Hershel (Woody) Williams died yesterday.
He was the last WWII Medal of Honor winner.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — World War II hero and Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams died Wednesday morning at the VA hospital near Huntington named in his honor. Williams was 98.
The Woody Williams Family Foundation posted a message Tuesday indicating the West Virginia native was in his last days. The foundation said he died at 3:15 a.m. Wednesday surrounded by family members.
Full article HERE from WVA Metro News.
A little guy, he was only 5’2″, originally too short to enlist. Later, the Marines took him willingly. Then came Iwo Jima…
MEDAL OF HONOR
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
- for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Demolition Sergeant serving with the First Battalion, Twenty-First Marines, Third Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Island, 23 February 1945. Quick to volunteer his services when our tanks were maneuvering vainly to open a lane for the infantry through the network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines and black, volcanic sands, Corporal Williams daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machine-gun fire from the unyielding positions. Covered only by four riflemen, he fought desperately for four hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flame throwers, struggling back, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out one position after another. On one occasion he daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flame thrower through the air vent, kill the occupants and silence the gun; on another he grimly charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon. His unyielding determination and extraordinary heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance were directly instrumental in neutralizing one of the most fanatically defended Japanese strong points encountered by his regiment and aided in enabling his company to reach its’ [sic] objective. Corporal Williams’ aggressive fighting spirit and valiant devotion to duty throughout this fiercely contested action sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.