US Navy Ship named after Medal of Honor recipient 
PFC DeWayne T. Williams.
USNS PFC DeWayne T. Williams (T-AK-3009)
PFC DeWayne T. Williams
Hotel Company
2nd Bn 1st Marines
On his 19th birthday, 18 September 1968, while engaged with the enemy, he rolled on a grenade, sacrificing himself to save his comrades. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
USNS PFC DeWayne T. Williams (T-AK-3009) is a 2nd Lt John P. Bobo-class dry cargo ship, one of the maritime prepositioning ships of the US Navy. She is named after Medal of Honor recipient and US Marine Dewayne T. Williams.

She was built by General Dynamics Quincy Shipbuilding Division, Quincy, Massachusetts and acquired by the Navy under a long-term charter from 6 June 1985. The navy placed her under the direction of the Military Sealift Command as MV PFC Dewayne T. Williams (AK-3009), and assigned to be operated by American Overseas Marine Corporation. She was one of the ships assigned to Maritime Prepositioning Program Squadron One under the operational control of MSC Europe, operating in the Mediterranean.

        She was purchased outright by Military Sealift Command on 17 January 2006 and was 
        redesignated USNS PFC DeWayne T. Williams (T-AK-3009).
MEDAL OF HONOR CITATION

The President of the United States in the name of the Congress of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS DEWAYNE T. WILLIAMS
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rifleman with the First Platoon, Company H, Second Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division in action against communist insurgent forces in the Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam. Private First Class Williams was a member of a combat patrol sent out from the platoon with the mission of establishing positions in the company's area of operations, from which it could intercept and destroy enemy sniper teams operating in the area. On the night of September 18, 1968, as the patrol was preparing to move from its daylight position to a preselected night position, it was attacked from ambush by a squad of enemy using small arms and hand grenades. Although severely wounded in the back by the close intense fire, Private First Class Williams, recognizing the danger to the patrol, immediately began to crawl forward toward a good firing position. While he was moving under the continuing intense fire, he heard one of the members of the patrol sound the alert that an enemy grenade had landed in their position. Reacting instantly to the alert, he saw that the grenade had landed close to where he was lying and without hesitation, in a valiant act of heroism, he rolled on top of the grenade as it exploded, absorbing the full and tremendous impact of the explosion with his own body. Through his extraordinary initiative and inspiring valor in the face of certain death, he saved the other members of his patrol from serious injury and possible loss of life, and enabled them to successfully defeat the attackers and hold their position until assistance arrived. His personal heroism and devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

RICHARD M. NIXON
President of the United States
Tower of Honor will recognize St. Clair Vietnam War hero

The components surrounding the Tower of Honor are:

* A 90-foot hexagonal, striped tower with night lights to amplify the tower presence.

* Visitors may climb the tower and read displays on the nine landings commemorating the life and heroism of Williams.

* Sixty-five feet above the boardwalk, visitors will have a panoramic view of the St. Clair River and Canada from the observation deck.

* Topping the tower will be a webcam displaying images from top of the tower around the world

* Grounds include plaque telling the story of Williams' Congressional Medal of Honor

* Gardens and lighthouse keeper's residence blend the area into the surrounding park environment

A spokesman said the Tower of Honor retains the function of the Department of Homeland Security camera tower. It serves as an aid to navigation and has a flashing beacon visible for up to 15 miles. It is also to be a welcome center to the world's longest freshwater boardwalk.
Forty-two years after his death, St. Clair resident and United States Marine Private First Class DeWayne Thomas Williams will be memorialized by the city of St. Clair.

At the regular St. Clair City Council meeting June 7, the council accepted a resolution to memorialize Williams.

The Tower of Honor will be the fourth memorial bearing Williams' name.

The USNS PFC DeWayne T. Williams, a military ship, is named after the soldier. His name can also be found inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and a portion of Interstate 69 - beginning near Lapeer and extending to the western Port Huron city limits, is known as the DeWayne T. Williams Memorial Highway.

St. Clair City Councilman Tim Burns volunteered to spearhead the Tower of Honor campaign.

"Now that we have a resolution from the city, at that point we will be a visible action for the committee to raise money," Burns said.

On Dec. 2, 2009, the Marine Corps League, Belcher-Lane Department 146 requested the city to honor Williams.

Major General Bradley M. Lott (Ret.) addressed the council. He is on board with the memorial project.

"We will do this thing right and let the world know PFC Williams is in our care," Lott said.

Williams was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery.

According to a unit diary, Williams died saving others from a grenade attack. It was his 19th birthday.

"A solid core of character PFC Williams possessed that day in the stinking jungle floor," it read. "He had been hit seven times already when the grenade came in…as he struggled to reach it he knew by the count he didn't have enough time to throw it. In a split second, PFC Williams decided to tuck the grenade under his body."

Two people lived because Williams rolled on the grenade.

Lott said it was a true selfless act of heroism.

"Stop and think about it…you're 19 years old and you still manage to pull it all together," he said.

Lott hopes the Tower of Honor will move people to be equally selfless in their community service and as citizens.

The memorial monument is being developed in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security. Burns along with other members of the community have set the patriotic project's momentum.

On May 22, 2009, Williams' family was asked to provide input on the project.

"The family is pleased and delighted that we are honoring DeWayne," Burns said. "While it may have been 42 years ago, they think of it as yesterday still recalling the Marines who knocked on their front door to inform them of his death,"

The city and state are in no position to provide funding for the project. Private donations will be solicited over the next 18-months. Burns anticipates the project will be completed in less than two years.

"We understand the economic conditions, but we may find an 'angel' willing to take on this project and fund it," Burns said.

The Community Foundation of St. Clair County will set up a memorial fund for the purpose of expense allocations.

"It is just fabulous how the nation has turned around over the past 10 years and started to honor our fallen heroes," Lott said. "I am both honored and delighted to be part of such a patriotic project."

The components surrounding the Tower of Honor are:

* A 90-foot hexagonal, striped tower with night lights to amplify the tower presence.

* Visitors may climb the tower and read displays on the nine landings commemorating the life and heroism Williams

* Sixty-five feet above the boardwalk, visitors will have a panoramic view of the St. Clair River and Canada from the observation deck.

* Topping the tower will be a webcam displaying images from top of the tower around the world

* Grounds include plaque telling the story of Williams' Congressional Medal of Honor

* Gardens and lighthouse keeper's residence blend the area into the surrounding park environment

Burns said the Tower of Honor will retain the function of the Department of Homeland Security camera tower. It will serve as an aid to navigation and may have a flashing beacon visible for up to 15 miles. It will also be a welcome center to the world's longest freshwater boardwalk.