WWII Medal of Honor recipient talks 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – 10 years ago American and British troops marched through Moscow’s Red Square in a display of solidarity with their Russian counterparts for the 65th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. This year in both Europe and the United States, traditional celebrations and remembrances are different due to the pandemic.

Capt. James McCormick (ret.) with the Military Order of the Purple Heart says we can still commemorate the day, “educate our families and ourselves so even though you can’t be out today laying a wreath or celebrating victory in Europe day ve day you can read up on it you can watch a documentary.”

McCormick says today is an opportunity to educate yourself on World War II and Victory in Europe Day, but a West Virginia man who was serving as a marine during that time tells a different story about May 8, 1945.

On the phone, Friday afternoon Medal of Honor recipient, Woody Williams, says at the time he had very little communication from the outside world.

“Well, we marines in the South Pacific… had absolutely no idea no information we really didn’t know anything about war in Europe at all,” Willams said,
“We had no information whatsoever and had no idea what day even happened”.

Though Williams can’t speak to what happened in Europe, he told me what it was like for him the day he found out the war was over.

“When we got that word that was passed to us and of course we celebrated and ran out the tent with our weapons and fired them in the air and just celebrated,” Williams tells 13 News.

That October, Williams received the Medal of Honor by President Truman for going above and beyond the call of duty.

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