G/SGT WILLIAM GARY WALSH
U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
Attached to Company G, 3d Battalion
27th Marines, 5th Marine Division
Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands
27 February 1945
Gunny Walsh was leading an assault platoon against well entrenched enemy forces on Iwo Jima, when they were confronted with and pinned down by machinegun. G/Sgt. Walsh fearlessly charged, leading his platoon from the front.
Oblivious to the barrage enemy automatic weapons fire and hand grenades by the dozens thrown with fanatic desperation to slow his assault.
Despite the overwhelming advantage held by the Japanese, both in numbers and position. Gunny Walsh led his men to the top of Hill 362, only to be faced with an intense barrage of hand grenades thrown by the remaining Japanese who were staging a suicidal last stand on the reverse slope.
Gunny pulled back to the main body of his platoon where G Co’s corpsmen had assembled the wounded into a hasty aid station. Corpsmen were administering aid and triaging patients for evacuation when an enemy grenade landed in the midst of Gunny Walsh’s wounded Marines, who were huddled together in a small trench for cover.
Gunnery Seargent William G. Walsh, in a final act of complete self-sacrifice, and valor, instantly threw himself upon the enemy grenade. He made a conscious decision to take the blast with his own body, giving his life for the lives of his wounded Marines.
His men survived.