Hershel W. Williams

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World War II

Hershel Woodrow "Woody" Williams (born October 2, 1923) is a retired United States Marine Corps warrant officer and United States Department of Veterans Affairs veterans service representative who received the United States military's highest decoration for valor—the Medal of Honor—for heroism above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. He and three soldiers are the only living Medal of Honor recipients from that war. In addition, he is the only surviving Marine to have received the Medal of Honor during the Second World War, and is the only surviving Medal of Honor recipient from the Pacific theater of the war.

Williams, the youngest of eleven children, was born and raised on a dairy farm in Quiet Dell, West Virginia, on October 2, 1923. He worked a series of odd jobs in the area, including as a truck driver for W.S. Harr Construction Company of Fairmont, West Virginia and as a taxi driver. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, he was working in Montana as a Civilian Conservation Corps enrollee.

Williams tried to enlist in the Marine Corps in 1942, but was told he was too short for service. After the height regulations were changed in early 1943, he successfully enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in Charleston, West Virginia, on May 26.

Williams received his recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California. Upon completion, he was sent to the Camp Elliott training center in San Diego, where he joined the tank training battalion on August 21, 1943. The following month he was transferred to the training center's infantry battalion for instruction as a demolition man and in the use of flamethrowers.

Williams was assigned to the 32nd Replacement Battalion on October 30, 1943, and left for New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific on December 3 aboard the M.S. Weltey Reden.In January 1944, he joined Company C, 1st Battalion, 21st Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division at Guadalcanal.{ In July and August 1944, he was attached to Headquarters Company and participated in action against the Japanese during the Battle of Guam. In October, he rejoined Company C.

This page was last edited on 1 March 2018, at 21:03.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hershel_W._Williams under CC BY-SA license.

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