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Ohio Valley Military Society
Show of Shows
Hershel “Woody” Williams
born October 2, 1 23, Quiet Dell, WV. Entered USMC in 1 43 as a Private.
Served in WWII in the Pacific. Participated in Guam and Iwo Jima Campaigns. Was wounded March 6,
on Iwo Jima, and was awarded the Purple Heart. Discharged from Active Duty Nov. 6, 1945. On Oct
5, 1 45
was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, presented by President Harry S. Truman, for ac-
tion on Feb. 23,1945, on Iwo Jima.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as demoli-
tion 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 des-
perately 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 em-
placements, 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.”
Mr. Williams is widowed, and was married to Ruby Meredith for 62 years. Williams has 2 Daughters, Travie
Jane& Tracie Jean. 5 Grandsons- 2 Great Grandsons. His oldest grandson Brent served in Desert Storm.
Williams retired from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs after 33 years service to veterans and fami-
lies. He is also retired as First Commandant, of WV First Veterans Home, at Barboursville. Williams also
served in the USMC reserves, and honorably retired as Chief Warrant Officer (CWO-4).
A fee may be charged for some veteran autographs.