|Birth: ||Oct. 30, 1924|
|Death: ||Mar. 24, 1945, Germany|
World War II Medal of Honor Recipient.
He received the award posthumously on December 11, 1945 for his actions as a private first class in Company E, 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division, US Army on March 24, 1945 during Operation Varsity, near Wesel, Germany, in the latter stage of World War II. He joined the US Army in July 1943 and 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 it assigned drop zone but the men soon recovered and after approaching their intended target, a large farmhouse fortified with enemy soldiers, he led a charge on the farmhouse and was killed in action at the age of 20.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, he received the Purple Heart, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European/African/Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (with one campaign star), and the World War II Victory Medal.
His Medal of Honor citation reads: "The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Private First Class Stuart S. Stryker, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty on 24 March 1945, while serving with Company E, 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division. Private First Class Stryker was a platoon runner, when the unit assembled near Wesel, Germany after a descent east of the Rhine. Attacking along a railroad, Company E reached a point about 250 yards from a large building used as an enemy headquarters and manned by a powerful force of Germans with rifles, machineguns, and 4 field pieces. One platoon made a frontal assault but was pinned down by intense fire from the house after advancing only 50 yards. So badly stricken that it could not return the raking fire, the platoon was at the mercy of German machine gunners when PFC. Stryker voluntarily left a place of comparative safety, and, armed with a carbine, ran to the head of the unit. In full view of the enemy and under constant fire, he exhorted the men to get to their feet and follow him. Inspired by his fearlessness, they rushed after him in a desperate charge through an increased hail of bullets. Twenty-five yards from the objective the heroic soldier was killed by the enemy fusillades. His gallant and wholly voluntary action in the face of overwhelming firepower, however, so encouraged his comrades and diverted the enemy's attention that other elements of the company were able to surround the house, capturing more than 200 hostile soldiers and much equipment, besides freeing 3 members of an American bomber crew held prisoner there. The intrepidity and unhesitating self-sacrifice of PFC. Stryker were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service."
In 2002 the US Army named its new armor fighting vehicle "Stryker" in his honor, as well as fellow US Army Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient Robert F. Stryker.
Note added by Tom Brocher: Stuart was the son of Gordon D. Stryker (1896-1972) and Mabel C. Stryker (1898-). Stuart was the younger brother of Gordon D. Stryker, Jr. (1922-1978).
(bio by: William Bjornstad)
Back of marker:
513 PRCHT INF
17 ABN DIV
Golden Gate National Cemetery
San Mateo County
Plot: Section B Grave 719
GPS (lat/lon): 37.63376, -122.43324
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jul 13, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 22985