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James Elliott Williams

James Elliott Williams - Medal Of Honor Recipient


U.S. Navy
Medal Of Honor, Vietnam

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Boatswain's Mate First Class Williams, Captain and Patrol Officer aboard River Patrol Boat 105, was accompanied by another patrol boat when he was taken under fire by two enemy sampans. He ordered return fire returned killing the crew of one and causing the other sampan flee. Pursuing it his patrol encountered heavy fire from enemy forces along the river bank. With utter disregard for his safety he exposed himself to the hail of enemy fire to direct and inspire the actions of his patrol. He deployed his patrol to await the arrival of armed helicopters when he discovered an even larger concentration of enemy boats. Not waiting for the arrival of the helicopters, he attacked and damaged or destroyed 50 enemy sampans and seven junks. Now virtually dark, he ordered the boats' search lights turned on to illuminate the area and moved perilously close to shore to press the attack. Despite a waning supply of ammunition the patrol successfully engaged the enemy ashore and completed the rout of the enemy force. Under the leadership of Petty Officer Williams throughout the three hour battle, the patrol accounted for the destruction or loss of 65 enemy boats and inflicted numerous casualties on the enemy personnel.

James E. Williams was awarded EVERY medal for Combat Valor in the U.S. Navy's Pyramid of Honor. He is the U.S. Navy's most decorated enlisted sailor in history.

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