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Discussion Starter #661 (Edited)

ESB4 COMMISSIONING

On March 7, 2020, the US Navy will commission and welcome to the fleet ESB4, USS Herschel “Woody” Williams. The long glass will be passed by Iwo Jima Medal Of Honor recipient and ship namesake Woody Williams. The ceremony will begin at 1000 eastern and take place at Half Moon Cruise terminal in Norfolk VA.



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as demolition sergeant serving with the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 23 February 1945. Quick to volunteer his services when our tanks were maneuvering vainly to open a lane for the infantry through the network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines, and black volcanic sands, Cpl. Williams daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machinegun fire from the unyielding positions. Covered only by 4 riflemen, he fought desperately for 4 hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flamethrowers, struggling back, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out 1 position after another. On 1 occasion, he daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing the occupants and silencing the gun; on another he grimly charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon. His unyielding determination and extraordinary heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance were directly instrumental in neutralizing one of the most fanatically defended Japanese strong points encountered by his regiment and aided vitally in enabling his company to reach its objective. Cpl. Williams' aggressive fighting spirit and valiant devotion to duty throughout this fiercely contested action sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

 

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^^^^^ Copied and forwarded this to my Veteran Bros and Sisters. Semper FI MARINE
 

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Discussion Starter #664

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2020

Statement from the President

At my direction, the United States Army will award the Presidential Unit Citation to the 30th Infantry Division. More than 75 years ago, Soldiers of the 30th Infantry Division slept in their foxholes after hastily taking defensive positions around the small town of Mortain, France. They woke to find themselves under attack by an entire German Panzer Corps. Through this assault, Adolf Hitler gambled to keep American forces from breaking out of the Normandy beachhead and into the open countryside. The Nazi plan required the Panzer forces to cut through the 30th Infantry Division en route to the sea. However, the actions of the 30th Infantry Division would prove to be decisive in blunting this attack.


Nicknamed the “Old Hickory Division” because its Soldiers hailed from National Guard units from North and South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia – all States closely associated with President Andrew Jackson – the 30th Division Soldiers proved as tough as their unit’s namesake. The situation they faced on August 6, 1944, was dire. They found themselves confronted by overwhelming enemy armor, and the German Panzers broke through their lines. The Old Hickory Division, however, did not stop fighting. It pressed its cooks, clerks, and drivers into service as riflemen. The Division’s artillery protected its encircled and isolated elements with a constant barrage of fire. At daybreak, American and British close air support arrived to help. By the afternoon of August 7th, the German attack stalled and the Division quickly counterattacked to relieve its trapped elements, through another five days of fierce fighting. More than 2,000 Old Hickory Soldiers were killed or wounded during the
weeklong battle, but their efforts and sacrifice would have a profound impact on the course of history.

After the War, eight units within the 30th Infantry Division were recognized with the Presidential Unit Citation. Today, I am proud to direct the Army to honor the remainder of the Division and attached units with the Presidential Unit Citation for their heroic stand at Mortain. This action rightfully recognizes our Veterans who triumphed against incredible odds, as well as those who died during a critical battle that helped ensure the Allied victory in Europe.
 

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No greater honor to give ones life to save others. God Bless them all
 
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