Colonel Williams was a career officer, serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. According to his family, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, six Silver Star Medals and seven Purple Heart Medals. We are awaiting additional information from the Colonel's family.
First Lt. Harry O. Williams, of Williamansett, Massachusetts, a Cannon Company, forward observer, accompanied a patrol on January 27, charged with capturing a small enemy force harassing front-line outposts. Losing contact with the patrol when it withdrew to a better position, Lieutenant Williams crawled forward alone, straight into the withering small arms fire. He killed the enemy commander with his M-1, then directed accurate cannon fire upon the remaining Germans, killing six and forcing the others to withdraw.
- Captain William, Harry O.
- United States Army
- Distinguished Service Cross
- Co. K, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division
- Date of Action: February 12, 1951
The Distinguished Service Cross is awarded to Captain Harry O. Williams, Infantry, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action, while serving with Company K, Seventh Infantry Regiment, Third Infantry Division, on February 12, 1951 in the vicinity of Chom Chon, Korea.
Captain Williams was leading a reinforced patrol toward the Han River when the unit encountered intense small-arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire from a numerically superior enemy well entrenched on commanding terrain.
Immediately deploying his men to meet the attack, he directed one squad to move to the left flank of the enemy and a second squad to move to the right flank in an effort to encircle the enemy positions.
Shortly thereafter, he observed that the squad moving to the right had encountered intense enemy fire and was pinned down. Moving to the squad's position, he found that the squad leader had advanced to a position approximately five yards from an enemy machine-gun and had been wounded and pinned down by machine-gun fire. Determined to rescue the wounded man, Captain Williams charged the machine-gun position with grenades and carbine and succeeded in destroying the weapon and killing the crew. Despite the continued hail of small-arms fire, he reached the wounded squad leader but found the man was unable to move. Picking the man up, Captain Williams moved with him across approximately fifty yards of open fire-swept terrain to the position of the patrol where, after administering first aid to the wounded man, he continued to direct the operations of the patrol until orders were received to withdraw.
Recently I went to pay a visit to my fathers niche at Arlington National Cemetery. While there I visited his friend's plot. That would be Colonel Harry O. Williams. Harry and Dad served together in the 7th Infantry in Korea and at other CONUS installations. They are both members of the Army OCS Hall of Fame at Ft Benning and are also among the 302 men who have been awarded 3 Combat Infantryman Badges. Harry was a much decorated officer. I took the attached photos of his grave site hoping that you would be able to put one of them on his page in your list.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard