GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN – Private First Class Dewayne Thomas Williams, US Marines, Vietnam War, Medal of Honor (1949-1968)

PFC. Dewayne T. Williams, US Marines, Medal of Honor
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PFC. Dewayne T. Williams, US Marines, Medal of Honor

BY DUANE A. VACHON, PH.D.   Private First Class Dewayne Thomas Williams was a United States Marine who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for heroism in the Vietnam War in September 1968.

Dewayne Williams was born on September 18, 1949, in Brown City, Michigan. He attended Bell Elementary School, St. Clair Elementary, Intermediate, and High Schools in St. Clair, Michigan, and Capac High School, in Capac, Michigan.


On December 18, 1967, Williams enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve, and was discharged to enlist in the active Marine Corps on January 2, 1968. He completed recruit training with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in March 1968; individual combat training with Company Y, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, in April; and weapons training with Weapons Company, Basic Infantry Training Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Pendleton, in May 1968.

Williams was promoted to private first class on June 1, 1968. Upon his arrival in the Republic of Vietnam later that month, he was assigned duty as automatic rifleman with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 27th Marines, 1st Marine Division, and served in this capacity until August 1968. He was then assigned duty as anti-tank assault man with Company H, 2nd Battalion 1st Marines. On September 18, 1968, he was killed in action while on patrol in the Quang Nam Province.

Pvt. Dewayne T. Williams of the United States Marine Corps was killed in action in Quang Nam on his 19th birthday, September 18, 1968 during the Vietnam War.

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor


Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company H, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and Date: Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, 18 September 1968. Entered service at: Saint Clair, Mich. Born: 18 September 1949, Brown City, Mich.


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifleman with the 1st Platoon, Company H, in action against communist insurgent forces. Pfc. Williams was a member of a combat patrol sent out from the platoon with the mission of establishing positions in the company’s area of operations, from which it could intercept and destroy enemy sniper teams operating in the area. In the night as the patrol was preparing to move from its daylight position to a preselected night position, it was attacked from ambush by a squad of enemy using small arms and hand grenades. Although severely wounded in the back by the close intense fire, Pfc. Williams, recognizing the danger to the patrol, immediately began to crawl forward toward a good firing position. While he was moving under the continuing intense fire, he heard one of the members of the patrol sound the alert that an enemy grenade had landed in their position. Reacting instantly to the alert, he saw that the grenade had landed close to where he was lying and without hesitation, in a valiant act of heroism, rolled on top of the grenade as it exploded, absorbing the full and tremendous impact of the explosion with his body. Through his extraordinary initiative and inspiring valor in the face of certain death, he saved the other members of his patrol from serious injury and possible loss of life, and enabled them to successfully defeat the attackers and hold their position until assistance arrived. His personal heroism and devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


Private First Class Dewayne T. Williams was laid to rest at Saint Marys Cemetery  Saint Clair, St. Clair County Michigan, USA.


The information in this article was sourced from a variety of sources both internal and external. Every effort was made to ensure that the information is current and correct. These articles are presented to honor the heroes they are written about.