Sergeant Edwards worked on one of the military’s first ever remote-controlled tanks
LITTLE GENESEE – A Korean War Veteran who helped to develop one of the military's first remote-controlled tanks over 60 years ago was given five service medals from Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I- Olean) at a ceremony today.
Sergeant Edwards received the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Korea Medal, the Republic of Korea-Korean War Service Medal, the New York State Medal For Merit and the New York State Conspicuous Service Star for his service overseas during the Korean War. The ceremony took place at the Faith Bible Church Learning Center in Little Genesee.
“Sergeant Edwards has been an inspiration to us all. He answered the call to service at a time when the entire globe was still recovering from World War II, and turmoil and uncertainty reigned. He rose through the ranks quickly, achieving the rank of Sergeant, and was an integral support piece to our nation’s efforts to bring peace to Korea. I am thrilled to give these medals to such a deserving veteran,” said Senator Young.
“This event today gives me a lot of personal satisfaction. Not only do I appreciate these medals and the recognition I received today, but I am happy that so many of my family members could be here to see it and I hope it is something that they will always remember. Thank you to Senator Young for these medals and this great honor,” said Sergeant Edwards.
Sergeant Lyle P. Edwards enlisted in the Army with one of his friends on August 17, 1948, at the recruiting office in Olean. From there, he was off to Jamestown to be sworn in and then to Fort Bragg where he completed basic training.
He was stationed in Japan for occupation duty for one year, and then was deployed to Korea. He was assigned to the 27th Ordinance Maintenance Company of the 1st Cavalry Division, working as a Tank Mechanic, when he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
When his tour ended after two years, one month and two days overseas and five campaigns, he was reassigned to the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, where he and his team worked to develop and improve military ordinance. With his extensive experience and knowledge of tanks from his time in Korea, Sergeant Edwards worked to produce one of the military’s first ever remote-controlled tanks.
“Sergeant Edwards traveled all over the world to spread freedom and we are all so thankful that he came back to his roots and settled here in Allegany County. I’d like to thank him for his service in the military, as well as being such an important contributor to the local community,” added Senator Young.
Sergeant Edwards was born in Belmont and spent most of his time growing up in Allegany County. After he was discharged from service on May 26, 1952, he returned to Allegany County and began working for Clark Brothers, which later became Dresser-Rand. Later, he started a 30-year career with Agway, serving as a store manager and then as a traveling representative.
He also found ways to continue his service, even after leaving the military. Sergeant Edwards was a school board member, rising to President of the Board for three years. He also was the Supervisor of Genesee. When he retired from Agway in 1990, he and his wife traveled to the Philippines for volunteer service, where he became the treasurer of a large mission.