Naval History and Heritage Command

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Williams, Jack

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Pharmacist's Mate 3rd Class, USNR, (1924-1945)

Pharmacist's Mate Third Class Jack Williams, USNR, (1924-1945)


Jack Williams was born on 18 October 1924 in Harrison, Arkansas. He enlisted as an Apprentice Seaman in the U.S. Naval Reserve from that same state in June 1943. He received recruit training at Naval Training Station, San Diego, California and was promoted to Seaman, Second Class in July 1943. Williams completed Hospital Corps training at Naval Hospital, San Diego, California 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, Fifth Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California. In May 1944, Williams was promoted to Pharmacist's Mate, Third Class.


With the Third Battalion, Twenty-eighth Marines, Fifth 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 courageously went to assist him and was hit by enemy fire. With determination, he 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 "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, " he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Jack Williams is buried at Springfield National Cemetery, Springfield, Missouri.

USS Jack Williams (FFG-24), (1981-1996), was named in honor of Pharmacist's Mate Third Class Jack Williams.


This page features the only image we have concerning John H. Williams.