Thomas, William H.

Date of birth:
January 2nd, 1923 (Wynne/Arkansas, United States)
Date of death:
April 22nd, 1945 (Zambales Mountains/Luzon, Philippine Islands.)
Buried on:
American Cemetery and Memorial Manila
Plot: F. Row: 16. Grave: 90.
Service number:
38665831
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

Private First Class William Thomas served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945. On 22 April 1945, Thomas continued to fight even after being mortally wounded by an explosion which blew off both of his legs. He died later that day.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Private 1st Class
Unit:
149th Infantry Regiment, 38th Infantry Division "Cyclone", U.S. Army
Awarded on:
September 24th, 1945
Action:
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.
Details:
Awarded posthumously
Medal of Honor - Army (MoH)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Details:
With 2 bronze campaign stars
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Details:
1st class
Combat Infantryman Badge

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