Welcome to the Sergeant Alvin C. York Project Website

New Tour Guide now available!



Apollo Battlefields - 2015

Michael Kelly has been guiding in Normandy and the Great War Battlefields for almost eighteen years. He has taken many American tours including Cornell University (Professor Joel Silby) and Elderhostel programmes. Michael has guided Australian groups, these include the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne; the Spirit of Anzac Projects (Professor Bruce Scates) and Wollongong University, (Professor John McQuilton) He has been involved in the Sergeant York Project since inception working alongside Dr. Tom Nolan (MTSU retired) and Dr. Michael Birdwell, (Tennessee Tech) He also played a part with the Australian Fromelles recovery of the bodies of soldiers killed in 1916. Many of them were identified using DNA techniques but 131 are still awaiting the process.

Michael saw service in the Royal Navy and was a detective in the British police working in the detection of homicides and major crime. This role has stood him in good stead whilst working on the York project and the others as described above.

Currently in 2015, Michael is working with Fallen Diggers Inc. An Australian based organisation that specialises in the identification of soldiers killed during the Great War.

Should you want to take a tour of the U.S. Battlefields from the Great War, you may prefer to do it on your own, in which case Michael's Guide Book will be invaluable to you. (Click Here)

However, if you want a tour with Michael as your guide, you should contact him on apollobattlefieldguide@gmail.com

You can read more about Michael and Apollo tours on the website: apollo-battlefield-guide.com



October 2012

NEW: Testimonial received today the 12 October 2012:

'Walking the hillside where Sgt York won his MoH, we were also able identify how he would be concealed from the located German MG position and use this to successfully engage the Germans soldiers.  Overall, all of our terrain associations and ad hoc recreations, combined with your stellar documentation and archeology, conclusively proves to me the accuracy of your findings.' Click here to read the full testimonial

There will be a Sergeant York exhibit opening at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville on Remembrance Day 2012. More details will be published here.


December 2011

You may view the very latest publication from Dr. Nolan and Colonel Mastriano at this link: battleguide

It is in .pdf format and free of charge but you have to read it on-line. Both sides give their reasons and submit their evidence in their claim for identifying the different locations of York's fight.


New YouTube Videos introducing our 2010 fact-finding tour!

It has been five years since the York Project conducted their in-depth investigation in the Argonne Forest. In 2006, evidence in the form of a U.S collar disc inscribed '328 G' was found along with a large amount of both German and American artifacts which suggested that there had been a large scale surrender by German troops at this point. It has been two years since the Project Team discovered the temporary graves of the 6 American soldiers killed in this action.

You can download an introduction here (PDF, 1.6MB).

The evidence gathered from 2006 became the doctoral dissertation of Tom Nolan from MTSU. It can be viewed and downloaded (PDF) from this link: http://ecommons.txstate.edu/geogtad/5/

During the period while this evidence was being collated and Dr. Nolan's paper written, Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas Mastriano of the Sergeant York Discovery Expedition, who believes that the site of York's action is 500 - 600 meters from where we in the Project team believe it to be, had hastily put together results of his investigation then having declared his findings, he convinced both French and American authorities that he was correct.

A Memorial was inaugurated at this site on the 90th Anniversary of the action and a trail has been laid to this Memorial. This officer was fully aware that the York Project team were investigating at the same time, but he preferred to proceed in his quest without consultation and in the fixated belief that he was right.

The Project Team continued. believing that York's fight was conducted on a western facing slope in the Argonne Forest, as indeed the records suggested it was. Further examination of the Grave Registration Services records were carried out. (These were records of burial sites of the 6 American soldiers killed in the York fight). It was felt that a further detailed examination of the Project Team site was needed and in April 2009, a team of professional archaeologists, scientists and historians conducted a 10 day investigation at the site.

It was felt that if evidence of the temporary burial sites of the 6 American soldiers could be found then the case could be finally presented. The team was joined on this occasion by Brad Posey, a retired US soldier now living in Germany. He is an accomplished metal detector operator and an authority on German and American weaponry of this period. Brad had been a disenchanted member of the Mastriano team before leaving them and joining the Project Team. In the 18 months since this investigation concluded, the team has been busy. Posey has cleaned and catalogued the many thousands of artefacts that were discovered. He has visited the German archives and meticulously researched hundreds of documents, many of which had not seen the light of day for many years. He, Dr. Nolan and Michael Kelly have put together a feasible and convincing portrayal as to what may have taken place on that October 1918 morning.

