William G. Walsh

Infobox Military Person
name= William Gary Walsh
born= Birth date|1922|4|7
died= death date and age|1945|2|27|1922|4|7
placeofbirth= Roxbury, Massachusetts
placeofdeath= KIA on Iwo Jima
placeofburial= Arlington National Cemetery

caption= William G. Walsh, Medal of Honor recipient
allegiance= United States of America
branch= United States Marine Corps
serviceyears= 1942-1945
rank= Gunnery Sergeant
unit= Carlson's Raiders 5th Marine Division
battles= World War II *Battle of Guadalcanal *Battle of Bougainville *Battle of Tarawa *Battle of Iwo Jima
awards= Medal of Honor Purple Heart
Gunnery Sergeant William Gary Walsh (7 April 1922 – 27 February 1945) was a United States Marine who heroically sacrificed his life to save the lives of his fellow Marines during the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. For his actions on 27 February 1945, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.


William Walsh was born on 7 April 1922 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He attended public schools in Boston before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in April 1942. He received his basic training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, and advanced training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

From Camp Lejeune, he went to Samoa and was assigned to a unit of Marine scouts. His next assignment was with the famed Carlson's Raiders. During this nation's war with Japan in the Pacific, he saw action at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, and in the Russell Islands.

Following two years of service in the Pacific theatre, he returned to the United States. He returned overseas later with the 5th Marine Division in time for the Iwo Jima invasion.

It was at Iwo, while leading his men against a fortified hill on 27 February 1945, he threw himself on a hand grenade, sacrificing his life to save the lives of fellow Marines For this heroic act, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Initially buried in the 5th Marine Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima, GnySgt Walsh's remains were later reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery on 20 April 1948.

Medal of Honor citation

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Leader of an Assault Platoon, serving with Company G, Third Battalion, Twenty-seventh Marines, Fifth Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces at Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on 27 February 1945. With the advance of his company toward Hill 362 disrupted by vicious machine-gun fire from a forward position which guarded the approaches to this key enemy stronghold, Gunnery Sergeant Walsh fearlessly charged at the head of his platoon against the Japanese entrenched on the ridge above him, utterly oblivious to the unrelenting fury of hostile automatic weapons and hand grenades employed with fanatic desperation to smash his daring assault. Thrown back by the enemy's savage resistance, he once again led his men in a seemingly impossible attack up the steep, rocky slope, boldly defiant of the annihilating streams of bullets which saturated the area, and despite his own casualty losses and the overwhelming advantage held by the Japanese in superior numbers and dominate position, gained the ridge's top only to be subjected to an intense barrage of hand grenades thrown by the remaining Japanese staging a suicidal last stand on the reverse slope. When one of the grenades fell in the midst of his surviving men, huddled together in a small trench, Gunnery Sergeant Walsh in a final valiant act of complete self-sacrifice, instantly threw himself upon the deadly bomb, absorbing with his own body the full and terrific force of the explosion. Through his extraordinary initiative and inspiring valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved his comrades from injury and possible loss of life and enabled his company to seize and hold this vital enemy position. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

ee also

*List of Medal of Honor recipients
*List of Medal of Honor recipients for World War II
*List of Medal of Honor recipients for the Battle of Iwo Jima


:Marine Corps
*findagrave|6304957 Retrieved on 2007-11-13
*cite web
url = http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Whos_Who/Walsh_WG.htm
title = Gunnery Sergeant William Gary Walsh, USMCR, Medal of Honor recipient
work = Who's who in Marine Corps history
publisher = History Division, United States Marine Corps
date =

*cite web
title=GySgt William G. Walsh, Medal of Honor, 1945, 3/27/5, Iwo Jima
work=Marines Awarded the Medal of Honor
publisher=History Division, United States Marine Corps

* [http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/wgwalsh.htm William Gary Walsh, Gunnery Sergeant, United States Marine Corps] , Arlington National Cemetery profile.

NAME= Walsh, William G.
SHORT DESCRIPTION= United States Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient
DATE OF BIRTH= 7 April, 1922
PLACE OF BIRTH= Roxbury, Massachusetts
DATE OF DEATH= 27 February, 1945

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