|Birth: ||Feb. 6, 1898|
|Death: ||Jan. 28, 1978|
Meyersdale Republican: September 12, 1918
BACK FROM THE JAWS OF DEATH
Sergt. George L. Foy, First Survivor of Company C to Return Home.
“Back from the jaws of death,
Back from the mouth of hell.”
can as truly be said of Sergt. George L. Foy as of Tennyson’s immortal Six Hundred.
Sergt. Foy is the first survivor of Co. C. 110th U.S. Inf., which won everlasting fame on the banks of the historic river Marne, and by its heroic stand turned the tide of battle in what is believed to be the Hun’s last great offensive, and started the retreat from which it is believed the Prussian military machine will never be able to recover.
Sergt. Foy’s return to the States was announced in last week’s paper, but he did not arrive at Meyersdale before Saturday evening. No conquering hero was ever hailed with more gladness and joy than this brave Meyersdale boy upon his safe return from the very jaws of death. All the way from the B. & O. station to the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Foy, on Grant street, the sergeant was hailed by friends and strangers, who felt honored to shake hands with him.
It was a moment of supreme joy to the Foy household when their gallant son, looking the very picture of health, stepped over the threshold of home after nearly a year’s absence during which he took part in one of the greatest drams of all times and braved death a thousand times in various forms.
His week’s furlough at home is a continuous ovation, the only thing to mar the pleasure of his visit being the memory of so many of his comrades dead, wounded and prisoners beyond the sea.
Sergt. Foy was not with the main body of Company C on the fateful night of July 14th when the Germans laid down the heaviest barrage of the entire war, following it up with an infantry attack in force by the picked me of the German crown prince’s troops, the famous Prussian Guard, their intention being to smash through the Franco-American lines at this point for a swift dash to Paris.
Company C was in the very apex of the point of attack which the Huns selected as the place for them to cross the Marne, and withstood the withering fire until completely surrounded by the vastly superior numbers and cut off from the remainder of the regiment and the supporting American and French troops.
Sergt. Foy, in command of a squad of scouts and snipers, had reconnoitered the ground upon which the battle occurred the previous Wednesday and located a Hun outlook in an old castle on the north bank of the Marne, which was promptly demolished by American artillery on information given by Foy and his fellow scouts.
He had orders to join the rest of the company in the front line trenches with his squad on the fateful night of July 14th but after the barrage commenced they received the orders to delay his start until the following morning. About 9 o’clock Monday morning, they started forward, but encountered such heavy shell fire that they were obliged to make a long detour and enter the front line in another sector.
For several days the sergeant and a few men occupied an observation post on a hill overlooking a large section of the battlefield. They were shelled out of this position several times. From this point he observed the magnificent spectacle of the French and American troops coming up in force when the counter attack began which started the Huns on the run and has kept them going ever since.
Sergt. Foy continued with the advancing victorious troops to the Ourcq River, where the Huns were strongly entrenched on a high wooded hill, which the Americans stormed in the midst of withering artillery, machine gun and one-pounder fire, and succeeded in taking on the sixth attempt. During their entire advance the ground was strewn with dead Germans.
He continued with his regiment to the Vesle River and remained under almost constant fire until after the capture of Fismes and Fismette by the Americans. Then he was called to battalion headquarters and told by the major that he was to return to the States to act as instructor at one of the training camps.
He had but a few minutes time to prepare for his journey, and barely had time to say good-bye to his few remaining comrades of Company C, including Sergt. Ross Coffroth, Bugler Jones, Corp. Alva Martz and Jimmie Matthews. He had as a traveling companion Sergt. Bell of Co. E, of Scottdale, who was sent home on a similar errand.
They made their way back to Paris on motor trucks and all sorts of conveyances. On the drive northward they crossed the Marne at Chauteau Theirry. Returning a few weeks later, a fine steel erected by the American engineers, spanned the stream at that point.
Sergt. Foy spent one day in Paris before proceeding to Brock, where he embarked on a returning transport for Newport News, Va. About 200 miles out from Brest, the transport was attacked by several German submarines. Two torpedoes were launched at the ship, one passing by the bow and the other by the stern. One of the torpedoes struck the propeller of one of the destroyers convoying the transport and disabled it so it had to be towed back to Brest. Depth bombs were dropped and one of the Hun U-boats was put out of business. After this incident the remainder of the voyage was uneventful.
Sergt. Foy addressed the pupils of the high school Tuesday morning, speaking about an hour and a half and giving a very interesting talk on the life of the boys “over there” and the battle of the Marne, in which Company C distinguished itself so gallantly. Tuesday evening he made an address at the service flag raising, as elsewhere noted. On Wednesday afternoon he went to Somerset and gave a talk in the assembly room of the court house, which was jammed to its utmost capacity with eager listeners and hundreds had to be turned away. Friday evening he will give a short talk at the Auditorium about 8:30.
The Sergeant will proceed to Camp Meade, Md., at the expiration of his furlough next week to take charge of the intelligence section of a training battalion as instructing intelligence officer.
The Cumberland News (Cumberland, Maryland): Mar. 28, 1966
MEYERSDALE - George Lawrence Foy, who has been active in local civic affairs, was named 1966 Citizen of the Year of Meyersdale.
He was honored during a program which was sponsored by the Meyersdale Rotary Club at the First Methodist Church.
A native of Plum Bottom, Mr. Foy has emerged as one of Meyersdale's "greatest self made men." From his early employment in the coal mines, cigar factory, railroad, painting and hotel clerk, he rose rapidly to postal clerk, art instructor, industrial and advertising art executive and military career officer.
His military career began on April 17, 1917.
The Daily American, 30 January 1978:
George L. Foy, 79, Meyersdale, died Jan. 28, 1978 in Meyersdale Community
Hospital. Born Feb. 6, 1898, a son of the late Samuel and Mary (Kumpf) Foy. He was also preceded in death by two wives and five sisters.
Survived by his widow, Katheryn Werner and a son, Robert, Medford, N.J.
He was a retired U.S. Army career man with 41 years of service, holding a rank of retired Brig. Gen. in the Pa. National Guard. He was a member of the Meyersdale VFW, charter member and past commander of the Meyersdale American Legion, Mayor of Meyersdale from 1962-1966. He was a member and past president of the Meyersdale Rotary Club, Meyersdale Citizen of the Year in 1966, past director of the Pa. Maple Festival, past director of the American Red Cross. He was a director of the Rt. 219 Association, Director of Meyersdale Ambulance Association, member of the Hillcrest Grange and a member of the Somerset County Historical and Geological Society.
Friends are being received at the Leckemby Funeral Home, Meyersdale where services will be Monday at 2 p.m., with the Rev Harold A. Appel. Interment, Union Cemetery.
Samuel George Foy (1865 - 1930)
Mary Kumpf Foy (1870 - 1963)
Maude Mary Foy Rumgay (1889 - 1973)*
Edna E. Foy (1893 - 1895)*
James M. Foy (1895 - 1897)*
George L. Foy (1898 - 1978)
Regina R. Foy Enoch (1900 - 1964)*
Estelle M. Foy Scanlon (1902 - 1996)*
John L. Foy (1904 - 1979)*
Charles Edward Foy (1908 - 1998)*
Cecelia Lucille Foy Weller (1912 - 1992)*
Joseph S. Foy (1914 - 1914)*
Maintained by: RandallF.
Originally Created by: J. Chambers
Record added: Jan 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 83583129