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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Last WWII Medal of Honor recipient dies

Herschel “Woody” Williams, the last surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipient, died Wednesday at a hospital in Huntington, West Virginia. He was 98 years old.

The Marine Corps veteran received the nation’s highest military award for gallantry for his actions in the Battle of Iwo Jima. The battle took the lives of 7,000 marines and was one of the bloodiest battles of the war.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “Today, America not only lost a brave Marine and Medal of Honor recipient, but also an important link in our nation’s fight against tyranny in World War II.” “I hope that every American will pause to reflect on his service and that of an entire generation who sacrificed so much to defend the cause of liberty and democracy.”

On February 23, 1945, Williams, then a 21-year-old Marine Corporal and flamethrower operator, single-handedly destroyed several Japanese pillboxes and other guns, posing a great threat to him.

According to his citation, on one occasion, he “boldly mounted a pillbox to put the tip of his flamethrower through the air vent, killed the occupants, and silenced the gun; on another he fired at the enemy’s rifleman.” Seriously charged those who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with flames from their weapons.”

His action came on the same day the iconic flag was hoisted at Mount Suribachi, an image captured by an Associated Press reporter that has become a symbol of US military resilience during the war.

Williams was the last of 473 American service members to receive the Medal of Honor in World War II.

His death was announced by the Woody Williams Foundation, a non-profit organization that serves Gold Star military families. The reason was not immediately available.

The National Medal of Honor Museum tweeted Wednesday that “Woody has served through his bravery during the Battle of Iwo Jima, as an advocate for veterans, and through the Woody Williams Foundation that serves Gold Star families.” example of life.”

Williams grew up on a West Virginia dairy farm and joined the Marines at the age of 19.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
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