JFK+50: Volume 5, No. 1737
TENNESSEE MOUNTAIN BOY BECOMES WORLD WAR I HERO
Leaving his men to guard captured Germans, York proceeded to kill 25 enemy soldiers with his rifle and pistol before forcing 132 more to surrender.
Ironically, Corporal York, a pacifist and lay deacon of his church back in the mountains of Tennessee, was denied exemption from service on religious grounds. York was drafted into the 328th Regiment, 82nd Infantry.
Marshal Ferdinand Foch, Supreme Allied Commander in WWI, said upon awarding Sgt. York with the Croix de Guerre...
"What you did was the greatest thing accomplished by any private soldier of all the armies of Europe."
Sergeant Alvin C. York
*Alvin Cullum York (1887-1964) was born near Pall Mall, TN. He attended school only 9 months quitting to work on the family farm. He later worked on the railroad and as a logger.
Back home in Tennessee, Alvin refused to take advantage of many opportunities to profit from his war experiences and instead established a foundation to increase educational opportunities for the youth of Tennessee.