Wilbur E. Colyer

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Wilbur E. Colyer
Born (1898-03-05)March 5, 1898
Brooklyn, New York
Died October 10, 1918(1918-10-10) (aged 20)
Place of burial Cypress Hills National Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1917 - 1918
Rank Sergeant
Unit Company A, 1st Engineer Regiment, 1st Infantry Division
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Medal of Honor

Wilbur E. Colyer (March 5, 1898 – October 10, 1918) was an American soldier serving in the U.S. Army during World War I who received the Medal of Honor for bravery.


Colyer was born March 5, 1898 in Brooklyn, New York and after enlisting in the Army in 1917[1] was sent to France to fight in World War I.[2] He died October 10, 1918 and is buried in Cypress Hills National Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York. His grave can be found in section 2, grave 8588.[3]

Medal of Honor Citation[edit]

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company A, 1st Engineers, 1st Division. Place and date: Near Verdun, France, 9 October 1918. Entered service at: South Ozone, Long Island, N.Y. Birth: Brooklyn, N.Y. General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 20 (January 30, 1919).


Volunteering with 2 other soldiers to locate machinegun nests, Sgt. Colyer advanced on the hostile positions to a point where he was half surrounded by the nests, which were in ambush. He killed the gunner of one gun with a captured German grenade and then turned this gun on the other nests silencing all of them before he returned to his platoon. He was later killed in action.[2]


On October 9, 2013, the 1st Engineer Battalion hosted a "mud run," modeled after the popular Tough Mudder, that included ruck marching, an obstacle course, and a crawl through a muddy pit. The course was named the "SGT Wilbur E. Colyer Diehard Challenge" in memory of SGT Colyer.

Military Awards[edit]

Colyer's military decorations and awards include:

Silver star
1st row Medal of Honor World War I Victory Medal w/one silver service star to denote credit for the Montdidier-Noyon, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Defensive Sector battle clasps.
Unit Award French Fourragère - Authorized permanent wear based on two French Croix de Guerre with Palm unit citations awarded the 1st Engineer Battalion for Lorraine-Picardy and Aisne-Marne/Meuse-Argonne

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Service Profile
  2. ^ a b "Medal of Honor recipients". World War I. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Wilbur E. Colyer". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved July 15, 2009.