Sergeant Colyer Square

Sergeant Wilbur E. Colyer (1901-1918) was an American soldier who served in the U.S. Army during World War I. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and later moved to South Ozone Park, Queens. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the army and served as a member of Company A of the 1st Engineers, 1st Division.

On October 9, 1918, near Verdun, France, Colyer volunteered to lead a team of soldiers to locate and destroy enemy machine gun nests. While advancing on the enemy positions, Colyer became half surrounded by machine gun nests. He killed the gunner of one nest with a captured German grenade and then turned the gun on the other nests, silencing them all. He then returned to his platoon, having saved them from heavy fire.

Colyer was killed in action the following day, October 10, 1918. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery and selfless actions, the first and youngest Queens resident to do to so.

This small triangle in South Ozone Park named in his honor features a historic stone marker and plaque commemorating Colyer's service and sacrifice.


“Sergeant Colyer Square,” New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, accessed September 12, 2023,

“Sergeant Colyer Square,” The Historical Marker Database, accessed accessed September 12, 2023,

Wikidata contributors, "Q8000178”, Wikidata, accessed December 14, 2023,