Corporal Williams was a Demolition Sergeant during the Battle for Iwo Jima. On 23 February 1945, when American tanks were held up by Japanese guns, minefields and rough island terrain, he advanced alone and, in a four hour effort while under terrific fire, utilized demolition charges and flame throwers to annihilate many enemy positions, thus enabling his company to reach its objective. For his “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life,” he was awarded the Medal of Honor. As the desperate struggle continued, on 6 March he was wounded in action. On 5 October 1945, President Harry S. Truman presented Corporal Williams with the Medal of Honor during ceremonies at the White House.