VFW Remembers Woody Williams

The last living WWII Medal of Honor recipient was a VFW Life member

WASHINGTON — The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is mourning the passing of Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams, who passed away this morning at the VA Medical Center in Huntington, West Virginia, named in his honor. He was 98 years old.

World War II hero Hershel Woody Williams“This is a tremendous loss not only for the VFW, but also for the nation,” said VFW National Commander Matthew “Fritz” Mihelcic. “Woody was a symbol of the bravery and selfless sacrifice of those who served in World War II. He carried the mantle of courage of WWII Marines, especially those who fought and died in the Battle of Iwo Jima which he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions there.” 

After WWII, Williams continued to serve veterans and their families in West Virginia. Through the nonprofit he founded, the Woody Williams Foundation, he would establish Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments and outreach programs across the country.    

“Woody’s tireless efforts on behalf of Gold Star families will never be forgotten,” Mihelcic said. “His legacy not only lives on through his foundation, but with every building, monument, organization and life his life happened to touch.” 

Williams was a Gold Legacy member of VFW Post 7048, in Fairmont, West Virginia, which bears his name. His long-standing membership with the organization goes back as far as 1957 when he became a Life member. 

“On behalf of the entire 1.5 million-member VFW family, our deepest condolences go out to Woody’s entire family, and we salute one of the last greatest of the ‘Greatest Generation.’”