I’m a pretty big military history buff myself, and one of my favorite war heroes of all time is Sergeant Alvin C. York. In case you’ve never heard of this remarkable man before, I would like to share a few quick facts about him.
About Sergeant Alvin C. York
- He was born on December 13, 1887 in Pall Mall, Tennessee
- He was the third of 11 children
- Sergeant York enlisted in the Army on June 5th, 1917 (World War 1)
- He was an Infantryman, serving with Company G, 328th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Infantry Division
- He was one of the most decorated Soldiers of World War 1
- Some of his awards include the Congressional Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Legion of Honor (France), Croix de Guerre (France), Corce de Guerra al Merito (Italian) and War Medal (Montenegro)
- After the war, he became a war hero when the Saturday Evening Post ran a story of what he did to earn the Medal of Honor
- He retired from the Tennessee State Guard as a Colonel
Sergeant York Medal of Honor Citation
“After his platoon had suffered heavy casualties and 3 other non-commissioned officers had become casualties, Cpl. York assumed command. Fearlessly leading 7 men, he charged with great daring a machine-gun nest which was pouring deadly and incessant fire upon his platoon. In this heroic feat the machine-gun nest was taken, together with 4 officers and 128 men and several guns.”
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Quick Facts About His Personal Life
Here are a few facts about Sergeant York’s personal life, after the war.
- He and his wife had 8 children, all of whom were named after famous people
- He refused many offers to profit from his fame
- He formed the Alvin C. York Foundation to create educational opportunities for people in his local area
- When WW2 came about, he tried to enlist, but was denied. Instead, he was offered a commission as a Major in the Signal Corps
- In 1940, he finally let the press create a movie about his war efforts in WW1. That movie “Sergeant York” won two Academy Awards and starred Gary Cooper
- He was a life long Democrat
- He had seven buildings named after him
- He died on September 2nd, 1964
- He is buried with his wife at Wolf River Cemetery in Pall Mall, Tennessee
Books and Movies about Alvin C. York
There are some great books and movies written about Sergeant York. Listed below are a few of my favorites. All of these books and films are worth checking out. I think you could learn a lot from studying Alvin C. York’s military career and life.
Alvin C. York Video
In summary, Sergeant Alvin C. York is a true American hero. Not only did he accomplish amazing things during WW1, but he lived a very philanthropic lifestyle, helping organizations and causes he believed in. Although he has been gone for almost 50 years now, his spirit lives on!