Staff Sergeant Bernard Friedenberg

[July 3, 2019] Tomorrow is the 4th of July and a special time for all Americans. As a tribute to the many that fought for our freedoms, from the U.S. Revolutionary War to present, I’m providing a short story about WWII veteran Staff Sergeant Bernard Friedenberg.

I’m fortunate to live in a part of the country that acknowledges and truly honors the sacrifices of those who served. We all look up to them as examples of exemplary behavior. If you want to be successful, good advice is to be around and study those who are successful.

Staff Sergeant Bernard Friedenberg was a 20-year old, 124-pound young man who wanted to join up after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Rejected by all the military services for bad eyesight, he was eventually allowed into the U.S. Army as a “non-combatant.” As many who study history know, there is really no such thing as a non-combatant in combat.

Friedenberg was a medic in the 16th Infantry Regiment under the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division. He was in the fourth wave to storm the beaches on D-Day at Normandy on “Omaha Beach.” He earned his first Silver Star Medal for making five trips under heavy enemy fire to recover the wounded from a minefield. He was again awarded the Silver Star Medal for his bravery at Münsterbusch, Germany. Staff Sergeant Friedenberg was also given two Bronze Star Medals for valor.1

Friedenberg left the army and became a good family man, father, and respected community member. Men like him make us who we are as a nation and as a society. And, like Audie Murphy, who I profiled a couple of days ago, Friedenberg had the burning desire to help others and he too is a hero. You can find a Facebook page dedicated to him here (see link).


Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

18 thoughts on “Staff Sergeant Bernard Friedenberg

  1. Harry B. Donner

    Despite being a “noncombatant”, Staff Sgt Friedenberg was in the middle of the fighting. His efforts certainly saved the lives of many. Normally you see Silver Star medals awarded to combat soldiers. Not in this case. As a medic, he put himself in harms way to save others.

    1. Gil Johnson

      In any organization, it takes more than just one job to accomplish the mission. Friedenberg is an excellent example of that.

      1. Xerxes I

        Good point, and while some believe a few jobs are more important than others, Friedenberg showed us that being a medic is also important. Hooray for heroes like Staff Sergeant Friedenberg.

    2. Greg Heyman

      If only more were like Friedenberg and Audie Murphy.

  2. Otto Z. Zuckermann

    Tomorrow is a very special day in the annals of history. The USA gained its independence from Britain in a long, nasty war of independence. All nations should take note that not only did America win the war (for a number of surprising reasons) but they came out of it not bitter or nasty but with their heads held high and with principles of govt that have lasted to this day.

    1. JT Patterson

      Well said, Otto. Thanks for keeping us focused. Yes, tomorrow is an important day but also for all freedom-loving peoples. “Taxation without representation” was one of their rallying cries. The right to have their own government even if it doesn’t work well. At least they have representation.

  3. Army Captain

    Good article. I always enjoy those that you write about, Gen. Satterfield, that gives us a little bit of the inside story and, I might add, the personal story of those who were willing to stand up and put their lives on the line.

    1. Joe the Aussie

      I concur with you, Army Captain. Thank you for your service. Cheers!

  4. Willie Shrumburger

    The other link is for NJ WW2 heroes. You can find the one to him here:
    If you can, donate to those folks who do great work helping remind us of the heroes that helped keep the world free from Nazism, Communism, and other dictators.

  5. Eddie Ray Anderson, Jr.

    A real “Jersey Boy” ….. loved the article.

    1. Eric Coda

      Yes, Anita and thank you for linking to it. Scrolling thru the Facebook page and other websites about him gives me a better feeling on what it takes to be a really good person. That’s what Gen. Satterfield has repeatedly noted; if you study those who succeed, you will find the pathway to success.

  6. Georgie M.

    Thank you for a short but special comment on another truly great American hero.


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