About William R. Shockley
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Private First Class William Ralph Shockley, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty on 31 March 1945, while serving with Company L, 128th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry Division, in action at Villa Verde Trail, Luzon, Philippine Islands. Private First Class Shockley was in position with his unit on a hill when the enemy, after a concentration of artillery fire, launched a counterattack. He maintained his position under intense enemy fire and urged his comrades to withdraw, saying that he would "remain to the end" to provide cover. Although he had to clear two stoppages which impeded the reloading of his weapon, he halted one enemy charge. Hostile troops then began moving in on his left flank, and he quickly shifted his gun to fire on them. Knowing that the only route of escape was being cut off by the enemy, he ordered the remainder of his squad to withdraw to safety and deliberately remained at his post. He continued to fire until he was killed during the ensuing enemy charge. Later, four Japanese were found dead in front of his position. Private First Class Shockley, facing certain death, sacrificed himself to save his fellow soldiers, but the heroism and gallantry displayed by him enabled his squad to reorganize and continue its attack.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 89, October 19, 1945
Action Date: 31-Mar-45
Rank: Private First Class
Company: Company L
Regiment: 128th Infantry Regiment
Division: 32d Infantry Division