Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

William H Thomas

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company B, 149th Infantry,
    38th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: April 22, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Zambales Mountains, Luzon, Philippine Islands
He was a member of the leading squad of Company B, which was attacking along a narrow, wooded ridge. The enemy, strongly entrenched in camouflaged emplacements on the hill beyond, directed heavy fire and hurled explosive charges on the attacking riflemen. Pfc. Thomas, an automatic rifleman, was struck by one of these charges, which blew off both his legs below the knees. He refused medical aid and evacuation, and continued to fire at the enemy until his weapon was put out of action by an enemy bullet. Still refusing aid, he threw his last two grenades. He destroyed three of the enemy after suffering the wounds from which he died later that day. The effective fire of Pfc. Thomas prevented the repulse of his platoon and assured the capture of the hostile position. His magnificent courage and heroic devotion to duty provided a lasting inspiration for his comrades.
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, Michigan
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: January 13, 1923, Wynne, Cross County, AR, United States
  • Died: April 22, 1945, Luzon, Philippine Islands
  • Buried: A.B.M.C. Manila Cemetery (F-16-90), Manila, Philippine Islands
  • Location of Medal: Michigan Heroes Museum, Frankenmuth, MI

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