Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

William Lloyd Nelson

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    60th Infantry,
    9th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: April 24, 1943
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Djebel Dardys, northwest of Sedjenane, Tunisia

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty in action involving actual conflict. On the morning of 24 April 1943, Sgt. Nelson led his section of heavy mortars to a forward position where he placed his guns and men. Under intense enemy artillery, mortar, and small-arms fire, he advanced alone to a chosen observation position from which he directed the laying of a concentrated mortar barrage which successfully halted an initial enemy counterattack. Although mortally wounded in the accomplishment of his mission, and with his duty clearly completed, Sgt. Nelson crawled to a still more advanced observation point and continued to direct the fire of his section. Dying of hand-grenade wounds and only 50 yards from the enemy, Sgt. Nelson encouraged his section to continue their fire and by doing so they took a heavy toll of enemy lives. The skill which Sgt. Nelson displayed in this engagement, his courage, and self-sacrificing devotion to duty and heroism resulting in the loss of his life, was a priceless inspiration to our Armed Forces and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.

Medal of Honor Recipient William L. Nelson
Medal of Honor Recipient William L. Nelson
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Middletown, New Castle County, Delaware
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: December 1943

    Fort Dupont, Delaware, presented to his wife Rebecca by Maj. Gen. Lunsford E. Oliver, CG 5th Armored Division

  • Born: February 22, 1918, Dover, Kent County, DE, United States
  • Died: April 24, 1943, Tunisia
  • Buried: Silver Brook Cemetery (3-215), Wilmington, DE, United States

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