Alexander Drabik was born on December 28, 1910, in Holland, Ohio. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on October 28, 1942, and deployed to Europe with the 27th Armored Infantry Battalion of the 9th Armored Division in August 1944. Sgt Drabik fought in the Ardennes, Central Europe, and Rhineland Campaigns, and he became the first American soldier to cross the Rhine River into Germany when he dashed across the Ludendorff Bridge near Remagen on March 7, 1945. After serving on Occupation Duty in Germany, he returned to the U.S. in August 1945, and received an honorable discharge from the Army on October 12, 1945. Alexander Drabik died on September 28, 1993, and was buried at the Resurrection Cemetery in Toledo, Ohio.
His Distinguished Service Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on 7 March 1945, in Germany. Upon reaching the Ludendorff railroad bridge crossing the Rhine River, Sergeant Drabik, aware that the bridge was prepared for demolition, and in the face of heavy machine gun, small arms, and direct 20mm gun fire, began a hazardous trip across the span. Although artillery shells and two explosions rocked the bridge, he continued his advance. Upon reaching the bridge towers on the far side, he cleared them of snipers and demolition crews. Still braving intense machine gun and shell fire, he reached the eastern side of the river where he eliminated hostile snipers and gun crews from along the bank and on the face of the bluff overlooking the river. By his outstanding heroism and unflinching valor, Sergeant Drabik contributed materially to the establishment of the first bridgehead across the Rhine River.