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The Real Sergeant York
New American ^ | January 5, 1998 | Thomas A. Burzynski

Posted on 11/03/2003 12:09:46 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe

The New York Times referred to him as "the war’s biggest hero." General John J. Pershing, commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in World War I, called him "the greatest civilian soldier" of World War I. Upon this war hero’s death in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson issued a statement calling him "a symbol of American courage and sacrifice" who "epitomized the gallantry of American fighting men and their sacrifices in behalf of freedom."

Few would have guessed at his humble birth in a one-room cabin on December 13, 1887 that Alvin Cullum York would receive such accolades later in life. Born in Pall Mall, Tennessee, Alvin York was the third of 11 children. Raised on a small farm, this son of a poor blacksmith left school after the third grade, and admitted that in his youth he was "wild and bad for five or six years." He recalled: "I used to drink a lot of moonshine. I used to gamble my wages away week after week. I used to stay out late at night. I had a powerful lot of fist fights.... I knew all the time I was going along this kind of life, deep down in my heart, that I was doing things that were not right."

Change of Heart

York told of coming home one night, "after being very drunk and fighting." His mother, who had continually pleaded with her son to change his ways, asked him a simple question: "Alvin, when are you going to be a man like your father and your grandfathers?" York recalled, "I promised my mother that night I would never drink again; I would never smoke or chew again; I would never gamble again; I would never cuss or fight again. And I have never drunk any whiskey, I have never touched cards, I have never smoked or chewed, and I have never fought or rough-housed since that night."

Equally important in changing the course of Alvin York’s life was an event that happened on New Year’s Day, 1915. York wrote later in life that it was on this day that he was "saved" by the preaching of a local evangelist. York embraced Jesus Christ and soon rose to become second elder of his church. He would later give full credit to his faith in God and Jesus Christ for his exploits in battle and safe return from the war.

In June 1917, at age 29, Alvin York received his notice to register for the draft. On the same day York started a diary which he kept faithfully throughout the war. Being called to take up arms in war caused a conflict within York. His ancestors had served in war since the American Revolution and York felt that "my ancestors would want me to do whatever my country demanded of me." Yet, at the same time, York reasoned that "if I went away to war and fought and killed, according to my reading of the Bible, I weren’t a good Christian."

York decided that God’s law must take precedent over family tradition or the laws of man. When York registered for the draft he wrote simply on the form, "I don’t want to fight." He attempted to be exempted by reason that his church forbade its members to kill. But his exemption was denied on the grounds that his church did not expressly prohibit killing during war. York’s crisis of conscience was not settled until, according to York, "I prayed and prayed. I prayed two whole days and a night out on the mountainside." Ultimately, York decided that God had given him the go-ahead to "answer the call of my country."

Call to Courage

York arrived in France on May 21, 1918. His unit first saw major action during the St. Mihiel drive in September 1918. By this time York had been promoted to the rank of corporal and given command of a squad. The drive was a success and the American Army moved on to the Argonne Forest for the last major drive of World War I. It was on October 8, 1918 in the Argonne Forest that Corporal Alvin York performed the acts of extreme bravery for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

York’s battalion was charged with advancing across a valley and taking the two hills on the far side. The Germans, however, were dug into the hills with machine gun emplacements and had a complete view of the valley. According to York: "It was kind of a triangular shaped valley. So you see we were getting it from the front and both flanks. Well, the first and second waves got about halfway across the valley and then were held up by machine gun fire from the three sides. It was awful. Our losses were very heavy."

York and the other squad commanders assigned to the left flank of the advance quickly realized that the hills would be impossible to take from the front without significantly more men. They decided to attempt a sneak attack by advancing around the enemy’s flank and attacking from the rear. At this point the combined forces of the squads, including York’s, was 17 men.

Upon advancing undetected around the enemy’s flank and approaching from the rear the unit stumbled across the headquarters of the machine gun regiment. The Germans were eating breakfast at the time and were completely surprised by the Americans. Most promptly surrendered, but one German shot at York, who quickly killed the German with one shot. The Americans disarmed and assembled the Germans, but by this time the machine gunners on the hill had been alerted to the Americans’ presence. According to York: "There were about 30 of them. They were commanding us from a hillside less than 30 yards away. They couldn’t miss. And they didn’t!" The machine guns took out nine men, including an officer, leaving Corporal York in charge. It was at this point that York began to make history.

