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New display to be dedicated, honoring two Medal of Honor heroes from BVU

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Congressional Medal of Honor display recognizing two Buena Vista University (BVU) alumni who were recipients of the honor will be dedicated on June 14, 2007.

The dedication, which is open to the public, will recognize Darrell R. Lindsey and Ralph G. Neppel, who attended BV and were among only five Iowans who received the Medal of Honor for their bravery in World War II. The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. in the west hallway of the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum at BVU.

Capt. Lindsey attended BV from 1939 to 1940 before enlisting with the U.S. Army Air Corps. He led a formation of 30 B-26 medium bombers on a hazardous mission on August 9, 1944, to destroy the strategic enemy held L'Isle railroad bridge over the Seine in occupied France. Despite heavy enemy fire, and with fire streaming from his aircraft's right engine and the right wing enveloped in flame, he led his formation over the target to drop the bombs. He ordered his crew to parachute from the aircraft and after all had escaped the fuel tank exploded with Lindsey still on board and the plane went into a deep dive and exploded as it crashed.

Sgt. Neppel was the leader of a machine gun squad defending an approach to the village of Birgel, Germany on December 14, 1944, when an enemy tank, supported by 20 infantrymen, counterattacked. Despite serious wounds suffered when the tank fired into the American emplacement, Neppel was able to remount his machine gun and kill the remaining enemy riflemen. Stripped of its infantry protection, the tank was forced to withdraw. Neppel attended BV after the war, graduating in 1952 and went on to work as a Veterans Administration representative and served on the Governor's Committee for Employment of the Handicapped. He died in 1987 after a battle with cancer.

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