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Alton W. Knappenberger

Awarded the Medal of Honor

Born: December 31, 1923, Cooperstown, Pennsylvania
Died: June 9, 2008 (age 84), Earl Township, Pa.

Alton W. Knappenberger was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration - the Medal of Honor - for his actions in World War II. Knappenberger joined the Army from Spring Mount, Pennsylvania.

What do you know about Alton W. Knappenberger? Award your way with this quick quiz.

1. In Italy, what Army division was he a private first class with?

  • 3rd Infantry Division
  • 13th Infantry Division
  • 23rd Infantry Division

2. Knappenberger was fighting the Battle of Cisterna in Italy. The battle was part of what World War II offensive?

  • Breakout Anzio Beach
  • Battle of Rome
  • Battle of Monte Cassino

3. It was February 1, 1944 near Cisterna di Littoria, Italy. The Germans launched a heavy counterattack PFC Knappenberger's battalion. He crawled to an exposed knoll and went into position with his automatic rifle. An enemy machinegun opened fire, and bullets struck within 6 inches of him. What was the distance of the machine gun?

  • 85 yards away
  • 95 yards away
  • 105 yards away

4. Rising to a kneeling position, Pfc. Knappenberger opened fire on the hostile crew, knocked out the gun, killed 2 members of the crew, and wounded the third.

  • Fact or Myth?

5. While he fired at this hostile position, 2 Germans crawled to a point near the knoll and threw potato-masher grenades at him, but PFC Knappenberger killed them both with 1 burst from his automatic rifle. How close did the 2 German come to his position

  • 20 yards
  • 30 yards
  • 40 yards

6. An enemy 20mm. antiaircraft gun directed fire at him, and again Pfc. Knappenberger returned fire to wound 1 member of the hostile crew. Under tank and artillery shellfire, with shells bursting around within 15 yards of him, he held his precarious position. How close did the shells come to his position?

  • 15 yards
  • 30 yards
  • 45 yards

7. Finally, PFC Knappenberger rejoined his company. His action disrupted the enemy attack. How long did the fight last?

  • 30 minutes
  • 60 minutes
  • 2 hours

8. What caused him to moved back and rejoin his company?

  • Wounds
  • Enemy stopped fighting
  • Ran out of ammunition

9. He spent the end of his life happily settled in a trailer in the woods near Earl Township, Pa., with his wife of 32 years. Who was his wife of 32 years?

  • Hazel Hamlin Knappenberger
  • Alice Copper Knappenberger
  • Mary Reynolds Knappenberger

10. Where is Alton W. Knappenberger buried?

  • Cemetery in the Woods, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
  • National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania
  • Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia

Alton W. Knappenberger Answers

  • 1. 3rd Infantry Division
  • 2. Breakout Anzio Beach
  • 3. 85 yards away
  • 4. Fact
  • 5. 20 yards
  • 6. 15 yards
  • 7. 2 hours
  • 8. Ran out of ammunition
  • 9. Hazel Hamlin Knappenberger
  • Angels on your pillow10. Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia

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