CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — In his latest COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Justice announced flags will be flown at half-mast in honor of Herschel ‘Woody’ Williams death and also that Williams would be the first inductee into the West Virginia Military Hall of Fame.
Woody Williams of Quiet Dell, was the last American WWII Medal of Honor recipient. Williams passed away June 29, 2022 at the age of 98, with his family in the VA hospital located in Huntington that is named in his honor.
The West Virginia Military Hall of Fame was established in the 2022 legislative session under House Bill 4406 The purpose of the Military Hall of Fame is to honor the veterans from the Mountain State that went above and beyond the call of duty on the battlefield and who continued to do so once returning home.
As a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, Williams received his Medal of Honor for his display in the Battle of Iwo Jima. His actions in the battle contributed to the victory that day and saved countless lives. President Harry Truman awarded Williams the Medal of Honor on October 5, 1945. Williams would be the last remaining American Service member that received the honor, a total of 473 recipients.
Decades following the war, Williams used his platform to honor America’s Gold Star servicemen and women, those who paid the ultimate price for the defense of America as well as the families of the fallen. To date, Woody and his foundation are responsible for establishing over 100 Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments in all 50 states and 1 U.S. Territory, with over 70 additional monuments currently underway.
Gov. Justice had officially nominated Williams for the honor and the West Virginia Veterans Council met and unanimously voted to induct Williams.
“I couldn’t be more proud to announce Woody as the first inductee into our new West Virginia Military Hall of Fame. Woody Williams was a man whose life was extraordinary beyond belief. Not only was his bravery on the battlefield unmatched, but he spent a lifetime going all across America as a tireless advocate for Veterans. He was a wonderful friend to so many and a true American hero to all of us. His induction as the first member of this Hall of Fame is an incredibly fitting tribute to his lifetime of service.”Governor Jim Justice