On Oct. 8, 1918, while serving on the Western Front, Army Cpl. Alvin C. York led a charge against a German machine-gun position during World War I, which resulted in 20 enemy casualties attributed to York alone, and the capture of 132 German soldiers.
This Air Force commando called in 688,000 pounds of bombs in one battle
He did it with just seven men.
York grew up near the Tennessee–Kentucky border, the third of 11 children in a family that subsisted on hunting and farming, making York a skilled marksman. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, York was drafted into the Army after being denied conscientious-objector status, which allows an individual to defer military service based on freedom of thought, conscience, or religion — he became a Christian fundamentalist two years earlier.
Serving in the 82nd Infantry Division, York arrived in France in May 1918 and served on the Western Front, where brutal trench warfare, gas attacks, artillery bombardments, and charges across contested no-man’s land led to more than 13 million casualties between the two sides.