Highway Dedicated to Almond E. Fisher, World War II Medal of Honor Recipient and Veterans Advocate

Catharine Young

August 09, 2012

HUME – Decades after leading his platoon through a harrowing World War II battle for which he earned the Congressional Medal of Honor, Lt. Col. Almond E. Fisher is being memorialized for his service to the country and to its veterans.

During a ceremony Thursday afternoon, State Highway 19 in the Town of Hume was dedicated as the "Almond E. Fisher Memorial Highway." State Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I–Olean) and State Assemblyman Daniel J. Burling (R,C-Warsaw) sponsored the legislation renaming the highway.

Lt. Col. Fisher was awarded the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart for his actions during combat in central France. He single-handedly destroyed multiple enemy machine gun positions during the battle. Despite being wounded in both feet, he continued to lead his platoon and refused medical treatment until his platoon’s position was secure.

“As a young Army officer, Almond E. Fisher served with great distinction during the intensity of combat. He provided tremendous leadership for his platoon, despite being injured. And even after his time in combat, he continued to serve his fellow veterans through his work for the Veterans Administration and other veterans groups. Our veterans deserve the utmost respect, and I am thankful for the opportunity to recognize Almond E. Fisher for his courage, dedication, and years of service to our country,” said Senator Young.

“As a combat Veteran, it was an honor and privilege to carry the legislation in the Assembly designating a portion of State Highway 19 in the Town of Hume that commemorates Almond E. Fisher, a soldier at age 17, who was dedicated to his men and their mission during World War II. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism, a Purple Heart, and many other awards,” said Assemblyman Burling.

“Almond E. Fisher is an American hero, a United States Army World War II combat veteran who led his platoon in hand-to-hand combat in France. Lt. Col. Fisher was born in the Town of Hume, Allegany County, and remains a true hometown hero. I’m proud to be part of this dedication for Congressional Medal of Honor and Purple Heart recipient, Almond E. Fisher,” said Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio (R,C,I–Gowanda).

“The Town of Hume is honored to take part in this memorable occasion to dedicate to the memory of Almond E. Fisher, World War II Medal of Honor and Purple Heart recipient, that portion of State Route 19 from the Wyoming/Allegany County line to Allegany County Road 3. We are especially pleased to recognize Lt. Col. Fisher for his service to our country with a designated road so close to his birthplace, Rose Hill, located on Trall Road in the Town of Hume. The Town of Hume is grateful for people like Lt. Col. Almond E. Fisher, who thought first of fellow comrades and gave unselfishly of themselves to guarantee the freedoms we take for granted,” said Dennis Ricketts, Town of Hume Supervisor.

David Fisher, a nephew of Lt. Col. Fisher and a veteran who was wounded while serving in the Vietnam War, described his tremendous admiration for his uncle’s heroic actions. “What I went through while serving was nothing compared to what he did in one night. It amazes me every time I read his story,” said David Fisher.

Karen Sochor, one of Lt. Col. Fisher’s daughters, described her father as a humble man dedicated to serving veterans. “My dad felt that he wasn’t the only one to deserve the Medal of Honor. He felt that there were people who deserved it more than him,” said Mrs. Sochor.

After serving on active duty, Lt. Col. Fisher spent another 19 years in the National Guard and continued his service throughout his career with the Veterans Administration.

“My dad had a lot of love for the military and his country,” said Mrs. Sochor.

“He dedicated his whole life to his fellow men,” added David Fisher.

“I’ve always felt that it was important to recognize our veterans both collectively and individually for the freedoms that we enjoy in the United States. In dedicating this highway to Almond E. Fisher, it will stand as a constant reminder to all our citizens who travel it of the historic efforts and sacrifices our veterans have made and continue to make on our behalf,” said Curt Crandall, Chairman of the Allegany County Legislature.

“This commemorative highway is a fitting tribute to a man who was recognized for his actions and who devoted his career to serving veterans and their families.  I am pleased to have worked with Senator Cathy Young on this permanent memorial and thank Governor Cuomo who signed this legislation into law,” said Assemblyman Burling.

“I’m very moved and very proud that my dad is being recognized this way. It’s a reminder of the sacrifices of our soldiers. We need to see it. We need to be reminded,” said Mrs. Sochor.