Monday, May 27, 2013

What It Takes To Get A Lake Named After You

Say the name Foster Sayers around here and most people will

reference the lake encompassed by Bald Eagle State Park.

Sayers was just a country kid from Centre County, Pennsylvania. Some called him a bit of a roustabout...a ruffian. Feeling a bit aimless he volunteered for the US Army in the middle of WWII.  Then, in November of 1944 he moved forward on his own initiative to engage two German machine gun emplacements and drawing their fire so the rest of his company could move across an open field and outflank the enemy position. While his mates wiped out the Germans, Sayers was hit multiple times and died that day from his wounds.

Foster Sayers was posthumously awarded our nation's highest honor, the 
Congressional Medal Of Honor

From his citation:
He displayed conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty in combat on 12 November 1944, near Thionville, France. During an attack on strong hostile forces entrenched on a hill he fearlessly ran up the steep approach toward his objective and set up his machinegun 20 yards from the enemy. Realizing it would be necessary to attract full attention of the dug-in Germans while his company crossed an open area and flanked the enemy, he picked up his gun, charged through withering machinegun and rifle fire to the very edge of the emplacement, and there killed 12 German soldiers with devastating close-range fire. He took up a position behind a log and engaged the hostile infantry from the flank in an heroic attempt to distract their attention while his comrades attained their objective at the crest of the hill. He was killed by the very heavy concentration of return fire; but his fearless assault enabled his company to sweep the hill with minimum of casualties, killing or capturing every enemy soldier on it. Pfc. Sayers' indomitable fighting spirit, aggressiveness, and supreme devotion to duty live on as an example of the highest traditions of the military service.
He was just 20 years old. 

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