As the initial blast of machine gun fire hit the Americans, York was standing out in the open. York wrote in his diary:

[T]hose machine guns were spitting fire and cutting down the undergrowth all around me something awful…. I didn’t have time to dodge behind a tree or dive into the brush, I didn’t even have time to kneel or lie down…. As soon as the machine guns opened fire on me, I began to exchange shots with them.

In order to sight me or to swing their machine guns on me, the Germans had to show their heads above the trench, and every time I saw a head I just touched it off. All the time I kept yelling at them to come down. I didn’t want to kill any more than I had to. But it was they or I. And I was giving them the best I had.

Suddenly a German officer and five men jumped out of the trench and charged me with fixed bayonets. I changed to the old automatic and just touched them off, too. I touched off the sixth man first, then the fifth, then the fourth, then the third, and so on. I wanted them to keep coming. I didn’t want the rear ones to see me touching off the front ones. I was afraid they would drop down and pump a volley into me.

By this time a German major who had already been captured had seen enough. The major, who knew English, told York, "If you don’t shoot any more I’ll make them surrender." All but one of the Germans came down from the hills. That one German managed to throw a small hand grenade before York killed him. The Americans, whose number had dwindled to eight at this point, then had the complicated task of leading over 80 prisoners through German lines to the American side. York put the German major at the head of the column with him holding his Colt .45 to the major’s back. The seven other men then surrounded the column as best they could.

As York and his men led the captured Germans back through enemy lines, German soldiers and machine gunners attempted to fire on the Americans, but York made the German major order them to surrender. All but one willingly gave up. According to York, "I made the major order him to surrender twice. But he wouldn’t. And I had to touch him off. I hated to do it. But I couldn’t afford to take any chances and so I had to let him have it."

By the time York and his small squad reached the safety of the American lines they had captured 132 Germans, including three officers. Word quickly spread that York had single-handedly "captured the whole German army." An Army inspection of the battle scene revealed 28 dead German soldiers. According to the official Army report, York’s description of the battle was accurate though "York’s statement tends to underestimate the desperate odds which he overcame." When a general asked the inevitable question of how he managed to accomplish his feat, York replied, "Sir, it is not man power. A higher power than man guided and watched over me and told me what to do." For his bravery, York was given the Medal of Honor, and was also promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Home and Fame

Upon returning to America, Sergeant York was showered with offers of fame and fortune, including a nationwide tour, endorsements, and movie deals. But such was not in York’s character, who claimed, "I … felt that to take money like that would be commercializing my uniform and soldiering." York wrote in his diary: "It was very nice. But I sure wanted to get back to my people where I belonged, and the little old mother and the little mountain girl who were waiting. And I wanted to be in the mountains again and get out with hounds, and tree a coon or knock over a red fox. And in the midst of the crowds and the dinners and receptions I couldn’t help thinking of these things."

Alvin York went home to his mountains. He made his way to the same mountainside where he had prayed to God two years earlier for guidance, and there thanked God for bringing him home safely from the war.

In 1927, York established the Alvin C. York Agricultural Institute for the boys and girls of the mountains who had few educational opportunities. By 1937, York was no longer able to operate the school and it became a special part of the Tennessee public school system. In 1941, the story of Alvin York was made into a movie starring Gary Cooper, who won an Academy Award for the role. Alvin York acted as an adviser to the film. In 1952, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and became bedridden.

By 1961, Alvin York, one of America’s greatest military heroes, was partially paralyzed, almost completely blind, and virtually penniless. The American government, through the Internal Revenue Service, repaid its debt by suing York for back taxes. The IRS claimed that York’s royalties from the movie, most of which had gone to charity, should be taxed at a higher rate than York had used. In all, the IRS claimed York owed the U.S. government $85,442, plus an additional $87,155 in interest. The IRS offered to settle for $25,000 however, when it became apparent that all of York’s assets totaled together did not equal the $172,597 sought. When the American public was alerted to Sergeant York’s plight, individuals chipped in over $50,000 — which covered the debt with money left over for a trust fund.

