Citation for Bronze Star for Valor (1st OLC):
Eggerman, Wendell F. 01 535 623, Co A, 2d Chemical Mortar Bn
Eighth United States Army Korea, General Order 236, 25 April 1951
For heroic achievement in connection with military operations against an armed enemy, Captain WENDELL F. EGGERMAN, is cited for action against the enemy. On 7 March 1951, Company D, 27th British Commonwealth Brigade was attacking an enemy held hill in the vicinty of Hagal-li, Korea. Captain EGGERMAN, attached to the company as a forward observer, went forward to an exposed position and adjusted supporting mortar fire on hostile positions until his radio operator was killed and his radio damaged by enemy small-arms fire. Then, with complete disregard for his personal safety, he again exposed himself to intense enemy fire to assist in evacuating the wounded. The courageous action of Captain EGGERMAN contributed materially to saving lives of his wounded comrades and reflects great credit on himself and the military service. Entered federal service from Illinois.
Short Biography of Wendell Frederick Eggerman
Wendell F. Eggerman, Fred, to those who knew him, was born in Pana, Illinois, in 1921. His father had served in World War I in France in the 84th Infantry Division. After that, his father worked as a truck driver, a policeman, an auto accident investigator, and a poultry inspector. Wendell Eggerman served in both World War II and Korea. Before the war, he tested oil samples for a refinery. When he enlisted in the United States Army on May 13, 1942, he was selected for the Chemical Corps based on his civilian job. Though a member of the Chemical Corps, he served in World War II and Korea as an Infantry unit commander and was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge twice. He fought in two of the most significant battles in U.S. history.
During World War II, he served in the Pacific Theatre, attached to the 77th Infantry Division. He participated in that unit's actions in the Marianas at Guam, and in the battles to retake Leyte in the Philippines. He was wounded at the battle of Ormoc on Leyte Island on December 13, 1944. Later, he and his unit fought at Okinawa, by far the bloodiest battle of the Pacific war. Total casualties on Okinawa were nearly one-quarter million, including 82,000 U.S. casualties of which 12,500 were killed or missing. Returning home, Fred married Ann Pfau, who had served in the United States Navy during the war.
During the Korean War, Fred Eggerman served with the 7th Infantry Division from its landing at Inchon, the rapid advance through North Korea to the Yalu River, the retreat from the Chosin Reservoir, and the defense of Seoul. The retreat from the Chosin Reservoir was a brutal 17 day battle in freezing weather fought between November 27 and December 13, 1950. The battle was fought over some of the roughest terrain, during some of the harshest winter weather conditions of the Korean War with temperatures dropping as low as -35oF. The battle was a major defeat for United Nations forces, which were primarily composed of U.S. Army and Marine units, but it remains one of the most remarkable and brilliant military actions by U.S. forces in their history. Outnumbered by a factor of more than 6:1 and surrounded by Chinese armies that had achieved near complete strategic and tactical surprise, United Nations units fought their way out of the encirclement while inflicting crippling losses on the Chinese. The professionalism, perseverance and raw courage of that retreat are legend.
Later in the war, Fred Eggerman received the Bronze Star medal for valor for actions as a forward observer supporting the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry at the battle of Maehwa-San at Hill 532 on March 7, 1951.
Fred Eggerman retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He is buried in a Veterans Section of the Restland Memorial Park cemetery in Dallas, Texas.