Last Surviving WWII Medal of Honor Recipient Woody Williams Dies at 98

The final surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World Conflict II has handed on from this life at 98 years outdated.

Marine veteran Hershel “Woody” Williams died Wednesday at 3:15 a.m. on the Huntington, West Virginia, Veterans Affairs hospital named after him, based on an announcement from his basis.

“Woody peacefully joined his beloved spouse Ruby whereas surrounded by his household on the VA Medical Heart which bears his identify,” based on the assertion on the inspiration’s Fb web page. “Woody’s household wish to categorical their honest gratitude for all of the love and help.”

Born in 1923 on a dairy farm in Quiet Dell, West Virginia, Williams was the youngest of 11 kids, based on the Weirton, West Virginia, Each day Instances.

Initially disqualified for being too brief, Williams enlisted within the Marine Corps in 1943, based on his biography. The demolition sergeant landed on Iwo Jima on Feb. 21, 1945, with 1st Battalion, twenty first Marine Regiment, third Marine Division.

Two days later, on Feb. 23, 1945, he famously destroyed enemy emplacements with a flamethrower, going ahead alone into machinegun fireplace, coated solely by 4 riflemen.

His quotation states, “he fought desperately for 4 hours underneath terrific enemy small-arms fireplace and repeatedly returned to his personal traces to organize demolition expenses and procure serviced flamethrowers,” earlier than wiping out one enemy place after one other.

On one event, he “daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower by the air vent,” which killed all enemy occupants and silenced its gun.

Williams obtained the Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman on the White Home in October 1945 for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity on the threat of his life above and past the decision of responsibility.”

He retired after serving 20 years within the Corps and reserves, based on his basis’s web site. Following World Conflict II, he labored for the VA for 33 years as a veterans service consultant.

He had a particular place in his coronary heart for supporting Gold Star Households, an affinity which began firstly of World Conflict II. Whereas he was delivering Western Union telegrams containing the information of the lack of a liked one, he developed a deep understanding of the sacrifice of “these misplaced serving within the army for his or her nation.”

Together with his basis, Williams established greater than 100 Gold Star Households memorial monuments throughout the US, with 72 extra on the best way, based on his basis’s web site.

In 2020, the warfare hero bought to see a Navy expeditionary cellular base ― the USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams ― commissioned in his honor.

He mentioned on the time, “Could all those that serve aboard this ship that bears my identify be protected and proud. Could she have God’s blessings for a protracted lifetime of service to America, the best nation on Earth.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, mentioned in a Wednesday assertion that Williams was “the embodiment of a real American hero.”

“Final Sunday, I used to be honored to go to with Woody one final time,” Manchin mentioned. “We known as VA Secretary Denis McDonough so he might thank Woody immediately for his unparalleled service to our nation. In true Woody trend, he wished to debate the significance of finishing the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery in Dunbar ― his most up-to-date Veterans mission ― to make sure that the households of our fallen troopers and Veterans have a protected place to put their family members to relaxation, protected against the climate all year long.”

Particulars about memorial providers and a funeral are usually not but obtainable, based on an announcement on his basis’s Fb web page. Metropolis flags in Huntington, West Virginia, will likely be flown at half mast to honor the Marine veteran.

Correspondence and condolences could also be despatched to the Woody Williams Basis at 12123 Shelbyville Street, Suite 100, Louisville, Kentucky, 40243.

“Woody’s want is that individuals proceed to hold on his mission,” the inspiration’s assertion mentioned.

Initially revealed by Army Instances, our sister publication.