Last surviving WW2 Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams dies at 98

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The final surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II has handed on from this life at 98 years outdated.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 Center which bears his title,” based on the assertion on the inspiration’s Facebook web page. “Woody’s household wish to specific 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 youngsters, based on the Weirton, West Virginia, Daily Times.

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

‘If concern takes over, you change into ineffective’ — Medal of Honor recipient recounts the Battle of Iwo Jima

He retired after serving 20 years within the Corps and reserves, based on his basis’s web site. Following World War 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 Families, an affinity which began at the start of World War II. While he was delivering Western Union telegrams containing the information of the lack of a beloved one, he developed a deep understanding of the sacrifice of “these misplaced serving within the navy for his or her nation.”

With his basis, Williams established greater than 100 Gold Star Families memorial monuments throughout the United States, with 72 extra on the way in which, based on his basis’s web site.

In 2020, the battle hero acquired to see a Navy expeditionary cell base ― the USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams ― commissioned in his honor.

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

World War II Medal of Honor recipient Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams and U.S. Marines with Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command, pose for a photo after the ship commissioning ceremony for the USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center in Norfolk, Virginia, on March 7, 2020. (Cpl. Desmond Martin/Marine Corps)

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

“Last 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 instantly for his unparalleled service to our nation. In true Woody vogue, he needed 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.”

Details about memorial providers and a funeral should not but obtainable, based on an announcement on his basis’s Facebook web page. City flags in Huntington, West Virginia, will probably be flown at half mast to honor the Marine veteran.

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

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

Andrea Scott is editor of Marine Corps Times. On Twitter: @_andreascott.

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