Posted by: Ron DuBour | November 8, 2019

Knowing your American Heroes ~ ALVIN CULLUM YORK (1887-1964) ~ by rldubour


Friday! time for an American Hero!  Today is:

 

Knowing your American Heroes

ALVIN CULLUM YORK (1887-1964)

Image result for ALVIN CULLUM YORK (1887-1964)

The third of eleven children
Son of William and Mary York
Was born in Pall Mall, Tennessee
In the Valley of the Three Forks.

As was typical of the times
Farming and hunting what they could.
As a result young Alvin became
An expert marksman in the woods.

Quite a nuisance when he was young
Was often drunk and lots of fights.
A bad event he changed his ways
His best friend was killed one night.

Soon became a devout Christian
Was thought a conscientious objector.
Application for this status
Was filed by Mother and his pastor.

Was at the start of World War I
York refused to sign these papers.
Eventually was drafted
Ending rumors of that nature.

Nineteen-hundred and seventeen.
Assigned to the 82nd
In the United States Army
Now to fight his mind had reckoned.

Reassigned as a corporal
To the 328th.
As history is recorded
The date was October eighth.

At the Battle of Meuse River
A region belonging to France.
This was the decisive battle
That stopped the Germans advance.

In command of his detachment
After three NCOs were killed.
Almost single handedly
Instinct showed he was back woods skilled.

With one rifle and one pistol
He silenced thirty-five machine gun nests.
Without York and his quick actions
We lost ten men, but he saved the rest.

Without question he was a hero
Never claimed he acted alone.
York in fact was still a corporal
By three Countries their thanks were shown.

Received the Distinguished Service Cross
And promoted to Sergeant York.
This is the name that’s known world wide
This man from the Valley of Three Forks.

 

  AUTHOR NOTES*

NCO, noncommissioned officer
(December 13, 1887 – September 2, 1964)
York was something of a “nuisance” as a youth, frequently getting into drunken brawls. In 1914, his best friend was killed in a bar fight, prompting York to change his ways. He became a devout Christian after that incident, joining the denomination known as the Church of Christ in Christian Union. York eventually was drafted into the United States Army and assigned to the 82nd Infantry Division in 1917.At some point he experienced a change of heart and decided he would fight, but would never be proud of his war-time exploits. York deserves credit for his heroism is without question. Unfortunately, however, his exploit has been blown out of proportion with some accounts claiming that he silenced thirty-five machine guns and captured 132 prisoners single-handedly. York never claimed that he acted alone, nor was he proud of what he did. Twenty-five Germans lay dead, and by his accounting, York was responsible for at least nine of the deaths. Only two of the seven survivors were acknowledged for their participation in the event; Sergeant Early and Corporal Cutting were finally awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1927. Initially, York’s chain of command honored this accomplishment by awarding him the Distinguished Service Cross. France, whose forces he was directly aiding and whose territory was involved, added its Croix de Guerre and Legion of Honor. Italy and Montenegro, also allies, awarded him their Croce di Guerra and War Medal, respectively. The Distinguished Service Cross was upgraded to the Medal of Honor, which was presented to York by the commanding general of the American Expeditionary Force, John J. Pershing. Returning home as a war hero, York founded a private agricultural institute in Jamestown, Tennessee, near his home community of Pall Mall. The Alvin C. York Agricultural Institute never thrived under his management and was eventually turned over to the State of Tennessee. Alvin York died September 2, 1964, of a cerebral hemorrhage and was buried at the Wolf River Cemetery in Pall Mall.


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