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First Name: William

Last Name: McWhorter

Birthplace: Liberty, SC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Liberty, SC
Middle Name: A.

Date of Birth: 07 December 1918

Date of Death: 05 December 1944

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served:
William A. McWhorter

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


William A. McWhorter

Private First Class, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Private First Class William A. McWhorter (7 December 1918 - 5 December 1944) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II.

William A. McWhorter was born on 7 December 1918 in Liberty, SC; he also joined the Army from that city. On 5 December 1944, he was serving as a Private First Class in Company M, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division. On that day at Leyte, in the Philippines, he covered the blast of an enemy-thrown explosive with his body, sacrificing himself to protect the man next to him. For this action, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company M, 126th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division.

Place and date: Leyte, Philippine Islands, 5 December 1944.

Citation: He displayed gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in operations against the enemy. Pfc. McWhorter, a machine gunner, was emplaced in a defensive position with 1 assistant when the enemy launched a heavy attack. Manning the gun and opening fire, he killed several members of an advancing demolition squad, when 1 of the enemy succeeded in throwing a fused demolition charge in the entrenchment. Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own safety, Pfc. McWhorter picked up the improvised grenade and deliberately held it close to his body, bending over and turning away from his companion. The charge exploded, killing him instantly, but leaving his assistant unharmed. Pfc. McWhorter's outstanding heroism and supreme sacrifice in shielding a comrade reflect the highest traditions of the military service.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Death and Burial

Private First Class William A. McWhorter was killed in action on 5 December 1944. He is buried at West View Cemetery in Liberty, SC.

Honoree ID: 1536   Created by: MHOH




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