Marine

Final WWII Medal of Honor recipient, Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams, passes away at 98


Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions on Iwo Jima throughout WWII. Extra notably, Williams was the final surviving Medal of Honor recipient of WWII. On June 29, 2022, Williams, one of many best of the Biggest Technology, handed away on the age of 98.

On October 2, 1923, Williams was born on a dairy farm in Quiet Dell, West Virginia. Weighing simply 3.5 kilos, he was not anticipated to outlive; an expectation that Williams would additionally defy through the struggle.

After Pearl Harbor was attacked, Williams went to enlist within the Marine Corps. Nevertheless, at 5′ 6″, he was advised he was too quick to serve. The regulation modified in 1943, and Williams enlisted within the Marine Corps Reserve on Could 26.

Hershel 'Woody' Williams
Williams was the final surviving Medal of Honor recipient of WWII (U.S. Marine Corps picture)

Williams attended boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Afterward, on August 21, 1943, he was despatched to Camp Elliott, San Diego the place he joined the tank coaching battalion. The following month, Williams was transferred to the infantry coaching battalion to change into a flamethrower demo man. This was basically a loss of life sentence, with the common life expectancy of a Marine flamethrower on Iwo Jima being simply 5 minutes.

By December 1943, Williams accomplished coaching and was despatched to the South Pacific and was assigned to Firm C, 1st Battalion, twenty first Marine Regiment, third Marine Division at Guadalcanal. In July and August 1944, he noticed motion through the Battle of Guam with the Headquarters Firm. Williams rejoined Firm C in October for his subsequent and remaining marketing campaign.

Iwo Jima landing
22 Marines earned the Medal of Honor on Iwo Jima, 28% of all Marine Medals of Honor throughout WWII. (U.S. Navy picture)

On February 21, 1945, Hershel Williams and the remainder of his unit landed at Iwo Jima. Two days later, Williams and his firm had been supporting a column of tanks once they encountered a community of Japanese pillboxes. Williams’ Medal of Honor quotation reads:

“Cpl. Williams daringly went ahead alone to aim the discount of devastating machine-gun fireplace from the unyielding positions. Coated solely by 4 riflemen, he fought desperately for 4 hours below terrific enemy small-arms fireplace and repeatedly returned to his personal strains to organize demolition fees and procure serviced flamethrowers, struggling again, regularly to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out one place after one other. On one event, he courageously mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower by way of the air vent, killing the occupants, and silencing the gun; on one other he grimly charged enemy riflemen who tried to cease him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon.”

President Truman and Hershel 'Woody' Williams Medal of Honor award ceremony
President Truman congratulates Williams after presenting him with the Medal of Honor. (U.S. Marine Corps picture)

That very same day, February 23, was the day of the enduring flag-raising on Mount Suribachi. About 1,000 yards from the volcano, Williams witnessed the historic occasion. He went on to battle the rest of the five-week battle, regardless of being wounded within the leg by shrapnel on March 6. Williams returned to the U.S. in September. On October 5, 1945, he and 13 different servicemen had been introduced with the Medal of Honor on the White Home by President Truman.

On October 20, 1954, Williams joined the Organized Marine Reserve. In 1957, he joined the twenty fifth Infantry Firm at Huntington, West Virginia, and finally grew to become the unit’s interim CO as a warrant officer on June 6, 1960. Williams rose to the rank of chief warrant officer 4 within the Marine Corps Reserve. Though he didn’t technically qualify, he retired in 1969 after 17 years of service.

Hershel 'Woody' Williams Medal of Honor and citation
Williams’ Medal of Honor and quotation on show (Pritzker Army Museum & Library)

After the struggle, Hershel Williams labored as a Veterans Affairs counselor for 33 years. He struggled with the consequences of fight stress till 1962 when he had a non secular renewal. After this, Williams served because the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s chaplain for 35 years. The Pritzker Army Museum & Library’s Medal of Honor exhibit is made up largely of things donated by Williams, together with his Medal of Honor.

Featured Picture: Williams on the commissioning of the usHershel “Woody” Williams (ESB-4), March 7, 2020 in Norfolk, VA. (U.S. Marine Corps picture)

This text by Miguel Ortiz was initially revealed by We Are the Mighty.

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