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Photo of Thomas Przybelski
  • Academic Division
Photo of Thomas Przybelski

Thomas Przybelski (posthumous), PHS 1964, was killed in action while serving in the United States Army in the Vietnam War on May 13, 1968. He was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Silver Star for gallantry in action. The Republic of Vietnam awarded him the Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm and National Order of Vietnam, which was considered the highest honor that could be bestowed upon an individual by that country. While at PHS, he was active in the drama department, ROTC, and a pickup band playing banjo. He graduated from St. John the Baptist elementary school and continued his education at UW-Madison for two years following high school.

Excerpt from Tom’s Silver Star Citation:

“When a platoon became pinned down by an intense volume of enemy fire, Lieutenant Przybelski deployed his tanks to deliver suppressive fire on the enemy positions to relieve the pressure on the pinned down force. Crossing open fields with enemy fire directed at his tank, Lieutenant Przybelski boldly attempted to overrun the enemy position. His valorous actions and outstanding leadership against a numerically superior enemy force were instrumental in the reduction of friendly casualties and an inspiration to his men. Lieutenant Przybelski’s personal bravery, aggressiveness, and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military and reflect great credit upon himself…”

  • 2018