COLUMBUS — The stretch of I-475/U.S. 23 between Hill Avenue and State Route 2 will be redubbed the Sgt. Alex Drabik Memorial Highway in honor of the late World War II hero under a bill signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Mike DeWine.

The designation will honor the first American to cross the Rhine River on March 7, 1945, leading 10 men under sniper and machine gun fire across the Ludendoff Bridge at Remagen. The soldiers crossed the Rhine before the Germans could destroy the bridge as they had others.

The strategic success at Remagen gave the Allies a way to cross the natural barrier and was later credited with shortening the war by six months.

“I wasn’t trying to beat everybody. It just happened that way,” Mr. Drabik said in a Toledo Times story that ran the next day. “And, in the crossing, we didn’t lose a man.”

Published by toledoblade.com on March 4, 2020 – 5:18pm
By: Jim Provance