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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

created by Don Mc Grogan

USS Hershel Woody Williams (ESB-4)
USNS Hershel Woody Williams (T-ESB-3) (2015 - 2020)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Hotel - Whiskey - Whiskey
Lewis B. Puller Class Expeditionary Sea Base:
  • Laid down, 18 December 2015, at General Dynamics NASSCO, San Diego, CA.
  • Launched, 13 August 2017
  • Christened USNS Hershel Woody Williams (T-ESB-4), 21 October 2017, at General Dynamicís NASSCO, San Diego, CA.
  • The Navy's Military Sealift Command accepted delivery, 22 February 2018
  • Commissioned, USS Hershel Woody Williams (ESB-4), 7 March 2020, CAPT. David L. Gray, Jr. USN (Blue) in command
  • Homeport to be Souda Bay, Crete, 29 September 2020
    Displacement 35,087 t.(lt) 106,692 t.(fl)
    Length 785'
    Beam 164'
    Draft 36 ft
    Speed 15 kts
    CivMar 34
    Armament none
    Cargo Capacities unknown
    two propellers

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    Size Image Description Source
    USNS Hershel Woody Williams (T-ESB-4)
    Hershel W. Williams 114k

    Hershel Woodrow "Woody" Williams, born 2 October 1923, is a retired United States Marine who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. He is also the last surviving recipient of the Medal of Honor from that battle.
    For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as demolition sergeant serving with the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 23 February 1945. Quick to volunteer his services when our tanks were maneuvering vainly to open a lane for the infantry through the network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines, and black volcanic sands, Cpl. Williams daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machine gun fire from the unyielding positions. Covered only by 4 riflemen, he fought desperately for 4 hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flamethrowers, struggling back, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out 1 position after another. On 1 occasion, he daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing the occupants and silencing the gun; on another he grimly charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon. His unyielding determination and extraordinary heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance were directly instrumental in neutralizing one of the most fanatically defended Japanese strong points encountered by his regiment and aided vitally in enabling his company to reach its objective. Cpl. Williams' aggressive fighting spirit and valiant devotion to duty throughout this fiercely contested action sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
    Hershel W. Williams 80k Hershel Woody Williams (T-ESB-4) float out (launching), 19 August 2017, at General Dynamics NASSCO, San Diego, CA. Ron Reeves
    Hershel W. Williams 102k
    Hershel W. Williams
    148k Hershel Woody Williams two daughters, Tracy Jean Ross and Travie Jane Ross christen USNS Hershel Woody Williams (T-ESB-4), 21 October 2017, at General Dynamics NASSCO, San Diego, CA.
    NASSCO photo.
    Dale Hargrave
    Hershel W. Williams 191k Hershel Woody Williams (T-ESB-4) Christening, 21 October 2017, at General Dynamics NASSCO, San Diego, CA. Ron Reeves
    Hershel W. Williams 111k Hershel Woody Williams (T-ESB-4) moored pierside at General Dynamics NASSCO, San Diego, CA., in 2017 Ron Reeves
    Hershel W. Williams 68k Hershel Woody Williams (T-ESB-4) gets under way from the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, CA. to start her first round of sea trials, 17 January 2018.
    NASSCO photos
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Ron Reeves
    Lee Wahler
    Hershel W. Williams 69k
    Hershel W. Williams 221k
    USS Hershel Woody Williams (ESB-4)
    Hershel W. Williams
    178k USS Hershel Woody Williams (ESB-4) arrived at Naples, Italy, for a routine logistics stop, 13 Aug.ust 2020. The ship, which is the second of a new class of sea-basing ships, departed Naval Station Norfolk, VA. 27 July for its inaugural deployment following commissioning in March. Her crew consists of a mix of U.S. Navy Sailors and Military Sealift Command civilian mariners.
    US Navy photo # 200727-N-PW494-0160 from U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
    Lee Wahler
    Hershel W. Williams
    197k USS Hershel Woody Williams (ESB-4) participates in a photo exercise in the Mediterranean Sea, 20 August 2020.
    US Navy photo by MCSA Conner Foys
    Bob Haner
    Hershel W. Williams
    143k USS Hershel Woody Williams (ESB-4) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Tommy Trampp
    Hershel W. Williams
    25k USS Hershel Woody Williams (ESB-4) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Tommy Trampp

    There is no DANFS history available for USNS Hershel Woody Williams (T-ESB-4) at NavSource
    Commanding Officers
    USS Hershel Woody Williams (ESB-4) Blue
    01CAPT. Gray, Jr., David L. USN 7 March 2020 -  
    Commanding Officers
    USS Hershel Woody Williams (ESB-4) Gold
    01CAPT. Concannon, Michael Evans, USN July 2020 -  
    Wolfgang Hechler

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) Fact Sheet

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 1 January 2021