American Marine Corps warrant officer Hershel W. Williams served in the military. At the age of 98, he passed away. Let’s see how did he die, what happened, and what was Hershel Williams Cause of Death.
How did Hershel Williams die?
Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor as a U.S. Marine during the Battle of Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945, when he used a flame thrower to demolish a number of enemy emplacements. His family recently disclosed that he was spending his final days in the hospital.
This morning, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice released a statement regarding Williams’ passing.
Williams and his charity have so far helped build 102 Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments across the country, and they are currently working on another 73 monuments in 50 states and one U.S. territory. The first was dedicated to Institute, West Virginia’s Donnel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery.
Hershel Williams Cause of Death
The final living recipient of the Medal of Honor from World War II, Hershel “Woody” Williams, passed away early this morning at the Huntington VA hospital facility that bears his name.
On the foundation’s Facebook page this morning, Williams’ family and the nonprofit organization he founded to promote the construction of monuments honoring those who survived those who died in military duty announced the 98-year-passing. old’s
CWO4 Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams, the last living World War II Medal of Honor recipient, passed away early this morning, June 29, 2022. Woody received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions at Iwo Jima. pic.twitter.com/yLqKUmAGDp
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) June 29, 2022
In response to all of the love and support, “Woody’s family would like to convey their profound gratitude,” the post reads. They would also like to communicate that Woody wishes for his mission to be carried out by others.
I ask all West Virginians to pray with Cathy and me for Woody, his family, friends, and loved ones, as well as for the whole military community in West Virginia and the entire United States of America, he stated.
“Pray that even though the loss is heavy, we can all find comfort in the knowledge that Woody’s services to our country inspired a generation, fostered similar bravery, and saved lives. We applaud Woody Williams for everything he gave to our state and our country. He will be remembered as one of the greatest West Virginians to ever live.”
Funeral arrangements have not been made public, although Justice claimed to have offered for Williams to lie in state and have a state funeral held in the Capitol.
Hershel Williams’s Early Life
On October 2, 1923, Williams, the eldest of eleven children, was born and raised on a dairy farm near Quiet Dell, West Virginia. His father had passed away from a heart attack by the time he was eleven, and several of his siblings had perished from the flu epidemic.
Williams did a variety of odd jobs in the region, including taxi driving and truck driving for the Fairmont, West Virginia-based W.S. Harr Construction Company. He was working in Montana as a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps when Pearl Harbor was attacked.
Hershel Williams’s Career
Williams was intrigued by the Marines because several males in his neighborhood wore their dress blue uniforms.
He was able to successfully enlist in the Marine Corps Reserve at Charleston, West Virginia, on May 26 after the height restrictions were eased in the early months of 1943.
Williams attended Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in California for his recruit training. After finishing, he was sent to Camp Elliott in San Diego, where he enlisted on August 21, 1943, in the tank training battalion.
Williams joined the 32nd Replacement Battalion on October 30, 1943, and on December 3 he sailed on the M.S. Weltey Reden for New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific.
The Battle of Iwo Jima was Williams’ third and final campaign, where he distinguished himself by going “above and beyond the call of duty,” for which he would receive the Medal of Honor.
Despite being hit by shrapnel in the leg on March 6 and receiving the Purple Heart as a result, he battled on for the balance of the five-week conflict.
He came back to the country in September 1945, and on October 1 he started working at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C. On October 5, 1945, at the White House, President Harry S. Truman gave him and thirteen other service members the Medal of Honor.
He was moved to the Marine Barracks at the Naval Training Center Bainbridge, Maryland, on October 22, 1945, in preparation for his discharge. On November 6, 1945, he received an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps Reserve.
During his service in the Marine Corps Reserve, he rose through the ranks of warrant officers to eventually become a Chief Warrant Officer 4. CWO4 Williams was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1969 after around 17 years of service, despite the fact that he did not officially complete the qualifications for retirement.
Hershel Williams awards
For going above and beyond the call of duty as a demolition sergeant while fighting against hostile Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Island, on February 23, 1945, with the First Battalion, Twenty-First Marines, Third Marine Division.
With only four riflemen to protect him, he fought valiantly for four hours while coming under heavy enemy small-arms fire.
He frequently went back to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and get serviced flame throwers while he struggled to the rear of enemy emplacements to destroy one hostile position after another.
His unwavering resolve and amazing bravery in the face of relentless enemy opposition were directly responsible for neutralizing one of the most fervently guarded Japanese strong points that his unit had ever come across and helped his company accomplish its goal.
Through this intensely contested engagement, Corporal Williams’ strong fighting spirit and brave devotion to duty upheld and strengthened the best traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Williams was awarded West Virginia’s Distinguished Service Medal in 1965. He received the Civilian Vietnam Service Award from the Veteran’s Administration in 1967 for his work as a civilian advisor to the military forces.
He was included on the “Wall of Fame” of the City of Huntington Foundation in 1999. He was given the 2014 Founder’s Award for his outstanding contributions to the Pritzker Military Museum & Library’s goal and the preservation of the Citizen Soldier’s history.
Williams and 14 other Medal of Honor recipients who are still alive were recognized on February 4, 2018, during the coin toss of Super Bowl LII. He is the sole living World War II Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient.
Williams was chosen to toss the game’s official coin. Because Super Bowl LII was dedicated to them, the coin toss ceremony broke the previous record for the number of participants.
What is Hershel Williams’s Civilian life?
Williams obtained a position as a counselor for Veterans Affairs following World War II and worked in that position for 33 years before retiring.
He battled the repercussions of military stress for years until 1962 when he underwent a religious revival. Later, he spent 35 years as the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s chaplain.
Additionally, he belonged to the Marine Corps League and the Sons of the American Revolution. The Pritzker Military Museum & Library in Chicago is where Williams’ Medal of Honor is on display.
Tribute to Hershel Williams’s Death
Chris Cavas said,
Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams, last survivor of 473 American awardees of the Medal of Honor in World War II, passed away early 29 June, aged 98. His heroics during the battle of Iwo Jima are legend. Color from 7 March 2020 at commissioning of his namesake ship. Semper Fi Sir
Oliver Jia said,
Hershel Williams lived a full life, but take this time to remember that other WWII Medal of Honor recipients weren’t as lucky. Men like Charles J. Berry, William R. Caddy, Darrell S. Cole and Ross F. Gray were in their early 20s to 19 years old when they died at Iwo Jima.
Paul Szoldra said,
Hershel “Woody” Williams, the last surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipient, died on Wednesday at 98. The legendary Marine veteran was awarded his nation’s highest military honor for taking out Japanese pillboxes on Iwo Jima with a flamethrower.
Heather Childers said,
Rest In Peace my friend @WoodyWilliams45 My most favorite story I ever covered was meeting Medal of Honor recipient Cpl.Hershel”Woody” Williams, flying on an @HonorFlightNet with WWII Vets & touring the Memorial w them in DCThank you for your service & our freedoms @HWWMOHF
Diane G. said,
Let us remember and honor today, Hershel “Woody” Williams, the last living American veteran of WWll to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry on Iwo Jima….passed away today. Lest we forget.
Mayor Linda Gorton said,
I’m saddened to hear of the death of Hershel “Woody” Williams … the last living World War II Medal of Honor recipient. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, fighting in the Battle of Iwo Jima, and has a U.S. Navy warship named in his honor.
Tim Troglen said,
Thank you. Rest In Peace, sir. God bless your family and friends. RT @USMC: CWO4 Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams, the last living World War II Medal of Honor recipient, passed away early this morning, June 29, 2022. Woody received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions
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