Gunnery Sergeant William Gary Walsh, who was born on 7 April 1922 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, threw himself on a hand grenade to save the lives of other Marines at the loss of his own life, during the epic struggle for Iwo Jima. For this heroic act, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
William G. Walsh attended public schools in Boston before enlisting in the Marine Corps on 6 January 1942. He received his basic or boot training at Parris Island, South Carolina, and advanced training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
From Camp Lejeune, he went to Samoa and was assigned to a unit of Marine scouts. His next assignment was with the famed Carlson's Raiders. During this nation's war with Japan in the Pacific, he saw action at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, and in the Russell Islands.
Following two years of service in the Pacific theatre, he returned to the United States. He returned overseas later with the 5th Marine Division in time for the Iwo Jima invasion.
It was at Iwo, while leading his men against a fortified hill on 27 February 1945, that the incident occurred which took his life but earned him the nation's highest military award, the Medal of Honor.
Initially buried in the 5th Marine Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima, GySgt Walsh's remains were later reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery on 20 April 1948.