Russell J. York
Russell J. York (August 5, 1921 – July 22, 2006)  was a native of Waterville, Maine who served in World War II in 1942-1945 as a combat medic assigned to the 4th Engineer Battalion of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division. He landed at Utah Beach on D-Day under the command of Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. and with the U.S. 22d Infantry Regiment served in the campaigns in Northern France, Rhineland, Battle of the Bulge and Central Europe.
Silver Star citation
For gallantry in action in Germany, November 20, 1944, Technician Medical Fourth Grade York accompanied an engineer squad on a mission of building a two-span trestle bridge. The bridge site [The Weiser Weh near Grosshau] and a nearby crossroads were under direct enemy observation and subject to mortar and artillery fire. While the work was in progress, the enemy delivered a concentration of heavy caliber artillery fire. As the squad dispersed, several members became casualties.
Although the shelling continued, Technician Medical Fourth Grade York went from one man to another administering first aid. While one casualty lay in an exposed position, directly on the crossroads, he bandaged his wounds and assisted in removing him to a vehicle. As the shelling continued, York repeatedly entered the zone of fire to administer to the casualties, regardless of personal risk involved. Many shells burst close by, but he persisted in work until all wounded were evacuated … York's spirit of courageous self-sacrifice resulted in saving many lives.
During the incident York ran out of tourniquet material and went to Major General Raymond O. Barton, his commander, and requested the General lend him his belt. He did and York went back in to treat more men.
York is reported to have been at the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald sometime during 1945, where a contingent of American press including the CBS News correspondent Edward R. Murrow arrived on April 15, 1945. However, his units weren't involved in the liberation of the camp on April 11, 1945. At the end of April, the U.S. 4th Infantry Division liberated a sub-camp of the Dachau concentration camp near Haunstetten. Prisoners from the Buchenwald camp were transferred into this region at the time.
York turned down a Purple Heart so as to not worry his mother, and because he felt coughing up blood from a concussion paled compared to what he'd seen others endure on a daily basis. He shared the incident with Hemingway, "who suffered four concussions in two years during World War II." In Company "C" he was known as "Doc." His jacket, medals, dog tags and Bible are on display at the 4th Infantry Division museum at Fort Carson, Colorado.
- Silver Star
- Bronze Star
- Good Conduct Medal
- Presidential Unit Citation
- European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal With Arrowhead device and one Silver Service star
- American Campaign Medal
- Army of Occupation Medal with Germany clasp
- World War II Victory Medal
- Belgian Fourragere
- Honorable Service Lapel Button World War II
- Combat Medical Badge
- Morning Sentinel July 28, 2006
- World War II Memorial Archived 2013-09-06 at the Wayback Machine
- Robert S.Rush, Hell in the Forest:The 22d Infantry Regiment in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest Archived 2006-04-27 at the Wayback Machine
- "4th Infantry Division". Order of Battle of the United States Army World War II, European Theater of Operation. December 1945.
- MacDonald, Charles B. The Battle For the Huertgen Forest: ISBN 0-8122-1831-0
- Rush, Robert S. Hell in the Hurtgen Forest: ISBN 0-7006-1360-9
- Hemingway, Ernest M. By-line Ernest Hemingway: ISBN 0-684-83905-9
- 4th Engineer Combat Battalion
- 4th Engineer Battalion