This month we compare a few citations. I want to stress in doing so that I seek not to cheapen or take away anything from our initial recipient, Alvin York, but instead merely wish to point out that there were others who did things just as amazing as York, but who did not receive the acclaim he did.
General Pershing named York one of the top three soldiers of the AEF, and this seems to have been the spur that drove him to the heights he achieved at the hands of the press, while these others remained largely anonymous.
So let’s look at York’s citation and one other this week, and then over the next three I will also present the citations of a series of men who captured guns and enemy troops, as did York, and with just as much guts and verve, but for which history has not been as kind.
Make the most of your day!
Alvin C. York
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company G, 328th Infantry, 82d Division. Place and date: Near Chatel-Chehery, France, 8 October 1918. Entered service at: Pall Mall, Tenn. Born: 13 December 1887, Fentress County, Tenn. G.O. No.: 59, W.D., 1919. Citation: After his platoon had suffered heavy casualties and 3 other noncommissioned officers had become casualties, Cpl. York assumed command. Fearlessly leading 7 men, he charged with great daring a machinegun nest which was pouring deadly and incessant fire upon his platoon. In this heroic feat the machinegun nest was taken, together with 4 officers and 128 men and several guns.
Edward C. Allworth
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, 60th Infantry, 5th Division. Place and date: At Clery-le-Petit, France, 5 November 1918. Entered service at: Corvallis, Oreg. Born: 6 July 1887, Crawford, Wash. G.O. No.: 16, W.D., 1919. Citation: While his company was crossing the Meuse River and canal at a bridgehead opposite Clery-le-Petit, the bridge over the canal was destroyed by shell fire and Capt. Allworth’s command became separated, part of it being on the east bank of the canal and the remainder on the west bank. Seeing his advance units making slow headway up the steep slope ahead, this officer mounted the canal bank and called for his men to follow. Plunging in he swam across the canal under fire from the enemy, followed by his men. Inspiring his men by his example of gallantry, he led them up the slope, joining his hard-pressed platoons in front. By his personal leadership he forced the enemy back for more than a kilometer, overcoming machinegun nests and capturing 100 prisoners, whose number exceeded that of the men in his command. The exceptional courage and leadership displayed by Capt. Allworth made possible the re-establishment of a bridgehead over the canal and the successful advance of other troops.
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