SGT. ALVIN C. YORK
The third of 11 brats born to a family of Tennessee rednecks, Sgt. York didn’t even support World War I — he just turned out to be really, really good at fighting it. After being shipped out to basic in 1917, York, along with his unit of 16 other soldiers, was assigned to ambush a German encampment. The Germans saw York’s unit coming and machine-gunned nine of the men into SPAM, while the rest high-tailed in retreat. All except for York, that is. “I had no time no how to do nothing but watch them-there German machine gunners, and give them the best I had,” York wrote in his journal. The Sarge’s best included single-handedly capping 20 Germans before dropping a Game Over on six more—using a Colt .45, equipped with only eight bullets—who attempted to flank attack him.
It gets badasser…: German Lt. Paul Jurgen Vollmer actually conversed with York during the battle, attempting to find out his nationality. Vollmer assumed he was English, since at the time no one believed Americans could fight. When York revealed he was from the U.S. of A., however, Vollmer wisely rethought things and agreed to surrender. Minutes later, York marched 133 German captives back to the remains of his battalion.