D company, 341st, 86th Black Hawk Infantry Division
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
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
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."
William R. Jones
As contributed by his friend Lawrence