Herschel W. “Woody” Williams: The legend of West Virginia, who fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima, died at the age of 98.

Charleston, West Virginia-Herschel W. “Woody” Williams, last awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II. He died Wednesday, Virginia. He was 98 years old.

The Williams Foundation announced on Twitter and Facebook that it had died at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Huntington.

In a statement, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “Today, the United States has not only been awarded the Medal of Honor with a brave Marine, but also lost an important link to the fight against tyranny in World War II. “. “I hope all Americans will pause to ponder the service of all generations, who have sacrificed much to defend his service and the cause of freedom and democracy.”

As a young Marine, Williams eliminated the position of a series of Japanese machine guns ahead of the unit in February 1945.

Later that year, at the age of 22, Williams was awarded the Medal of Military Valor by President Harry Truman of the White House.

“For me, being awarded the Medal of Honor was actually a lifesaver because I was forced to talk about what I had experienced. It was a cure I didn’t even know what I was doing. “We did,” Williams said at the 2018 Boy Scout Awards. Ceremony at Fairmont, according to Times West Virginia.

Iwo Jima was the place where the Marines raised the American flag on Mt. Suribachi. This is the moment in one of the most iconic war photographs in history. Williams said he saw the flag from a distance after the flag was raised when the troops around him celebrated.

Williams’ actions in the battle to pave the way for American tanks and infantry are detailed on the Military Medal of Honor website. Concrete pillboxes, buried mines, black volcanic sand. Williams boldly moved forward alone and attempted to reduce the catastrophic machine gun fire from a position where he would not give in. “

Williams faced a fire of firearms, fought for four hours, and repeatedly returned to prepare for dismantling costs and obtain a flamethrower.

“His unwavering determination and extraordinary heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance helped directly neutralize one of the most enthusiastically defended Japanese strengths his regiment encountered, his It was very helpful to help the company achieve that goal, “said the website.

Williams remained in the Marine Corps after the war, serving a total of 20 years and then serving as a Veterans Services Representative for the Department of Veterans Affairs for 33 years.

In 2018, the Huntington VA Medical Center was renamed in honor of him, and the Navy commissioned a mobile base ship in his name in 2020. The NFL and the public throwing a coin in front of the Minneapolis Super Bowl.

Williams may not have received as much national attention as the Air Force Brig. General Chuck Yeager from West Virginia, a glamorous World War II fighter pilot ace and the first person to fly faster than sound in 1947. Jaeger died in December 2020.

Governor Jim Justice said in a statement, “Woody Williams will go down in history as one of the greatest West Virginia citizens ever to live. Everything he has given to our state and country. I pay tribute to him for that. “

Senator Joe Manchin said Williams was “an incarnation of a true American hero. Americans like Woody responded to the call to serve our great nation, and their sacrifice is important to us. It makes it possible to enjoy the freedom you have. “

Williams was born on October 2, 1923, as the youngest of a family of 11 on a dairy farm in the Quiet Dell community in northern West Virginia. Prior to joining the army, he was a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps, working as a teenage taxi driver at Fairmont, and sometimes delivering Western Union telegrams to the families of corrupt soldiers.

According to his website, Williams and a non-profit foundation based in Louisville, Kentucky will later raise funds to establish more than 100 Gold Star Family Memorial Monuments in honor of lost military relatives across the United States. It was that passion that became.

His two older brothers served in the Army, but Williams wanted to take a different path. He knew some Marines from his area and praised their blue uniforms whenever they returned home. But at 5 feet 6, Williams was rejected because of his height when he tried to join in 1942. A year later, the Marines allowed him at the age of 19.

Williams said he had to rely on his fiancé Ruby to overcome the often uneasy times of the war and return to the Fairmont girl who was about to get married.

Their marriage lasted 62 years. Ruby Williams died in 2007 at the age of 83. The couple had two daughters and five grandchildren.

The service will take place on Sunday at 4 pm at Charleston’s State Cultural Center. Visits take place at the amphitheater of the nearby Capitol before worship on Saturdays and Sundays.

Copyright © 2022 By AP communication. all rights reserved.

Herschel W. “Woody” Williams: The legend of West Virginia, who fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima, died at the age of 98.

Source link Herschel W. “Woody” Williams: The legend of West Virginia, who fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima, died at the age of 98.

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