The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*NELSON, WILLIAM L .
Rank and Organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 60th
Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Place and Date At Djebel Dardys, Northwest of
Sedjenane, Tunisia, 24 April 1943. Entered Service at: Middletown, Del. Birth:
Dover, Del. G.O. No.: 85, 17 December 1943.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life, above and beyond the call of
duty in action involving actual conflict. On the morning of 24 April 1943, Sgt. Nelson led
his section of heavy mortars to a forward position where he placed his guns and men. Under
intense enemy artillery, mortar, and small-arms fire, he advanced alone to a chosen
observation position from which he directed the laying of a concentrated mortar barrage
which successfully halted an initial enemy counterattack. Although mortally wounded in the
accomplishment of his mission, and with his duty clearly completed, Sgt. Nelson crawled to
a still more advanced observation point and continued to direct the fire of his section.
Dying of handgrenade wounds and only 50 yards from the enemy, Sgt. Nelson encouraged his
section to continue their fire and by doing so they took a heavy toll of enemy lives. The
skill which Sgt. Nelson displayed in this engagement, his courage, and self-sacrificing
devotion to duty and heroism resulting in the loss of his life, was a priceless
inspiration to our Armed Forces and were in keeping with the highest tradition of the U.S.