Sergeant York lived on for three more years. On September 2, 1964, at the age of 76, Alvin York passed away. His grave, near his home and within sight of the very church where he had been converted in 1915, is marked with a stone monument on which two books are carved — a Bible and a textbook.

Alvin Cullum York was one of the greatest heroes America ever produced. His faith in God, his modest and honorable character, and his sacrifice on behalf of his country continue to command the utmost respect and admiration from Americans. His life serves as a model for future generations of Americans.

.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: alvinyork; banglist; hero; newamerican; veteran

1 posted on 11/03/2003 12:09:47 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe
The most famous member of the 82d wasn't a paratrooper!
2 posted on 11/03/2003 12:19:11 PM PST by RSM
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To: Tailgunner Joe
This summer I was on a road trip traveling down the 127 corridor. I stopped off at the Cemetary to see his grave and the church then drove a bit up the road to see his house.

Truly inspirational....

3 posted on 11/03/2003 12:23:09 PM PST by Portnoy (Fahrenheit 451...Today's Temperature is hotter than you think...)
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To: RSM
If'n you have the chance you should visit his home in TN. I took the wife and kids a couple of years ago and they will never forget it. BTW Sgt York was my boyhood hero.
4 posted on 11/03/2003 12:23:47 PM PST by john316 (JOSHUA 24:15 ...choose you this day whom ye will serve...)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Thanks.
5 posted on 11/03/2003 12:27:23 PM PST by Redbob ("Fry Mumia!")
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To: Tailgunner Joe
By 1961, Alvin York, one of America’s greatest military heroes, was partially paralyzed, almost completely blind, and virtually penniless. The American government, through the Internal Revenue Service, repaid its debt by suing York for back taxes. The IRS claimed that York’s royalties from the movie, most of which had gone to charity, should be taxed at a higher rate than York had used. In all, the IRS claimed York owed the U.S. government $85,442, plus an additional $87,155 in interest.

Sigh.

6 posted on 11/03/2003 12:28:12 PM PST by 91B (Golly it's hot.)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Thank you for this fine post; I enjoyed reading it.
BTTT
7 posted on 11/03/2003 12:29:41 PM PST by truthkeeper
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To: Tailgunner Joe


8 posted on 11/03/2003 12:32:37 PM PST by Leroy S. Mort
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Definitely an American hero. But speaking of war and its consequences, here was a war were most US soldiers only saw 6 months of actual battle. The first engagments with the enemy didn't take place until May of 1918 and the Armistice was signed in November of 1918. Yet in 6 months, over 116,000 US soldiers lost their lives (total). Just a little perspective for the anti-war crowd, as we've passed our 6 month point.
9 posted on 11/03/2003 12:38:06 PM PST by cwb
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To: *bang_list
Suddenly a German officer and five men jumped out of the trench and charged me with fixed bayonets. I changed to the old automatic and just touched them off, too. I touched off the sixth man first, then the fifth, then the fourth, then the third, and so on. I wanted them to keep coming. I didn’t want the rear ones to see me touching off the front ones. I was afraid they would drop down and pump a volley into me.

Colt 1911 bump!

10 posted on 11/03/2003 12:38:34 PM PST by Shooter 2.5
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To: Tailgunner Joe
I hate the IRS. I really do.
11 posted on 11/03/2003 12:38:37 PM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: Shooter 2.5
Anyone know at what range(s) York killed those six Germans with the 1911?
12 posted on 11/03/2003 12:44:53 PM PST by AngryJawa ("The bang is great, but the shockwave is where itís at.")
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Thank you SO much for this post.

May we Never, EVER Forget !
13 posted on 11/03/2003 12:45:11 PM PST by PoorMuttly ("You cannot be a victim and a hero." - Hon. Clarence Thomas)
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To: Prodigal Son
The IRS 'touches' folks, just like Alvin!
14 posted on 11/03/2003 12:50:46 PM PST by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Is it Sergeant or York.
http://home.att.net/~chmilnir/bewitch/main.html
15 posted on 11/03/2003 12:53:29 PM PST by toast
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To: AngryJawa
Anyone know at what range(s) York killed those six Germans with the 1911?

