West Virginia, Greg Columbus, Herschel Woody Williams discussed on Veterans Chronicles


I'm Greg Columbus. Our guest this week on veterans chronicles is Herschel woody Williams. He's the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Iwo Jima. And sir, thank you very much for your time today. It's good to be here. Sure is. Where were you born and raised? I was born in a little town called quiet Dell. Marin county, West Virginia. Near the city of Fairmont, West Virginia. So in the Marine Corps, my home of record was Fairmont because I've plotted and have a post office or anything else. It was a country community. And most of the people who lived there either were farm people or coal mine people. And which was your family. We were dairy farm people. Yes, we had a dairy farm from the time I was a little taught. When did you join the service? How old were you? I tried to join when I was 17. When Pearl Harbor was hit, I was in what was known in those days as the civilian conservation corps. We called it three sheets. I had joined it at 16. You could go in to seas at 16, and I had joined because I had a brother who had joined before me, and he was stationed in West Virginia at a CCC camp. And I thought I would go there where he was, because part I knew they only had one camp in the whole state, and but when I joined, I found out I was going to Morgantown, West Virginia, another camp, therefore a short time, and then everybody in that camp or about one or 260 officer or something like that. They loaded us on trains and took us all the way to Montana. So I was in the seas and Montana when Pearl Harbor was bombed. And the three seas were run by the army. They had an officer who was in charge of the camp, the head of first sergeant and the sergeant and their employees were army people. But all the rest of us were civilians. And we had a yearly contract that you could renew every year if you wanted to renew. About the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, they called us all out, and we could get into some kind of a formation. We were not very military, but they called us out and told us that America had been bombed. And that there's going to be a war. So they offered us an opportunity that if you wanted to go direct into the army and you were over 18 years of age, which mature a man, you could, in less than go straight into the army. If you were not 18, then you'd have to have parent consent. And or if you wanted to go into some other branch of service, then you can request your release from the species for that purpose. Well, I wanted to be a marine. I've been influenced by the marine trash blues back when I was 12, 13, 14 years old..

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