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First Name: William

Last Name: Thomas

Birthplace: Wynne, AR, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Ypsilanti, MI
Middle Name: H.

Date of Birth: 13 January 1923

Date of Death: 22 April 1945

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1942 - 1945
William H. Thomas

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


William H. Thomas

Private First Class, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Private First Class William H. Thomas (13 January 1923 - 22 April 1945) 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 H. Thomas was born on 13 January 1923 in Wynne, AR. He joined the Army from Ypsilanti, MI. On 22 April 1945, he was serving as a Private First Class in the 149th Infantry Regiment, 38th Infantry Division. During a firefight that day in the Zambales Mountains on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, Thomas continued to fight even after being mortally wounded by an explosion which blew off both of his legs. He died later that day and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 149th Infantry, 38th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Zambales Mountains Luzon, Philippine Islands, 22 April 1945.

Citation: He was a member of the leading squad of Company B, which was attacking along a narrow, wooded ridge. The enemy strongly entrenched in camouflaged emplacements on the hill beyond directed heavy fire and hurled explosive charges on the attacking riflemen. Pfc. Thomas, an automatic rifleman, was struck by 1 of these charges, which blew off both his legs below the knees. He refused medical aid and evacuation, and continued to fire at the enemy until his weapon was put out of action by an enemy bullet. Still refusing aid, he threw his last 2 grenades. He destroyed 3 of the enemy after suffering the wounds from which he died later that day. The effective fire of Pfc. Thomas prevented the repulse of his platoon and assured the capture of the hostile position. His magnificent courage and heroic devotion to duty provided a lasting inspiration for his comrades.

Death and Burial

Private First Class William H. Thomas was killed in action on 22 April 1945. He is buried at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in Manila, Manila City, Philippines, in Plot F-16-90.

Honoree ID: 1668   Created by: MHOH




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