Drawn to the Marines by their dress blue uniforms Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams enlisted the moment he turned 18 in 1943. After basic training Williams was sent to Camp Elliott for instruction as a demolition man and in the use of flamethrowers.

Attached to the 3rd Marine Division, Williams participated in action against the Japanese during the Battle of Guam, but it would be during his next campaign where Williams would distinguish himself with actions “above and beyond the call of duty”.

On the small volcanic island of Iwo Jima Williams was quick to volunteer his service to help clear out a network of reinforced pillboxes and machine gun emplacements. Covered only by four riflemen, Williams went forward alone and fought desperately for four hours to silence the Japanese strong points.

For his actions on February 23, 1945 Corporal Hershel Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor.

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