The Project Team are pleased at long last to be able to present this paper. It is lengthy and we hope that as a result of this, more people will take notice and make representation. Despite its hasty appearance, we accept that it is hardly feasible to move a Memorial once in place, but due recognition of an event in history should be accepted and documented and a tablet laid at the true site. We feel that history deserves to know the truth and in the words of Dr. Tom Nolan, 'The truth will out one day.' In order to minimise the size of the paper, several extracts are presented separately. For instance should one wish to read Posey's excellent section on ammunition , one should click on that pdf document. There is a short film which gives a brief introduction to the written paper.

To see our new YouTube videos or download the full report, click : Burial Site Discovery - April '09

Sergeant York Tour Guide now available!

cover of the new Sgt York tour guideNow you can retrace the steps of Sergeant York yourself with our brand new Tour Guide. Our new publication contains many maps and photographs including a map annotated by the group leader Dr. Tom Nolan of MTSU which shows where all our artefacts were discovered during the project excavations in France.

In addition are details of many other American sites of interest from WW1 together with French battle areas. As an aid to the traveler, satellite navigational points have been included together with details of hotels and restaurants. You also receive full details of free downloads now available, including Dr Tom Nolan's comprehensive dissertation on the location of Sgt. York's military endeavors, the most authoritative document available - more below.

Our exclusive Tour Guide is designed to assist the WW1 Battlefield travelers to easily find their way around the American battlefields in the Meuse-Argonne. With pictures, maps and satellite navigation points, you will be able to spend your time exploring battlefields without getting lost!

The guide contains the following important information when visiting the battlefields

Details of Recommended inexpensive, but comfortable hotels

The latest map showing where the York Project discovered the site

Road maps annotated by Dr. Nolan of M.T.S.U. which allow the traveler to get to the sites of interest

Satellite Navigation points for ease of navigation including the coordinates which will take you to:

The Site of the discovery of the German machine-gun which fired on the patrol.......


The Place where the Unit Collar Disc was located by the Project team.

A section of the guide is dedicated to the memory of the soldiers who were killed on 8 October 1918 and to those who are nearly always forgotten, the survivors.

This guide is an invaluable aid to the battlefield tourist who wishes to visit U.S. sites of interest in a particularly beautiful rural area of France. Buy now online - payment is accepted by Paypal and we will post the printed guide anywhere in the world.


The campaigns of Sgt Alvin C. York

Sergeant Alvin C. York was born a poorly-educated Tennessee mountaineer who was to become a World War 1 national hero, decorated for his heroic deeds and acts of bravery as a soldier of Company 'G' in the 328th Infantry of the US Army.

Sergeant York was awarded his nation’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions outside the French village of Châtel-Chéhéry on October 8, 1918, during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive against the German forces.

The impressive statue of Alvin York in front of Nashville's Tennessee State Capitol building attests to his enduring importance in Tennessee history. His return from France was honored throughout the state of Tennessee and he became an influential state and national figure for the remainder of his life.

History in the making

Until now, the exact circumstances and locations regarding York’s exploits at Châtel- Chéhéry have eluded us. They have been the subject of much controversy amongst military historians in the US and Europe.

Now for the first time, the truth of York's valiant deeds can be revealed.

In November 2006, the Sergeant York Project research team found compelling and indisputable evidence in the Argonne Forest, France, that revealed for the first time the exact circumstances in which Sergeant Alvin York killed 21 German troops and took 132 of the enemy as prisoners.

A formidable team of American academics and military historians, British battlefield experts and the French archaeological authorities all worked together on this project and by using the very latest research techniques on site in France, York's WW1 battlefield campaign slowly unfolded stage by stage.

The entire campaign has now been skilfully documented in a Dissertation by Thomas J. Nolan, B.S., M.S. called Battlefield Landscapes: Geographical Information Science as a Method of Integrating History and Archaeology for Battlefield Interpretation.

The paper has the accolade of becoming the undisputed and accurate account of Sergeant York's victories in the World War 1 battlefields of France.

"In November 2000 I gave a paper at a meeting of the Western Front Association (US Branch) in Tennessee. Part of the meeting was a visit to Pall Mall, the home of Alvin C. York. York and his exploits were always at the periphery of my own work with the First Division, but that conference stimulated my interest.

"Now Thomas J. Nolan, with the help of many colleagues, has investigated the question “where exactly did York’s heroic actions take place”? Combining his own expertise in archeology with the historical records and the assistance of local experts, Nolan and the research team located significant artifact evidence in the Argonne near the village of Châtel-Chéhéry.

"This detailed report of the findings and the methodology used, based on Nolan’s doctoral dissertation, has opened new avenues of battlefield research."

— John F. Votaw, Sr. Author of The American Expeditionary Forces in World War I (Osprey, 2005)

Our web site contains a wealth of resources and background which will appeal to everyone involved with the life and times of Sergeant Alvin C. York.

A German Gas Mask from the York site has been stabilised, click here to see photograph

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