriously injured two fingers on his right hand. The soldier next to him died from his wounds and Paul credited that soldier for saving his life. Recent research has discovered the soldier’s name to be PFC Milton C Smithers of Huntingdon, New Jersey.   Paul was evacuated to the 137th United States Army General Hospital in England where he was placed in traction. While in the hospital a sergeant reading Stars and Stripes asked him how he spelled his name, and then told him he had received the Medal of Honor. Later, on 29-05-1945, Brigadier General Egmont F. Koenig with a band entered the ward to present him with his medal.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Medal of Honor didn’t exist because there were no wars and we could all live in peace? And that the only way to spell war was love? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”

Death and burial ground of Wiedorfer, Paul Joseph.

Wiedorfer reached the rank of master sergeant before retiring from the Army. In addition to the Medal of Honor

  he was also awarded a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. Paul returned to Baltimore on 11-06-1945, and was given a ticker tape parade with General George C. Marshall  and Maryland governor Herbert O’Conor in attendance.

After the war Paul spent another three years recovering in different Army hospitals and then returned to Baltimore Gas & Electric, and retired in 1981 after 40 years of service. He and Alice Cecelia had four children. Wiedorfer died in Baltimore on 25-05-2011, at age 90. He was buried in Baltimore’s Moreland Memorial Park Cemetery on 07-07- 2011.


Message(s), tips or interesting graves for the webmaster:    robhopmans@outlook.com

Share on :


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *