Blogs by Linda E. Meckler
Hershel Williams (Woody) Received the Medal Of Honor
2/29/2008 2:13:20 PM
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The history of how Woody, Hershel Williams received the MEDAL OF HONOR, I met him and I wrote a response to the article below and I received an answer back. Read on.
War Remembrances:Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams, USMC, Medal Of Honor
January 27, 2008
Iwo Jima, 23 February 1945
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division. Place and date: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 23 February 1945.
Entered service at: West Virginia. Born: 2 October 1923, Quiet Dell, W. Va. 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 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 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, Cpl. Williams daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machinegun fire from the unyielding positions. Covered only by 4 riflemen, he fought desperately for 4 hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flamethrowers, struggling back, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out 1 position after another.
On 1 occasion, he daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing the occupants and silencing 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 vitally in enabling his company to reach its objective. Cpl. Williams’ aggressive fighting spirit and valiant devotion to duty throughout this fiercely contested action sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
PLEASE NOTE: In the comments section just below, please read a personal story contributed by a lady that met Woody Williams.
Tags: bayonets, conspicuous gallantry, demolition charges, flamethrower, heroism, iwo jima, japanese forces, machinegun, small arms fire, u s marine corps
Linda Meckler on February 11th, 2008 1:51 pm I met Woody on Sat. February 9, 2008 at the Ronald Regen Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA. He was sitting by himself on a bench. I walked up to him and asked him what was going on at the Museum. The patio was being set up for some kind of event. He explained to me about the big banquet that evening.
This was for the Medal of Honor recipients. There were going to be 40+ there that evening, and 900 people at the dinner. He told me there were 106 receivers of the medal still alive.
He gave me a brief history about the medal and I was really honored to have met him. I went home and immediately looked him up on the web. I hope, Woody, and all the men at the dinner and the ones which could not make it had a wonderful time.
Author, Ghost Kids Trilogy
LibNOT_SR on February 11th, 2008 5:48 pm Linda,
I can’t tell you how pleased I am that you chose to write to us and relate this wonderful story about a very humble man.
Woody’s story was recently on (I believe) the History Channel and during his interview I decided that his story should be told within these pages for those who may have missed it on TV.
We try to highlight other “War Remembrances” as often as possible, since some of the stories of our men and women in uniform are truly remarkable.
Thanks again Linda - be well and best wishes.
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