Last surviving WWII Medal of Honor recipient dies

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 9:18 AM MDT

CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ/Gray News) – Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams died early Wednesday morning at the age of 98. He was the last surviving World War II recipient of the recognition.

According to WSAZ, the Woody Williams Foundation wrote, “at 3:15 a.m., 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 at the VA Medical Center which bears his name.”

Details about a funeral and memorial service will be shared as that information becomes available.

“Woody’s family would like to express their sincere gratitude for all of the love and support. They would like to share that Woody’s wish is that people continue to carry on his mission,” the Woody Williams Foundation continued.

Williams earned the Medal of Honor for his actions during the WWII battle of Iwo Jima and had a military vessel named in his honor in March 2020.

“It wasn’t anything outstanding that particular day, February 23, 1945,” Williams told WSAZ in a previous report. “It was just another day of battle, as far as I was concerned. I was just the guy who was trained to do the flamethrower.”

In his comments at the commission ceremony of the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams, the veteran talked about the honor of his name etched upon a ship where future generations will serve their country.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said he will sign a proclamation to lower all United States and West Virginia flags to half-staff statewide in Williams’ honor.

The proclamation will be issued once the date of his funeral is announced.

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