STUART S. STRYKER
Recipient of THE MEDAL OF HONOR
Born on October 30, 1924, in Portland, Oregon, PFC Stuart S. Stryker joined the Army in July 1943. Following his training, he was assigned to Company E, 514th Parachute Infantry Regiment and saw combat action in Belgium and France. In late March 1945 he participated in a combat airborne mission over Germany during Operation Varsity, the largest airborne operation in history that was conducted in a single day at one location. The aircraft he parachuted from missed its assigned drop zone but the men soon recovered and located their intended target, a large farmhouse fortified with enemy soldiers. When his platoon tasked with making a frontal assault became pinned down by intense fire, Stryker voluntarily ran to the head of the unit, called for the soldiers to follow him, and charged the German position. He was killed by hostile fire 25 yards from the building. His attack provided a diversion which allowed other elements of Company E to take the position, capturing over 200 soldiers and freeing three American airmen held as prisoners by the Germans.
For these actions, Stryker was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor nine months later, on December 11, 1945. His citation read: He was one of three people to earn the medal during Operation Varsity. Aged 20 at his death, Stryker was buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California.
In 2002, the U.S. Army named its new armored fighting vehicle “Stryker” in honor of both Stuart S. Stryker and fellow Medal of Honor recipient Robert F. Stryker (unrelated).