Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

William Ralph Shockley

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company L, 128th Infantry,
    32d Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: March 31, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Villa Verde Trail, Luzon, Philippine Islands

He was in position with his unit on a hill when the enemy, after a concentration of artillery fire, launched a counterattack. He maintained his position under intense enemy fire and urged his comrades to withdraw, saying that he would "remain to the end" to provide cover. Although he had to clear two stoppages which impeded the reloading of his weapon, he halted one enemy charge. Hostile troops then began moving in on his left flank, and he quickly shifted his gun to fire on them. Knowing that the only route of escape was being cut off by the enemy, he ordered the remainder of his squad to withdraw to safety and deliberately remained at his post. He continued to fire until he was killed during the ensuing enemy charge. Later, four Japanese were found dead in front of his position. Pfc. Shockley, facing certain death, sacrificed himself to save his fellow soldiers, but the heroism and gallantry displayed by him enabled his squad to reorganize and continue its attack.

Medal of Honor Recipient William R. Shockley
Medal of Honor Recipient William R. Shockley
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Selma, Fresno County, California
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: December 4, 1918, Bokoshe, LeFlore County, OK, United States
  • Died: March 31, 1945, Villa Verde Trail, Luzon, Philippine Islands
  • Buried: Floral Memorial Park, Selma, CA, United States

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