NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Forest Park

Sgt. Joseph E. Schaefer Oval

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

Joseph E. Schaefer (1918-1987) was a resident of Richmond Hill who distinguished himself in World War II for having repelled, almost single-handedly, a Nazi attack on American troops positioned near Stolberg, Germany. Schaefer, who served as Staff Sergeant to Company I, 18th Infantry, United States Army, received the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945 for his defensive actions. The commendation by President Harry S. Truman inscribed on one side of the monument is taken from Schaefer’s Medal of Honor citation.

The Schaefer Oval was dedicated on March 24, 1987, shortly after Sgt. Schaefer passed away. Landscape Architect Signe Neilsen designed the octagonal granite outcropping that features inscriptions commemorating Schaefer’s service and a representation of the Medal of Honor, as well as the plantings in the oval.

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