Thirty yards...Camp Perry
16 posted on 11/03/2003 12:55:29 PM PST by LittleJoe
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To: AngryJawa
It took me this long to figure out he used a 1911. I had read a lot of accounts of him and most of them stated he used an "automatic". I always thought he had picked a Luger off one of the Germans. I didn't think he was carrying a pistol with his P17 Enfield. The rifle was chambered in 30-06.

I do remember a sketch he had made but I believe it showed the position of the machine gun nests.
17 posted on 11/03/2003 12:56:32 PM PST by Shooter 2.5
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To: Tailgunner Joe
York's Diary

http://volweb.utk.edu/Schools/York/diary.html
18 posted on 11/03/2003 12:57:31 PM PST by Shooter 2.5
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Compare his truly heroic actions in battle and to Jessica Lynches' "heroic" actions and the Welcome her nation's media fawned over her.

Not a slam on her but what is considered "heroic" in today's P.C world......
19 posted on 11/03/2003 1:04:24 PM PST by RedMonqey
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To: Prodigal Son
ME 2
20 posted on 11/03/2003 1:06:09 PM PST by y2k_free_radical (ESSE QUAM VIDERA-to be rather than to seem)
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To: Leroy S. Mort
He doesn't look much like Gary Cooper. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. would have been more of a match. But then, I guess the very British Fairbanks would have had a little problem with the Tennessee drawl, LOL.

Good thing there's no remake of the York movie in the works. CBS chief, Leslie Moonbeam, would have a great opportunity to sign up Mr. Streisand as Sgt. York, yet again casting an idiot as an American hero.

Leni

21 posted on 11/03/2003 1:08:23 PM PST by MinuteGal
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To: LittleJoe
Amazing stuff...six hits in the ol' "-0" zone on moving targets at thirty yards while under extreme duress. God was at work there, no question.
22 posted on 11/03/2003 1:14:04 PM PST by AngryJawa ("The bang is great, but the shockwave is where itís at.")
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To: RedMonqey
I agree. I give her a lot of credit for enlisting, but the same goes for almost every GI. Other than that, her main accomplishment was getting in a car-wreck during a firefight.

23 posted on 11/03/2003 1:14:22 PM PST by Britton J Wingfield (TANSTAAFL)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
The American government, through the Internal Revenue Service, repaid its debt by suing York for back taxes.

That pisses me off to no end...

24 posted on 11/03/2003 1:19:34 PM PST by in the Arena (Richard Thomas Kastner - KIA - Phuoc Long, South Vietnam - 15 November 1969))
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To: AngryJawa
Amazing stuff...six hits in the ol' "-0" zone on moving targets at thirty yards while under extreme duress. God was at work there, no question.

Yeah, hard to believe it was just luck!
25 posted on 11/03/2003 1:38:00 PM PST by LittleJoe
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To: Portnoy
I lived there for several years. Did they ever get his picture back on his headstone? The last time I was there, a tourist had stolen it (the picture).
26 posted on 11/03/2003 1:39:31 PM PST by wheelgunguru
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To: 91B
If Alvin York was alive today and the IRS pulled that stunt on him, thanks to the Internet, FR, Rush, etc., patriotic Americans would scream so loud, the IRS would be forced to leave him alone. Just like we're protecting President Reagan now and it looks like we're doing a pretty good job -CBS wants to unload the mini-series.
27 posted on 11/03/2003 1:41:24 PM PST by maxwellp (Throw the U.N. in the garbage where it belongs.)
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To: Portnoy
BTW, his son is the park ranger that oversees tourists to the (York) grist mill in Jamestown.

They named the High School after York, the elementary school, the grist mill, the veteran's hospital, and I think they even named the peppermint patty after him.

(Well, maybe not the peppermint patty.)

