Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day

"Sgt Alvin Cullum York, 82nd Infantry Div, AEF and his appeal to his Draft Board as a conscientious objector. Alvin C. York (1887-1964) was born near Pall Mall, TN, one of eleven children. On the death of his father the family became impoverished. York left school having completed only 9 months formal education.

He worked in railroad construction and as a logger. On January 1, 1915 he had a religious conversion and joined the Church of Christ in Christian Union. He was a pacifist and when drafted for service in WW I York appealed to his Board to serve in a non-combat role. While awaiting the results of his appeal York underwent basic training at Camp Gordon, GA and was then shipped to France.

On October 18, 1918 north of Chatel-Chehery York and his 17 man platoon were raked by heavy machine gun fire from a German unit at company strength. Six of York's platoon were killed including the NCO. York assumed command. With incredible marksmanship, alone, and fully exposed to enemy fire, York neutralized as many as 30 German soldiers with his Enfield M1917 rifle.

German First Lieutenant Paul Jurgen Vollmer, commander First Battalion, 120th Landwehr Infantry, ordered a fixed bayonet charge against York. Out of rifle ammunition, York drew his Colt .45 automatic pistol and shot six of the Germans dead. Vollmer then surrendered the remains of his 132 man company to York and the seven able bodied surviving Americans. Sgt Alvin C. York was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Croix de Guerre." Douglas Richardson

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