A West Virginia Medal of Honor recipient will be honored again on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 as a ship with his name is christened. Hershel “Woody” Williams received the military’s highest medal for his actions at the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. The USNS Williams (T-ESB4), an expeditionary sea base ship, will be christened in San Diego, CA on Saturday. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced will attend the christening ceremony.
“I am so honored that my friend Woody invited me to the christening of his ship – the USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams,” said Sen. Manchin. “Many years ago Woody’s fellow Marines and friends started this effort and I was honored to be called on to help in any way I could. Ron Wroblewski and Woody’s friends and family asked me to send a letter to Secretary (Ray) Mabus recommending a Navy ship be named after Woody. After sending the letter and working with Secretary Mabus, I was thrilled when the Navy announced they would name a ship after Woody a few months later. This ship christening is a lifelong tribute to Woody’s brave actions and his dedication to public service and I was honored to play a part in helping a fellow Marion County boy receive the recognition he deserves.”
The ceremony comes just two years after the Navy announced the ship would be named for Mr. Williams. Below is a copy of the letter Sen. Manchin sent to Secretary Mabus.