28 posted on 11/03/2003 1:43:16 PM PST by wheelgunguru
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To: wheelgunguru
I don't remember seeing any photo
29 posted on 11/03/2003 1:45:25 PM PST by Portnoy (Fahrenheit 451...Today's Temperature is hotter than you think...)
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To: Portnoy
Did you see a photo on his wife's grave? Hers was still there (1996).
30 posted on 11/03/2003 1:49:23 PM PST by wheelgunguru
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To: headsonpikes
Yup: They touch folks like Alvin York , but they lay a wide course around folks like Jesse Jackson.
31 posted on 11/03/2003 1:54:25 PM PST by sgtbono2002 (I aint wrong, I aint sorry , and I am probably going to do it again.)
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To: sgtbono2002
The IRS did go after Joe Louis, however.
32 posted on 11/03/2003 2:09:08 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
By 1961, Alvin York, one of America’s greatest military heroes, was partially paralyzed, almost completely blind, and virtually penniless. The American government, through the Internal Revenue Service, repaid its debt by suing York for back taxes.

Blood sucking leaches. You notice though that they waited until he was "..paralyzed, almost completely blind", before going after him. Would have been interesting if he'd brought home a few "war trophies" and the IRS had sent the forerunner of the BATFE after him for failure to register them, wouldn't it?

33 posted on 11/03/2003 2:23:58 PM PST by El Gato (Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
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To: cwboelter
The 369th Infantry Regiment was assigned to the French Army because of racism. Combat for them started in April, 1918. The History Channel did a show on them. Here's a link:

http://www.newcommunity.org/clarion/apr98/articles/p8-1.html
34 posted on 11/03/2003 2:24:01 PM PST by neverdem (Say a prayer for New York both for it's lefty statism and the probability the city will be hit again)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Thanks for posting this. You made my eyes water.
35 posted on 11/03/2003 2:25:35 PM PST by neverdem (Say a prayer for New York both for it's lefty statism and the probability the city will be hit again)
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To: neverdem
Thanks. Actually I got the May information from the History channel as well. I'll update my notes from 6 months to 7...still a very short time for all the hub-bub about the "Great War." Some of these guys spent more time in war-games than war itself.
36 posted on 11/03/2003 3:15:18 PM PST by cwb
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To: MinuteGal
CBS chief, Leslie Moonbeam, would have a great opportunity to sign up Mr. Streisand as Sgt. York, yet again casting an idiot as an American hero.

I'm thinking Tom Selleck (but he'd have to work on his annoying lisp...).


37 posted on 11/03/2003 3:17:19 PM PST by Leroy S. Mort
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To: MinuteGal
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. would have been more of a match. But then, I guess the very British Fairbanks would have had a little problem with the Tennessee drawl, LOL.

Just in case it comes up in a Trivia game - Doug Fairbanks was born in New York City. ;-)

38 posted on 11/03/2003 3:50:44 PM PST by Leroy S. Mort
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To: El Gato
They were known as revenuers (sp) and going into the hills after moonshiners was a dangerous thing.

Too bad times have changed.

39 posted on 11/03/2003 4:01:27 PM PST by 11Bush
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Sergeant Alvin York came back into the public spotlight during WWII long enough to greet a fellow Volunteer State veteran who had also managed a pretty fair little feat of arms, if perhaps of a different sort of marksmanship than York had exhibited:

Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia: Tennessee's two great war heroes, Sgt Alvin York (far right)
and S/Sgt Paul Huff. S/Sgt Huff preferred the Thompson submachinegun and Alvin
York the Springfield rifle.
The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor to

HUFF, PAUL B.

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion. Place and date: Near Carano, Italy, 8 February 1944. Entered service at: Cleveland, Tenn. Birth: Cleveland, Tenn. G.O. No: 41, 26 May 1944.

Citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, in action on 8 February 1944, near Carano, Italy. Cpl. Huff volunteered to lead a 6-man patrol with the mission of determining the location and strength of an enemy unit which was delivering fire on the exposed right flank of his company. The terrain over which he had to travel consisted of exposed, rolling ground, affording the enemy excellent visibility. As the patrol advanced, its members were subjected to small arms and machinegun fire and a concentration of mortar fire, shells bursting within 5 to 10 yards of them and bullets striking the ground at their feet. Moving ahead of his patrol, Cpl. Huff drew fire from 3 enemy machineguns and a 20mm. weapon. Realizing the danger confronting his patrol, he advanced alone under deadly fire through a minefield and arrived at a point within 75 yards of the nearest machinegun position. Under direct fire from the rear machinegun, he crawled the remaining 75 yards to the closest emplacement, killed the crew with his submachine gun and destroyed the gun. During this act he fired from a kneeling position which drew fire from other positions, enabling him to estimate correctly the strength and location of the enemy. Still under concentrated fire, he returned to his patrol and led his men to safety. As a result of the information he gained, a patrol in strength sent out that afternoon, 1 group under the leadership of Cpl. Huff, succeeded in routing an enemy company of 125 men, killing 27 Germans and capturing 21 others, with a loss of only 3 patrol members. Cpl. Huff's intrepid leadership and daring combat skill reflect the finest traditions of the American infantryman.


