THOMAS, WILLIAM H. - Medal of Honor Recipient


Rank and organization:   Private First Class, U.S. Army, 149th Infantry, 38th Infantry Division.

Place and date:   Zambales Mountains Luzon, Philippine Islands, 22 April 1945.

Entered service at:   Ypsilanti, Mich. Birth. Wynne, Ark.

G.O. No.: 81, 24 September 1945.

Citation:   He was a member of the leading squad of Company B, which was attacking along a narrow, wooded ridge. The enemy strongly entrenched in camouflaged emplacements on the hill beyond directed heavy fire and hurled explosive charges on the attacking riflemen. Pfc. Thomas, an automatic rifleman, was struck by 1 of these charges, which blew off both his legs below the knees. He refused medical aid and evacuation, and continued to fire at the enemy until his weapon was put out of action by an enemy bullet. Still refusing aid, he threw his last 2 grenades. He destroyed 3 of the enemy after suffering the wounds from which he died later that day. The effective fire of Pfc. Thomas prevented the repulse of his platoon and assured the capture of the hostile position. His magnificent courage and heroic devotion to duty provided a lasting inspiration for his comrades.

This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)