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Descendants of Patrick Riley

Notes


288. Willie Sandlin

East Kentucky’s Answer to Sergeant York Sergeant Willie Sandlin, born near Buckhorn in Perry County, was the only Kentuckian to receive the Congressional Medal Of Honor in World War I. Of all the American servicemen who fought during the Great War, only Sergeant Alvin C York received more decorations for valor than Sandlin. He enlisted in the army in 1914 and served on the Mexican border. In 1917 he was sent to France with the 132d Infantry. Promoted to sergeant, Sandlin single-handedly destroyed three German machine gun emplacements and killed twenty-four of the enemy on September 26, 1918, at Bois de Forges. For that action, he was awarded the congressional Medal of Honor on July 9, 1919. After the war, Sandlin returned to East Kentucky and bought a farm on Owls Nest Creek near Hyden. He and his wife, the former Belvia Roberts, were active in the Frontier Nursing Service. They had one son and four daughters. Sandlin, then 59, died on May 29, 1949, of a lingering lung infection resulting from a poison gas attack on his company in the Battle of the Argonne. He was buried in Hurricane Cemetery near Hyden. In September 1990 his remains were reburied in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville


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