Last Updated on July 3, 2022
The State of West Virginia and 45th President Donald J. Trump are among those honoring the life of American hero Woody Williams, the last-living World War 2 Medal of Honor recipient who passed away on June 28th, at 98 years old. The Joe Biden White House has yet to acknowledge Williams’ passing, issuing statements in favor of abortion and transgenderism instead. Additionally, efforts to get Williams a state funeral held in Washington, D.C. have reportedly been in vain, with The White House and Congress not responding to requests on the matter.
Herschel Woodrow “Woody” Williams was born on October 2, 1923, in Quiet Dell, West Virginia, and grew up on his family’s dairy farm. He enlisted in the Marine Corps for World War 2 and fought at the storied Battle of Iwo Jima, where his actions won him the United States’ highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor.
According to his Medal of Honor citation, explaining the heroic actions that led to the award, Williams was a Corporal serving with the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division during the battle of Iwo Jima when he displayed “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty,” and took on a “fanatically defended” Japanese position, fighting for hours to secure his company’s objective.
A portion of that citation, obtained from the Woody Williams Foundation website, can be read below:
“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. Quick to volunteer his services when our tanks were maneuvering vainly to open a lane for the infantry through the network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines, and black volcanic sands, Cpl. Williams daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machinegun fire from the unyielding positions. Covered only by 4 riflemen, he fought desperately for 4 hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flamethrowers, struggling back, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out 1 position after another. On 1 occasion, he daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing the occupants and silencing the gun; on another he grimly charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon. His unyielding determination and extraordinary heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance were directly instrumental in neutralizing one of the most fanatically defended Japanese strong points encountered by his regiment and aided vitally in enabling his company to reach its objective.”
According to additional information surrounding Woody Williams’ Medal of Honor, Williams was awarded the medal on October 5, 1945, just over a month after the Japanese unconditionally surrendered to the United States, ending the war in the Pacific months after the war in Europe had come to a close. The Medal of Honor was presented to him by then-President Harry S. Truman in a White House ceremony.
READ MORE: ‘This Isn’t What We Fought For’: 100-Year-Old WW2 Veteran Breaks Down Describing Modern America
In honor of his life of service and sacrifice, Williams was carried after death from Huntington, West Virginia to the State Capitol Building in Charleston, where he was brought to lay in state on July 2nd for West Virginians, including Governor Jim Justice and other dignitaries, to pay their respects. Williams is just the 3rd person in West Virginia’s history to receive that honor. His funeral is to be held today, July 3rd, 2022, and Governor Jim Justice has ordered flags in the state to be flown at half-staff in Williams’ honor.
In a press release made following his death, Governor Justice said that Woody Williams had “inspired generations, cultivated similar bravery, and saved lives,” remarking that he “will go down in history as one of the greatest West Virginians who ever lived.”
In addition to Governor Jim Justice and the people of West Virginia, 45th President Trump remembered Medal of Honor winner Woody Williams in a post to his Truth Social network, sharing photos of the two men when Williams visited him at the White House in 2020.
“Back in September 2020, it was the honor of a lifetime to spend a day with the last surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipient, a True American Hero, Hershel “Woody” Williams,” President Trump posted to Truth Social. “May he Rest in Peace. #TheGreatestGeneration.”