Jack Williams (Medal of Honor)
Pharmacist's Mate Third Class Jack Williams
October 18, 1924|
|Died||March 3, 1945
|Place of burial||Springfield National Cemetery, Springfield, Missouri|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1943-1945|
|Rank||Pharmacist's Mate Third Class|
|Unit||3rd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment|
|Battles/wars||World War II
*Battle of Iwo Jima
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
Jack Williams (October 18, 1924 – March 3, 1945) was a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.
Williams enlisted as an Apprentice Seaman in the United States Naval Reserve from his birth state of Arkansas in June 1943. He received recruit training at Naval Training Station, San Diego, California and was promoted to Seaman, Second Class in July 1943. Williams completed Hospital Corps training at Naval Hospital, San Diego, California and his rating was changed to Hospital Apprentice that September. In November, he was promoted to Hospital Apprentice First Class. In January 1944, Williams received orders to the Field Medical School Battalion, Camp Elliott, San Diego, and transferred a few months later to Headquarters, 5th Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California. In May 1944, Williams was promoted to Pharmacist's Mate, Third Class.
With the 3rd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, he participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima. On March 3, 1945, when a Marine was wounded forward of the front lines, Williams went to assist him and was hit by enemy fire. Williams completed his mission of mercy, dressed his own wounds, and rendered aid to another fallen Marine. On his way back to the rear, Williams was hit by an enemy sniper and died later that day. For his actions on that day, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
Medal of Honor citation
Pharmacist's Mate Williams' official Medal of Honor citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3d Battalion 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, during the occupation of Iwo Jima Volcano Islands, March 3, 1945. Gallantly going forward on the frontlines under intense enemy small-arms fire to assist a marine wounded in a fierce grenade battle, Williams dragged the man to a shallow depression and was kneeling, using his own body as a screen from the sustained fire as he administered first aid, when struck in the abdomen and groin 3 times by hostile rifle fire. Momentarily stunned, he quickly recovered and completed his ministration before applying battle dressings to his own multiple wounds. Unmindful of his own urgent need for medical attention, he remained in the perilous fire-swept area to care for another marine casualty. Heroically completing his task despite pain and profuse bleeding, he then endeavored to make his way to the rear in search of adequate aid for himself when struck down by a Japanese sniper bullet which caused his collapse. Succumbing later as a result of his self-sacrificing service to others, Williams, by his courageous determination, unwavering fortitude and valiant performance of duty, served as an inspiring example of heroism, in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
- List of Medal of Honor recipients for World War II
- List of Medal of Honor recipients for the Battle of Iwo Jima
- US Army Center of Military History, "Medal of Honor Recipients, World War II (T-Z)"; retrieved 2012-11-23.
- Naval Historical Center, "Pharmacist's Mate Third Class Jack Williams, USNR, (1924-1945)"; retrieved 2011-11-23.