Williams, Percy E

Percy E. Williams was born on October 14, 1919, to Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Williams of Rock Run, Pennsylvania. 

Percy served in World War II for 3 1/2 years with the 92nd “Buffalo” Division in Europe. The 92nd was composed largely of African Americans who fought in the Italian Campaign.  

According to the 92nd Infantry (Buffalo Division) Website:
Army Logo Shadow
The 92nd Infantry Division was a part of the 5th Army that served in the Italian Theater during World War II.  It was also the only infantry unit comprised entirely of African Americans, ... to see combat in Europe. During their time in Italy, from August, 1944 through the end of the war in May,1945, the 92nd advanced more than 3,000 square miles and captured more than 20,000 German prisoners. They also suffered heavy casualties – with more than a quarter of the unit killed or wounded in action. For their deeds the 92nd earned more than 12,000 decorations and citations – including two Medals of Honor.

Percy survived the war and joined the Army Reserves in 1945. He was called back for active duty on September 27, 1950 following the outbreak of the Korean War. After additional training he joined K Company, 3rd Battalion 9th Infantry regiment, 2nd Infantry Division and was sent to the front lines in Korea on December 17th. 

On February 12, 1951, Percy's unit was ambushed by North Korean forces at Chowon-ri, South Korea and he was taken prisoner.

Private Percy E. Williams Died Non Battle as a Prisoner of War of pleurisy and emphysema on May 23, 1951. Medical examiners stationed in Japan positively identified the remains with information supplied by the family. 

Percy’s remains were returned under long protracted negotiations of a POW exchange between the United Nations and the Communists in 1955. He was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on August 9, 1955, with full military honors.


Research by Don Wambold WCMSC member