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Foster Joseph Sayers (April 27, 1924‚??November 12, 1944) was a 20 year old infantryman from Centre County. He received the Medal of Honor for acts of bravery near Thionville, France on November 12, 1944. Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir at Bald Eagle State Park near his hometown of Howard, Pennsylvania is named in his honor.
He is buried in Schencks Cemetery in Howard, Pennsylvania.
Medal of Honor Citation
Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company L, 357th Infantry, 90thInfantry Division. Entered service at: Howard, Pa. Birth: Marsh Creek, Pa. Place and date: Near Thionville, France, November 12, 1944. Killed in action. G.O. No.: 89, October 19, 1945.
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.
The Sayers family has¬†donated the Congressional Medal of Honor to the¬† Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) for placement at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in a ceremony during which Governor Tom Ridge , a veteran himself, accepted it on behalf of the Commonwealth. Foster J. Sayers' Medal of Honor has become the centerpiece of one of the museum's most moving installations honoring Pennsylvanians killed in action. In addition to the Congressional Medal of Honor, the exhibit includes Sayers' citation from President Harry S. Truman, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, dog tags, and unit badges including a crest, bearing the motto Siempre Alerta, or ‚??Always on Alert.‚??
Located in Bald Eagle State Park in Howard, Pennsylvania, Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir is a 1,730-acre (700 ha) reservoir that was built in 1971 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of a flood control project on the Susquehanna River basin. The lake was created by damming Bald Eagle Creek. It stretches upstream for 8¬†miles (12.87 km) and has 23¬†miles (37.01 km) of shoreline. The park is at an elevation of 958¬†feet (292 m).