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William F. Lyell (February 14, 1929 -August 31, 1951) was a soldier in the United States Army during the Korean War. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions on August 31, 1951.
Medal of Honor citation: Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company F, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division
Place and date: Near Chup'a-ri, Korea, August 31, 1951
Entered service at: Old Hickory, Tenn. Birth: Hickman County, Tennessee
G.O. No.: 4, January 9, 1953.
Citation: Cpl. Lyell, a member of Company F, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. When his platoon leader was killed, Cpl. Lyell assumed command and led his unit in an assault on strongly fortified enemy positions located on commanding terrain. When his platoon came under vicious, raking fire which halted the forward movement, Cpl. Lyell seized a 57mm. recoilless rifle and unhesitatingly moved ahead to a suitable firing position from which he delivered deadly accurate fire completely destroying an enemy bunker, killing its occupants. He then returned to his platoon and was resuming the assault when the unit was again subjected to intense hostile fire from 2 other bunkers. Disregarding his personal safety, armed with grenades he charged forward hurling grenades into 1 of the enemy emplacements, and although painfully wounded in this action he pressed on destroying the bunker and killing 6 of the foe. He then continued his attack against a third enemy position, throwing grenades as he ran forward, annihilating 4 enemy soldiers. He then led his platoon to the north slope of the hill where positions were occupied from which effective fire was delivered against the enemy in support of friendly troops moving up. Fearlessly exposing himself to enemy fire, he continuously moved about directing and encouraging his men until he was mortally wounded by enemy mortar fire. Cpl. Lyell's extraordinary heroism, indomitable courage, and aggressive leadership reflect great credit on himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.
There is an Army Reserve Center dedicated to him. It is the William F. Lyell Army Reserve Center, located at 160 White Bridge Road, Nashville TN 37209.
Wall honors DuPont's World War II veterans
Plaque found in trash inspires new monument in Old Hickory
From The TENNESSEAN
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
By Terrance Dean
A plaque honoring a local Medal of Honor recipient, placed mistakenly in the trash at the DuPont Rayon factory, turned into a treasure for residents of Old Hickory for a special Memorial Day event yesterday.
The plaque honoring Army Cpl. William Franklin Lyell hung on the walls at DuPont for years.
Two years ago, the plaque was placed in storage during a cleanup operation. It was accidentally placed in the trash. Someone discovered the plaque before it was lost, and community members, along with DuPont employees, decided to build on that one memorial by honoring Old Hickory's many veterans.
Yesterday, more than 300 veterans, community leaders and residents gathered at Veterans Memorial Park to unveil a wall monument with the names 691 employees of DuPont who served in World War II.
"This is truly overwhelming," said Kris Brummett, chairwoman of the Veterans Memorial Park Committee. "We wanted to honor all the veterans of Old Hickory, and today we are specifically honoring those who served in World War II."
Brummett, a technical writer for DuPont, led the research to find veterans from Old Hickory who had served in all branches of the military.
"It is estimated that there were over 1,000 men and women who served in World War II from Old Hickory," she said. "Old Hickory is a tight-knit community. Today, we are leaving a legacy for the residents and our children."
Marine Sgt. Andre Mitchell made an impromptu speech at the event. Mitchell, from Old Hickory, had just returned the day before from duty in Iraq.
Mitchell, who has received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, shared words of thanks and praise for the day.
"It's an honor to be here today," he said. "I love serving my country. We are here to pay respect to the World War II veterans and their kids."
U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper shared with the crowd not only the importance of honoring the veterans but also how the community pulled together to make this happen.
"I was supposed to be in Iraq today," Cooper said. "I thought I should be here on a day like today. Old Hickory is a community where everyone knows each other. This community has an amazing history."
Throughout the event, the 129th Army Band performed various musical tributes. Cub Scouts from Pack 70 of DuPont Elementary School helped to raise the flag. Cub Scout Sean Bond, 8, of Old Hickory was responsible for raising the flag on the pole. "It felt good," he said.
"It's a great honor," Cubmaster Russ Carpenter said. "We'll do anything we can in Old Hickory to help out and show our support."
Veterans from the Marines, Army, Air Force and Navy, along with their relatives and friends, filled the park. Some members lifted their small flags and waved their caps as speakers remembered various community members from Old Hickory.
"It feels great to be here," veteran Dorothy Richards, 85, said. Richards served in the Women's Army Corps from 1942-1945.
"This has been a long time coming for the residents of Old Hickory," she said.
The Veterans Memorial Park Committee has plans to honor those who served in World War I, the Korean War, Vietnam, and other military campaigns up to Iraq.
"We want to keep the memory of Old Hickory alive," said Wilson Stewart, treasurer of the Veterans Memorial Park Committee.
"I want to do all I can to help the community."