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Pharmacists Mate Third Class Jack Williams

Date of Award: May 14, 1970
Conflict: World War II
Branch: U.S. Navy

Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class Jack Williams portraitPharmacist’s Mate Third Class Jack Williams was assigned to the 5th Marine Division in the Iwo Jima Campaign in the Pacific. On March 3, 1945, his division prepared to attack the enemy on Hill 362B. The terrain was as foreboding as the enemy, which held an extremely strong position at the top of a hill. Progress was slow because the routes had to be cleared of mines and new roads had to be constructed for tanks to support the attack. The company met heavy resistance from the enemy and there were many casualties.

Williams spotted a Marine lying beyond the front lines. Under intense enemy fire, he moved forward to the man and dragged him into a shallow depression. Using his body to shield his wounded patient from continuous fire, he gave first aid until enemy rounds hit him in the stomach and groin. Disregarding his pain and urgent need for medical aid, he continued to search for other casualties and managed to make his way back to the aid station, until he was struck down by a Japanese sniper’s bullet. He later died of severe internal injuries.

Citation: “By his courageous determination, unwavering fortitude, and valiant devotion to duty, Petty Officer Williams served as an aspiring example of heroism.”

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