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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Marine Corps

Dewayne Thomas Williams

Details
  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    1st Platoon, Company H, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines,
    1st Marine Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 18, 1968
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam
Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifleman with the 1st Platoon, Company H, in action against communist insurgent forces. Pfc. Williams was a member of a combat patrol sent out from the platoon with the mission of establishing positions in the company's area of operations from which it could intercept and destroy enemy sniper teams operating in the area. In the night as the patrol was preparing to move from its daylight position to a preselected night position, it was attacked from ambush by a squad of enemy using small arms and hand grenades. Although severely wounded in the back by the close intense fire, Pfc. Williams, recognizing the danger to the patrol, immediately began to crawl forward toward a good firing position. While he was moving under the continuing intense fire, he heard one of the members of the patrol sound the alert that an enemy grenade had landed in their position. Reacting instantly to the alert, he saw that the grenade had landed close to where he was lying and without hesitation, in a valiant act of heroism, rolled on top of the grenade as it exploded, absorbing the full and tremendous impact of the explosion with his body. Through his extraordinary initiative and inspiring valor in the face of certain death, he saved the other members of his patrol from serious injury and possible loss of life, and enabled them to successfully defeat the attackers and hold their position until assistance arrived. His personal heroism and devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Medal of Honor Recipient Dewayne T. Williams
Medal of Honor Recipient Dewayne T. Williams
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Saint Clair, Saint Clair County, Michigan
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 20, 1970
    The White House, presented by Vice Pres. Spiro T. Agnew to his family
  • Born: September 18, 1949, Brown City, Sanilac County, MI, United States
  • Died: September 18, 1968, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: St. Mary's Cemetery (MH) (D-11-5), St. Clair, MI, United States
  • Location of Medal: Michigan Heroes Museum, Frankenmuth, MI
 

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