S/Sgt Kriebel (pictured right) was born on July 24th 1912 in Whitman County, Washington and was killed in action on March 24th, 1945 during the airborne invasion of Germany, Operation Varsity.|
S/Sgt Kriebel is the son of George Mortimer Kriebel [b. 9/18/86 in Garden City, Kansas and died March 1975] a merchant marine, garage mechanic and farmer and the son of Bessie Blodgette [ b. ? in Kansas and died 1913 ?].
The 1920 US Census for North Goldendale, Klickitat County, Washington shows Howard residing at First St with his father [who had served in the Navy in WWI] and stepmother [CoraBelle] and brother, Clarence M [b. 12/21/10 in WA and died 3/27/2005] and half brother Leonard Norman [b.10/21/19 in WA] and 2 half-sisters Alta F [b.1922 in WA] and Vera M [b. 1927 in WA] The Kriebel’s moved to Garfield, WA approx 1935] Howard was not found on the 1930 US Census.
Sgt Kriebel enlisted in the Army on April 17th, 1942 at Los Angeles, CA. His record indicates Howard had completed 4 years of high-school, was employed as a bank teller and surveyor, was divorced and was 5’7” and 146lbs.
During Operation Neptune, June 6, 1944 Sgt Kriebel parachuted from his C-47 Troop Transport airplane with Tail# 43-15121, # 35 in the Chalk, #3 in line. During Operation Varsity, March 24th, 1645 Sgt Kriebel parachuted from his C-47 Troop Transport plane with tail# 224190, #135 in the Chalk, # 4 in line.
S/Sergeant Kriebel was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for action occurring on June 6, 1944 as recorded in General Orders#55, HQ 17th Airborne Division, APO 452, US Army, dated August 16th, 1945.
“Staff Sergeant Howard M Kreibel, 39237166, Infantry, for gallantry in action against the enemy near St Martin De Varreville, France, on June 6, 1944. When his platoon was pinned down by enemy machine gun fire, Staff Sergeant Kriebel crawled forward and alone silenced two enemy machine gun nests. This action completed, he then continued on and set fire to and destroyed a German ammunition dump. His gallant action silenced the enemy position and inspired his comrades enabling them to complete their mission. His action was in accordance with the highest standards of Military Service. Entered military service from California“
Staff Sergeant Kriebel was awarded the Silver Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal and the Croix de Guerre Unit Citation [French}, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars and two Arrowheads, World War II Victory Medal, WWII Honorable Service Lapel Button, the Parachute Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Presidential Distinguished Unit Emblem.
Sgt Kriebel is interred at the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands at Plot ‘D ‘ Row ‘17 ‘ Grave ‘8 ‘