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First Name: Jack

Last Name: Williams

Birthplace: Harrison, AR, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)

Rating: Pharmacist's Mate Petty Officer 3rd Class

Home of Record: AR

Date of Birth: 18 October 1924

Date of Death: 03 March 1945

Rank or Rate: Petty Officer Third Class

Years Served: 1943-1945
Jack Williams

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Jack Williams

Pharmacist's Mate Third Class, U.S. Navy

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Pharmacist's Mate Third Class Jack Williams (18 October 1924 - 3 March 1945) was a U.S. Navy sailor who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.

Jack Williams was born on 18 October 1924 in Harrison, AR. He enlisted as an Apprentice Seaman in the U.S. Naval Reserve from his birth state of Arkansas in June 1943. He received recruit training at Naval Training Station, San Diego, CA, and was promoted to Seaman, Second Class in July 1943. Williams completed Hospital Corps training at Naval Hospital, San Diego, CA, and his rating was changed to Hospital Apprentice that September. In November, he was promoted to Hospital Apprentice First Class. In January 1944, Williams received orders to the Field Medical School Battalion, Camp Elliott, San Diego, and transferred a few months later to Headquarters, 5th Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, CA. In May 1944, Williams was promoted to Pharmacist's Mate, Third Class.

With the 3rd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, he participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima. On 3 March 1945, when a Marine was wounded forward of the front lines, Williams went to assist him and was hit by enemy fire. Williams completed his mission of mercy, dressed his own wounds, and rendered aid to another fallen Marine. On his way back to the rear, Williams was hit by an enemy sniper and died later that day. For his actions on that day, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Pharmacist's Mate Third Class, U.S. Naval Reserve.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3d Battalion 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, during the occupation of Iwo Jima Volcano Islands, 3 March 1945. Gallantly going forward on the frontlines under intense enemy small-arms fire to assist a marine wounded in a fierce grenade battle, Williams dragged the man to a shallow depression and was kneeling, using his own body as a screen from the sustained fire as he administered first aid, when struck in the abdomen and groin 3 times by hostile rifle fire. Momentarily stunned, he quickly recovered and completed his ministration before applying battle dressings to his own multiple wounds. Unmindful of his own urgent need for medical attention, he remained in the perilous fire-swept area to care for another marine casualty. Heroically completing his task despite pain and profuse bleeding, he then endeavored to make his way to the rear in search of adequate aid for himself when struck down by a Japanese sniper bullet which caused his collapse. Succumbing later as a result of his self-sacrificing service to others, Williams, by his courageous determination, unwavering fortitude and valiant performance of duty, served as an inspiring example of heroism, in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


The USS Jack Williams (FFG-24), which served from 1981 to 1996, was named in honor of him.

Death and Burial

Pharmacist's Mate Third Class Jack Williams was killed in action 3 March 1945. He is buried at Springfield National Cemetery in Springfield, MO.

Honoree ID: 1717   Created by: MHOH




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