America’s final WWII Medal of Honor recipient, Woody Williams, has passed away: On Wednesday morning, Hershel “Woody” Williams, the only living American veteran of World War II to have been awarded the Medal of Honor, passed away. His family surrounded him at the time of his passing.
Williams, 98 at the time, was the last of the 473 American service personnel who participated in World War II and were awarded the Medal of Honor. Williams was able to spend his dying days surrounded by his loved ones at a hospital in his native state of West Virginia. On Tuesday, his family members asked people all over the country to pray for him.
In a statement released at the time regarding Woody’s health, his family wrote, “As he lives out what will likely be his final days, we welcome and appreciate any further prayers raised on behalf of Woody and his family.”
In a statement to Fox News Digital, the 63 living recipients of the Medal of Honor in the United States paid tribute to Williams.
They wrote in a statement distributed through the Congressional Medal of Honor Society that “Friends and family of Woody Williams knew him as a West Virginia farmer’s son and the youngest of 11 children who dutifully supported his family after his father died.” Williams was the youngest of 11 children. “Other Marines recognized him as the corporal who volunteered for a mission on Iwo Jima to clear a passage through enemy pillboxes that were destroying American tanks,” the author writes. “The operation required clearing a lane through enemy pillboxes destroying American tanks.”
“As a result of his efforts as a Veterans Service Representative in West Virginia, veterans in that state-recognized him as their advocate. Woody was well known to Gold Star families because of his work to raise money for the Woody Williams Foundation, which funds scholarships and other activities “they went on with it. “We, his fellow recipients of the Medal of Honor, knew him as a friend and considered him one of our heroes.”We will miss him greatly.”
President Harry S. Truman presented the Medal of Honor to Williams in 1945 for his heroics of Iwo Jima as a member of the United States Marine Corps. Williams served as a flamethrower operator on Iwo Jima. He is credited for destroying many Japanese pillboxes and other gun emplacements while almost unassisted and putting himself in tremendous danger. This accomplishment came about while Williams was serving on Iwo Jima.
Over four hours, Williams destroyed every position the enemy had, and the only reason he returned to American lines was to refuel his weapon.
Williams was last seen in public on Memorial Day when he took part in a celebration honoring soldiers in Huntington, West Virginia. This was his most recent known appearance. At the time, he made a statement to the local media indicating that the event inspired him to have optimism for a revival of patriotism in the United States.
As Williams told WSAZ in an interview, he has been to the event “around 25 to 30 times” and believes that today’s turnout was the most yet. “This is something I’ve done 25 to 30 times,” he said. This gives me hope that the United States of America that had so much patriotism and love of nation can once again be the United States of America,” she remarked. A glimmer of optimism that we can return to our former glory.