Honoring Medal of Honor Recipient Corporal Hershel ``Woody’’ Williamsby Representative Evan H. Jenkins
Posted on 2016-01-12
of west virginia
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Mr. JENKINS of West Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor
Corporal Hershel ``Woody'' Williams, a lifelong West Virginian. When
the freedom of the United States and the world was in peril during the
Second World War, he gallantly heard the call to defend our nation and
enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1943. After finishing his
training in California, Cpl. Williams was stationed in the Pacific
Theater and bravely fought in the Battle of Guam in 1944.
What truly distinguishes Cpl. Williams is the exceptional bravery he demonstrated during the battle of Iwo Jima. When tanks became ineffective on the beaches, he fought his way to destroy seven Japanese pillboxes while covered only by four riflemen. His bravery in taking out the pillboxes in the battle of Iwo Jima was a determining factor in turning the tide of the battle in favor of the Americans.
Cpl. Hershel ``Woody'' Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Truman in 1945. The Medal of Honor was ``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.'' Cpl. Williams is the last living Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Known by all as Woody, he had a distinguished career in the military and has spent his life tirelessly helping veterans and their families. His service to America and West Virginia is unparalleled. I have known Woody for decades and am proud to call him not only a constituent but a friend. On January 14, 2016, Woody Williams receives another honor: a ship in the United States Navy will bear his name. I congratulate and commend Cpl. Williams on a remarkable and admirable life. Woody Williams serves as a pillar for all Americans to aspire to, a brave man who put his fellow Americans before himself.