40 posted on 11/03/2003 5:03:15 PM PST by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Sergeant Alvin York came back into the public spotlight during WWII long enough to greet a fellow Volunteer State veteran who had also managed a pretty fair little feat of arms, if perhaps of a different sort of marksmanship than York had exhibited:

Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia: Tennessee's two great war heroes, Sgt Alvin York (far right)
and S/Sgt Paul Huff. S/Sgt Huff preferred the Thompson submachinegun and Alvin
York the Springfield rifle.
The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor to

HUFF, PAUL B.

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion. Place and date: Near Carano, Italy, 8 February 1944. Entered service at: Cleveland, Tenn. Birth: Cleveland, Tenn. G.O. No: 41, 26 May 1944.

Citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, in action on 8 February 1944, near Carano, Italy. Cpl. Huff volunteered to lead a 6-man patrol with the mission of determining the location and strength of an enemy unit which was delivering fire on the exposed right flank of his company. The terrain over which he had to travel consisted of exposed, rolling ground, affording the enemy excellent visibility. As the patrol advanced, its members were subjected to small arms and machinegun fire and a concentration of mortar fire, shells bursting within 5 to 10 yards of them and bullets striking the ground at their feet. Moving ahead of his patrol, Cpl. Huff drew fire from 3 enemy machineguns and a 20mm. weapon. Realizing the danger confronting his patrol, he advanced alone under deadly fire through a minefield and arrived at a point within 75 yards of the nearest machinegun position. Under direct fire from the rear machinegun, he crawled the remaining 75 yards to the closest emplacement, killed the crew with his submachine gun and destroyed the gun. During this act he fired from a kneeling position which drew fire from other positions, enabling him to estimate correctly the strength and location of the enemy. Still under concentrated fire, he returned to his patrol and led his men to safety. As a result of the information he gained, a patrol in strength sent out that afternoon, 1 group under the leadership of Cpl. Huff, succeeded in routing an enemy company of 125 men, killing 27 Germans and capturing 21 others, with a loss of only 3 patrol members. Cpl. Huff's intrepid leadership and daring combat skill reflect the finest traditions of the American infantryman.


41 posted on 11/03/2003 5:03:15 PM PST by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: 91B
In all, the IRS claimed York owed the U.S. government $85,442, plus an additional $87,155 in interest.

They might have gotten it too off his estate. An interesting question.

In the movie, the York character decides that it's right to fight a war to end all war. In real life, it would seem Alvin was moved to try and not profit off the fame the war brought him. No doubt a feeling that was only intensified with the continuation of war up and through World War II.

In December of 1918, the Literary Digest noted the 'if all the men killed in the war on all sides were to march down Fifth Avenue twenty abreast, from sunup to sundown every day, it would take four months for them to pass in review.'

Lucky for the politicians and world leaders they never could.

42 posted on 11/03/2003 5:19:05 PM PST by Held_to_Ransom
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Alvin York was a man of great Christian faith. My wife, her father, our daughter and I visited York's farm not long ago and enjoyed seeing his house, the farm, his and his family's graves and a movie about him. We went inside his house and walked around his place and even wobbled in fun atop a great (pretty high) swinging bridge (if you go to York's home, don't miss a chance to bounce on the bridge - my grown daughter thought it the highlight of the trip) suspended across the creek on a trail to and from the old farm.

While near the old mill on that warm Sunday afternoon, we witnessed a moving river baptism of newly saved Christians with many of their fellow churchgoers watching. The entire experience was real life in wonderful place. It was, I'm sure much as it was when Alvin York last lived there. It was memorable and I know Sgt. York would have smiled at our experiences visiting the beautiful valley he called home.

43 posted on 11/03/2003 5:36:35 PM PST by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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