Fatal bravery of a medic
Soldier:
Medic Ian "Roy" Williams
Date: 21st April 1945
Location: Vohburg, Germany
Unit: D company, 341st, 86th Black Hawk Infantry Division

Letter
Below is a part of the letter which our platoon leader Lt. William R. Jones wrote the parents of Ian Roy Williams.

"Dear Mr. and Mrs. Williams,

This letter is the hardest one that I have ever attempted to write, so if the words are inadequate, please look beyond the means of expression. The reason why I waited this long before writing you was that I wanted to wait till the government had time to notify you in the usual manner.

The action in which Bill ( Lt. William R. Jones calls Ian Bill as his friends always called him Willie or Bill) was killed took place in Vohburg, Germany in the late afternoon of 21st April 1945. We had succeeded in crossing the Danube and subsequently taking the city with not a single casualty in my platoon. Our final objective was another small city some 400 yards beyond Vohburg. I had continued on with my first section and elements of the rifle company that was with us.

Bill remained with the second section at the edge of Vohburg as we started towards the final objective. Shortly after we hit the open ground, we were pinned down by heavy enemy fire. An officer from B Company was one of the first casualties, and unhesitatingly Bill went out to aid him. Before he ever reached the wounded officer, he was shot by an enemy sniper. I was not present in that immediate vicinity nor did I hear the news till some time later.

From what I get of the story, it was none too justifiable nor humane, so I will skip the details. Men from the second section went to aid Bill, but when they arrived he had already passed on.

I had recommended Bill for the Silver Star Medal, due to his actions in the Battle of Hagen though as of yet it has not returned from higher headquarters approved. I am sure that this gallantry would have won him more recognition.

During the entire Battle of Vohburg, my platoon suffered three casualties - two killed and one wounded. It is quite ironical that the two that were killed were the two, the only two at the time, that had been recommended for a Silver Star in my platoon.

Irony yes...but if definitely indicates more the fact that those men were doing more and beyond their "required jobs"

If there is any information that you desire that I can be of any help to you in, I hope you will face to write and ask it of me."

Yours Respectfully,

William R. Jones


As contributed by his friend Lawrence E. Bennett.

Personal Photographs


The Black Hawk shoulder patch.



Ian Williams with two of his many friends at Camp Howze, Texas in 1943.

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