Jack Williams (Medal of Honor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jack Williams
Jack Williams, MOH.jpg
PhM3c Jack Williams, U.S. Navy Reserve
Medal of Honor recipient
Born(1924-10-18)October 18, 1924
Harrison, Arkansas
DiedMarch 3, 1945(1945-03-03) (aged 20)
Iwo Jima
Place of burial
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1943-1945
RankPharmacist's Mate Third Class
Unit3rd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment
Battles/warsWorld War II
*Battle of Iwo Jima
AwardsMedal of Honor
Purple Heart Medal (2)

Jack Williams (October 18, 1924 – March 3, 1945) was a United States Navy hospital corpsman who was killed in action while serving with a Marine Corps infantry unit in World War II. He was posthumously awarded the nation's highest military decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor, for heroic actions "above and beyond the call of duty" on March 3, 1945, during the Battle of Iwo Jima.[1]

U.S. Navy Reserve[edit]

World War II[edit]

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 Naval Hospital Corps School 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 Fleet Marine Force (FMF), Field Medical School Battalion, Camp Elliott, San Diego, for combat field training, 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.

On February 19, 1945, he landed on Iwo Jima with the 3rd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division. On March 3, when a Marine, James Naughton, 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.

Williams, aged 20 at his death, was buried in Springfield National Cemetery, Springfield, Missouri.

Military awards[edit]

Williams' military awards and decorations include:

Fleet Marine Force Combat Insignia.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svg
Medal of Honor
Purple Heart Medal
Navy Presidential Unit Citation
Navy Unit Commendation
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ one 316" bronze star
World War II Victory Medal

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Pharmacist's Mate Williams' official Medal of Honor citation reads:

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3rd 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.[1]

Harry S. Truman


The USS Jack Williams (FFG-24), which served from 1981 to 1996, was named in honor of him.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b US Army Center of Military History, "Medal of Honor Recipients, World War II (T-Z)" Archived December 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-11-23.
  2. ^ Naval Historical Center, "Pharmacist's Mate Third Class Jack Williams, USNR, (1924-1945)"; retrieved 2011-11-23.

External links[edit]