The Union Recorder

Local News

November 11, 2012

WWII veteran stood by religion



During Williams almost two-years onboard, the ship traversed the Atlantic Ocean 32 times providing destroyer escort protection against submarine and air attack for Navy vessels and convoys.

Seven escort vessels protected 150 ships. The Martin H. Ray made runs on German submarines.

“It got to be a routine thing. I was afraid the first time. After that it didn’t bother me. It was kind of a game,” Williams said. “There were times when we were on our battle stations as much as doing anything else. The Germans really weren’t after our vessels. What they were trying to do was penetrate our defensive lines.”

The local hero remained on the escort ship for longer than expected. Over one year aboard the same ship was hazardous duty.

Nintey percent of the crew was 18 or 19 year olds, according to Williams. All servicemen grew up fast to survive.

The boys told stories about home life during any down time. Faith came up in most conversations.

Williams believes a higher power kept the ship safe.

“Church was all we had and needed to do at home. That made a lot of difference in what you did when you went away like that. I truly believe that is the only reason we survived because we had a lot of Christians. We had one escort blown to pieces right behind us,” Williams said.

When the Martin H. Ray docked in Europe, wartime destruction was unimaginable. Buildings were leveled off and entire cities torn to shreds.

It was nothing to see a lifeless body lying in an Italian street. Williams is affected more years later than as a young man doing his duty.

“We didn’t think anything about it when we were doing it. I really enjoyed firing on planes because I didn’t think anything about the pilot,” Williams reflected. “I was thinking of taking the plane out. There is a lot of stuff I did that I wouldn’t like to do now.”

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"