The U.S. Navy commissioned a warship to honor World War II veteran Hershel “Woody” Williams in Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday.
“The USNS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams is an Expeditionary Sea Base ship that was built and launched in 2017,” according to the Marine Corps Times.
“With its commissioning, the vessel’s designation changed from a support ship to a warship, and command transferred from the Military Sealift Command to Naval Surface Force Atlantic,” the article stated.
This is not just about me, it’s about them. It’s about those who never got to come home to America. It’s to the families who sacrificed more than any of us. They gave one of their own so that we could be who we are, live in a free country, have all the advantages that we have. So we want to pay tribute to those this morning.
The 96-year-old veteran is the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient who fought during the battle of Iwo Jima, according to Fox News.
The report stated:
Williams received his Medal of Honor for actions as a demolition sergeant with the 3rd Marine Division in February 1945. As U.S. tanks tried to open a lane for infantry amid pillboxes and buried mines, he went forward alone seeking to reduce enemy machine gunfire.
Covered by only four riflemen, Williams fought for hours, returning repeatedly to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain flamethrowers to wipe out enemy positions. On one occasion, he mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing the occupants and silencing the gun.
His actions neutralized seven Japanese pillboxes.
Saturday, the veteran described the commissioning as “a moment in history that is beyond my comprehension.”
“May all those who serve aboard this ship that bears my name be safe and proud. May she have God’s blessings for a long life of service to America, the greatest country on Earth,” he concluded.