Last WWII MOH Awardee Passes

| June 29, 2022

Corporal Hershel “Woody” Williams

The in-box is filled with the sad news that the last surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipient has died. Marine Corporal “Woody” Williams was awarded the CMH during the Battle of Iwo Jima for displaying “valiant devotion to duty.” It was presented to him by President Harry Truman.

Born on a dairy farm in Quiet Dell, West Virginia in 1923, Williams served 20 years in the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserves.

“Today at 3:15am, Hershel Woodrow Williams, affectionately known by many as Woody went home to be with the Lord. Woody peacefully joined his beloved wife Ruby while surrounded by his family,” his foundation said in a statement Wednesday.

Fox News

Fair winds and following seas, Marine.

Category: Marine Corps, Medal of Honor, Valor

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John Seabee

RIP Gunner. Semper Fi.

Denise Williams

I do not ever recall being this sad over the death of a public figure. It has been my honor to meet Woody on several occasions, to listen to his stories, to break bread and receive genuine hugs and support from this rarest, remarkable gentleman. In August, I was beyond thrilled to be asked to speak at the upcoming unveiling of a Woody Williams Foundation Gold Star Families Memorial in a city near me. I was hoping to receive another one of his famous hugs and listen to more of his stories.

My heart is broken for all who knew and loved this man, and for all those who did not get to meet this truest representation of what we remember as the Greatest Generation.

Learn about his life’s passion to recognize and remember Gold Star families. Learn about what he did before he joined the Marines, before he attacked pill boxes with a flamethrower, and you’ll understand why he considered these Memorials his true life mission.

Semper Fi, Marine. You were.
Woody Williams Foundation

Denise Williams

This man was a true hero before, during, and after his time in uniform.

In 1941, Woody wanted to join the Marines, but he was too short. So, he took a job at the local post office delivering telegrams. Those telegrams. All over his county. He became so moved by those experiences that when the Marines lowered the height restrictions and he was able to join, it was those families first and foremost in his mind. On Iwo Jima, he used to say, what he wanted most of all was to prevent another family from receiving one of those telegrams.

When he retired from the VA, he began a Foundation with the sole purpose of remembering the families whose lives were shattered by receipt of the telegrams he delivered all those years before.

For the record, he did not allow me to call him “Mr. Wilson”. It was Woody. Just Woody, as he thanked me for standing up for my son. He thanked me! He was a giant of a man, by every measure.


Thank you, Denise, for this personal testimony to this Warrior. It means alot. Another of the many reasons why so many of us admire, respect, and yes, love you for who you are, what you do, and what you mean to us.

Godspeed and Fare Well, Good Sir. May you enjoy your Eternity in a True Paradise with your Beloved Ruby and the other Warriors of Valhala. You had your Hell on Earth.

Denise Williams

KoB and Graybeard, and all you deplorable curmudgeons, I’m sure you’ll understand this… The price paid is unimaginable, yes, but I am filled with gratitude for the life my son bought for me. I was truly blessed to be his mom, and I continue to be even today. I get to walk in a world filled with heroes, even when I’m in tears.

My complete love and respect to all of you.


Denise wrote:

“I was truly blessed to be his mom, and I
continue to be even today. I get to walk in a world filled with heroes, even when I’m in tears”.

Denise, those heroes include your Son…

And YOU…

Thank You for your strong, inspirational words…and being a beacon of light to others.


Thank you for your testimony to this man’s heart and love, Denise.
A kind of man we can all seek to emulate.


Denise, thank you for sharing. I do feel like this is the symbolic notice that the WWII generation has passed away. My grandfathers served in WWII (both on Sicily for Op. Husky, actually). They died in the early 2000s. One of them is memorialized quite well on a website dedicated to VI Corps Combat Engineers (and WWII vets in general). I’d like to share that here.


When I saw he was very active in the Gold Star community, I was wondering if your paths had crossed. Sorry for your personal loss in your friend Woody. By all accounts he was a good man.


Rest Well, Dear Sir.
May He bless you and yours.


This is making the rounds. Hoist a beverage. Until the Highest Ground!

Woody Williams.jpg

Mark (ole timers know who I mean) posted an eloquent (as usual) testimony on FB about what a great gent this Marine was. He knew him from Legion work.


Rest in peace Sir. God be with your family now.



OIP (2).jpg

The Real Man of Steel…

RGR 4-78

Rest in Peace.


May God’s peace be with the family, and the knowledge they loved a giant of a man.


When I heard he was going into hospice I made him my Valor Friday subject. Stay tuned for Friday. I hope I do him justice.



Looking forward to your Valor Story.

What a wonderful way to honor a Hero.

Thank You…

And a big Thank You to our Denise for sharing Woody’s committment to honor Gold Star Families. What an inspiration.

Rest In Peace, Sir. Condolences to his Family.

Salute. Never Forget.


rest well Marine

Old tanker

RIP Sir. I have no doubt your reunion with your wife and Brothers in Arms was joyous. May perpetual light shine upon you.


Lo, There do I see my Father,

and Lo, there do I see my Mother,

and Lo, There do I see my Brothers and my Sisters,

and Lo, There do I see my people back to the beginning,

and Lo they do call to me, and bid me take my place among them in the halls of Valhalla,

Where the brave will live forever.