Woody Williams to Lie in Honor in the Nation’s Capital
13 Jul 2022

WWII Medal of Honor recipient Chief Warrant Officer 4 Hershel “Woody” Williams will lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol this Thursday, July 14.

W.Va. Senator Joe Manchin made the announcement last week during the official memorial and honors services for Williams at the West Virginia Culture Center and State Capitol.

In a statement, Senator Manchin said “One of Woody’s last wishes was to lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol, not for himself, but to represent all World War II Medal of Honor recipients.”

The lie in honor will begin Thursday morning with an official ceremony. The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General David H. Berger, will stand alongside the Service Chiefs and the Secretary of Defense as Williams’ casket arrives and is placed inside the Capitol Rotunda. Viewing will begin at 11 am and conclude at 3:30 pm. The lie in honor is closed to the public.

Williams' family has announced that a wreath laying will take place at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., following the ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. The family motorcade will arrive at the memorial at 4 pm with ceremonial events scheduled to begin at 4:30 pm. Maj. Gen. James H. Adams, Joint Staff, will deliver remarks, MOH recipient Jim McCloughan will sing the National Anthem, and Senator Manchin and MOH recipient Cpl. Kyle Carpenter will be among the speakers for the ceremony. Family members will place a wreath at the base of the West Virginia panel, and one at the wall of the 4,048 gold stars; each one a representation of 100 American military lives lost during WWII.

Williams’ family welcomes the public to the memorial to come pay their respects to all veterans of WWII. Media/organizations that wish to cover Thursday’s wreath laying can email Mallory.vanderschans@usmc.mil <mailto:Mallory.vanderschans@usmc.mil>  before 7 pm Wednesday, 13 July, for more information. While there will be a designated area for media activities at the WWII Memorial, interviews will not be facilitated at this event.

Follow-on memorial services will take place at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia on Friday, July 15.

In 2020, the Navy in Norfolk commissioned the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB-4), which is currently in service. The Norfolk-based crew of the Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary mobile base will have the opportunity to attend the ceremony and pay their respects to Williams and his family.

Funeral services for Williams will take place in W. Va. at an undetermined future date. Services will be for the family only.

Born on October 2, 1923, in Quiet Dell, W. Va., Williams enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on May 26, 1943, and advanced to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4 before his retirement in 1969 after 17 years of service. During WWII, Williams served in New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, and Guam before landing in Iwo Jima where his actions earned him the Medal of Honor. Williams, the last living World War II Medal of Honor recipient, passed away in the early morning of June 29, 2022, surrounded by his family at the VA Medical Center in Huntington, West Virginia.

Williams exemplified the warfighting spirit of all Marines—a combat-proven leader whose lifelong dedication to all service members and Gold Star families began with his heroic actions at the Battle of Iwo Jima. His legacy as a warrior and an advocate for veterans will live on among all Marines, and he will be deeply missed.

1st Lt. Mallory Vanderschans

The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website