Hershel “Woody” Williams Visit

From Commander, Military Sealift Command

Hershel “Woody” Williams Visit

Recently we were privileged to host Hershel “Woody” Williams at two events at Norfolk Naval Station. Mr. Williams toured his namesake ship, USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (T-ESB 4), and spoke to a large audience at our Waypoint speaker series.

Mr. Williams joined the U.S. Marine Corps after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and received the Medal of Honor for actions during the battle of Iwo Jima. He is the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from that historic battle. We are honored to have an MSC ship named after this great American hero.

During his talk I was captivated by Mr. Williams’ sense of humility and generosity of spirit. He attributed his successes to working with motivated teammates, and emphasized that our work in the military, working together for a greater cause, represents the true American spirit.


NORFOLK, Va. (September 5, 2018)–Medal of Honor recipient, U.S. Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 4 Hershel “Woody” Williams (Retired), visits his namesake ship the expeditionary sea base USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (T-ESB 4) at Naval Station Norfolk, Sept. 5. Williams is the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from the WWII battle of Iwo Jima. (U.S. Navy photo by Brian Suriani/Released)


If we can work with a fraction of the skill, tenacity and humility displayed by Woody Williams we will be well on our way to operating as a high-performing team focused on mission accomplishment.

We accepted delivery of the USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams expeditionary sea base this past February. Like her sister ship, USS Lewis B. Puller, currently operating forward in the Arabian Gulf, USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams will provide us a competitive edge against potential adversaries. Through a unique combination of aviation support, equipment staging, command and control, and a well-trained mariner crew, this expeditionary sea base will provide our leadership with options and decision space.

We are grateful to have had the opportunity to host Mr. Williams and his family, and I am very appreciative of the many staff members who contributed to making his visit a success.

United We Sail,

Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, USN

Commander, Military Sealift Command

About dgriesmer