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The Heroic History of Hershel W. Williams

The Heroic History of Hershel W. Williams

World War II was a long and bloody war: the deadliest event in global history. But even within the war, certain battles will forever live on in infamy. The Battle of Iwo Jima is one of them.

The five-week siege of Iwo Jima is widely regarded as the bloodiest battle in WWII outside of the D-Day invasion, and the service members who fought in it will go down in history as some of the most courageous of all time. There’s a reason the flag raising image from Iwo Jima is one of the most recognizable photos to come out of the war.

110,000+ American military personnel took part in this battle, and 27,071 men gave the ultimate sacrifice to secure the island against Japanese forces. It’s important that we never forget them. It’s why we’ve chosen to help the world remember just one of them in this post: Hershel W. Williams.

Here’s the story of Hershel W. Williams and his role in the battle of Iwo Jima—a pivotal moment in WWII.

Who is Hershel W. Williams?

Hershel “Woody” Williams is an American patriot who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Truman on October 5, 1945. The medal was awarded to Williams for the “valiant devotion to duty” he displayed in the battle of Iwo Jima.

Before Williams enlisted in the Marine Corps, he delivered Western Union telegrams to the community, including those telegrams sent to Gold Star families informing them their loved ones had died in battle. Later in life, Williams would go on to establish the Woody Williams Foundation to help these same families.  

Williams himself enlisted in the United States Marine Corps prior to WWII and was part of the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division. When Williams fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II, he showed great commitment to fellow service members and heroism. All of which “enabled his company to reach its objective,” as detailed during the Medal of Honor ceremony.

Like many men during the battle, Williams charged into chaos and certain death, because he knew that if he didn’t, America risked losing one of the most important strategic positions of the war. He charged ahead, into gunfire, to fulfill his duty in taking the island from the Japanese.

The Patriotism of Hershel W. Williams Continued After WWII

Williams showed his patriotism and heroism as a member of the United States military, but his contributions didn’t end when he came home from the war. This valiant individual went on to serve his country in a variety of ways, including as the founder of the Woody Williams Foundation.

The Woody Williams Foundation helps those who served in the military, as well as Gold Star families. A total of 90 Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments are now in place across the nation thanks to the contributions of the Woody Williams Foundation. An additional 79 monuments are in the process of being built.

In addition to monument establishment, the Foundation also offers outreach programs and events to benefit Gold Star families across the country. He’s committed to helping surviving families of military service members pick up the pieces after losing someone, so that their loved one’s memory lives on forever.

Thank a Patriot Today

Hershel W. Williams is just one of the hundreds of thousands of military service members to have served in WWII. He was on the front lines of some of the fiercest fighting in modern history, and he answered the call to serve his country without hesitation. Even after the war, he continued to serve his country by ensuring no soldier’s sacrifice is ever forgotten. For all that and more, he’s the definition of a true patriot and a real-life hero.

Now that you know his story, it’s important to make sure you express your appreciation for everything Hershel and other veterans have sacrificed and given for our freedoms. Today’s the perfect time to thank a patriot in your life. Thank a military member for their service and for keeping the nation and its citizens safe.

Even if you don’t know any veterans or active service members, there are still ways you can express your gratitude for those who’ve kept us safe (and continue to protect our freedoms).

Check out our full selection of patriotic apparel and buy gear for friends and loved ones. Wearing the red, white and blue is sometimes the best way to show that you understand everything our flag stands for—and that you appreciate those who’ve kept it flying high, even through the worst of times.

Visit The Flag Shirt and explore our large selection of patriotic clothing. From American flag polo shirts and button down shirts to patriotic neckties and other accessories, you’ll find any type of American-themed clothing and accessories you’re looking for! Come browse styles for men, women and kids, and show your patriotic spirit in the most stylish way possible.

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