HUNTINGTON — A beloved West Virginia war hero was thrown a party Wednesday afternoon to celebrate his 98th birthday.
Hershel “Woody” Williams, the only living Medal of Honor recipient in West Virginia, turned 98 last week. On Wednesday afternoon, he went to Bare Arms Indoor Range & Training Center and Bombshells Burgers & BBQ on 5th Street Road in Huntington for a lunchtime birthday party with friends, family and fellow veterans.
Williams was born Oct. 2, 1923. He grew up in Quiet Dell in Harrison County and was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions taken during the U.S. assault on the heavily fortified island of Iwo Jima in February 1945. Armed with a flamethrower and exposed to near-constant enemy fire, Williams neutralized a series of concrete-reinforced Japanese machine gun positions that had stalled his company’s ability to move off the beach and advance on the enemy.