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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Walter J Will

  • Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company K, 18th Infantry,
    1st Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: March 30, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Eisern, Germany
He displayed conspicuous gallantry during an attack on powerful enemy positions. He courageously exposed himself to withering hostile fire to rescue two wounded men and then, although painfully wounded himself, made a third trip to carry another soldier to safety from an open area. Ignoring the profuse bleeding of his wound, he gallantly led men of his platoon forward until they were pinned down by murderous flanking fire from two enemy machine guns. He fearlessly crawled alone to within 30 feet of the first enemy position, killed the crew of four, and silenced the gun with accurate grenade fire. He continued to crawl through intense enemy fire to within 20 feet of the second position where he leaped to his feet, made a lone, ferocious charge, and captured the gun and its nine-man crew. Observing another platoon pinned down by two more German machine guns, he led a squad on a flanking approach and, rising to his knees in the face of direct fire, coolly and deliberately lobbed three grenades at the Germans, silencing one gun and killing its crew. With tenacious aggressiveness, he ran toward the other gun and knocked it out with grenade fire. He then returned to his platoon and led it in a fierce, inspired charge, forcing the enemy to fall back in confusion. First Lt. Will was mortally wounded in this last action, but his heroic leadership, indomitable courage, and unflinching devotion to duty live on as a perpetual inspiration to all those who witnessed his deeds.
Medal of Honor Recipient Walter J. Will
Medal of Honor Recipient Walter J. Will
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: West Winfield, Herkimer County, New York
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: March 19, 1922, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA, United States
  • Died: March 30, 1945, Germany
  • Buried: A.B.M.C. Netherlands Cemetery (MH) (D-3-32), Margraten, Holland
  • Location of Medal: New York State Museum, Albany, NY

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