Summary

Conflict Period:
World War I 1
Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Corporal 1
Birth:
13 Dec 1887 2
Pall Mall TN 2
Tennessee 1
Death:
02 Sep 1964 2
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Alvin Cullum York 2
Full Name:
Alvin C York 1
Birth:
13 Dec 1887 2
Pall Mall TN 2
Tennessee 1
Male 2
Death:
02 Sep 1964 2
Burial:
Wolf River Cemetery Pall Mall TN 2
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World War I 1

Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Corporal 1
Enlistment Location:
Tennessee 1
Date:
08 Oct 1918 1
Location:
Near Chatel-Chehery, France 1
Military Unit:
Company G, 328th Infantry, 82d Division 1

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Sources

  1. Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863-2013 [See image]
  2. Contributed by bruceyrock632
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Stories

After his platoon had suffered heavy casualties and 3 other noncommissioned officers had become casualties, Cpl. York assumed command. Fearlessly leading 7 men, he charged with great daring a machinegun nest which was pouring deadly and incessant fire upon his platoon. In this heroic feat the machinegun nest was taken, together with 4 officers and 128 men and several guns. Corporal Alvin C. York, later to become the immortal "Sergeant York," received the Medal of Honor for his deeds of October 8, 1918, in France. After his platoon had suffered heavy casualties, York assumed command and led 7 men in a daring assault upon an enemy machinegun nest that had been pouring deadly and incessant fire upon the platoon. York's spectacular marksmanship and audacious leadership completely demoralized the enemy, and the nest was taken, together with 4 officers, 128 men, and several guns.

Sgt. Alvin C. York

Alvin Cullum York (1887-1964) ended the World War I as one of America's most famous soldiers, with fame and popular recognition assured following a remarkable act of courage and coolness in October 1918. Having grown up in poverty, the young York honed his skills as a crack marksman, a useful talent for use in hunting food for himself and his family, and one put to high effect during the war.

Despite his remarkable reputation for bravery and the win-at-all-costs attitude displayed during his wartime service, York was and remained a pacifist.  Following a religious conversion in 1911 -- he became lay deacon of a local pacifist sect -- he declared himself a convinced pacifist.

Consequently with the U.S. entry into World War I, York initially returned his draft papers before they were summarily resent to him by the draft board, at which stage he was drafted into 328th Regiment, 82nd Infantry.  During training, however, he was convinced by his battalion commander, Gonzalo Edward Buxton -- a fellow Bible student -- that the Bible sanctioned active service.

Once in France, the semi-literate York earned lifetime fame for his part in an attack in the Argonne Forest against German machine gun positions on October 8, 1918.  York, an acting Corporal, led 17 men in action against a German stronghold, the aim being to secure the position and return with German prisoners.

Initially successful without coming under fire, the small expedition took a number of prisoners before the Germans launched a heavy counterattack.  With 11 of York's men guarding the captured prisoners (and with the other six killed), York resolved to proceed alone and tackle the German gunners ranged against them.

Having shot some 17 gunners via sniping, York was charged by seven German soldiers who realized that he was operating on his own.  He killed them all with his pistol.  With the aid of a German Major captured earlier, York brought in a total of 132 German prisoners, a remarkable feat. He was well rewarded, receiving lavish press coverage at home and the Congressional Medal of Honor, in addition to the French Croix de Guerre.

 

The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) 8 Jun 1919, Sun • Page 1

Kingsport Times (Kingsport, Tennessee) 3 Sep 1964, Thu • Page 4

Kingsport Times (Kingsport, Tennessee) 3 Sep 1964, Thu • Page 4

Kingsport Times (Kingsport, Tennessee) 3 Sep 1964, Thu • Page 1

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