Williams, Lloyd William


Williams, Lloyd William

Last Name


First and Middle Name

Lloyd William

Biographical Text

"Retreat Hell! we just got here!"

During World War One, Captain Williams was assigned to command the division’s 51st Company in the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines Regiment.

On June 2, 1918, a division of Marines was sent to support the French army at the Battle of Belleau Wood. Lloyd Williams was serving as a company commander of 51st Company, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines. As the Marines arrived, they found French troops retreating. When advised to withdraw by a French colonel at the defensive line just north of the village of Lucy-le-Bocage, Williams bluntly replied: "Retreat Hell! we just got here!"

On June 11, 1918, Williams led an assault that routed the German defenders at Belleau Wood near Chateau-Thierry, France. Only 1 of the 10 officers and 16 of the 250 enlisted men survived or escaped injury. According to a French Major's report, after he ordered Williams to withdraw, Williams told him to "go to hell." Later, when Williams had been gassed and injured by shrapnel and lay wounded on the battlefield, he told the approaching medics, “Don’t bother with me. Take care of my good men." He later died from a shell explosion as he was being evacuated.

Text taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_Lloyd_W._Williams


Berryville, Virginia

Birth Date

January 5, 1887


Berryville, Virginia

Death Date

June 12, 1918

Cause of Death

Died of Wounds

Place of Death

Chateau-Thierry, France

VPI Graduating Class


Undergraduate Major

Mechanical Engineering



Service Branch

Marine Corps


51st Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines Regiment


Captain, Major (promoted posthumously)

Decorations or Citations

3 Silver Stars and a Purple Heart; Williams was recommended by his commanding officer, Colonel Wise, to receive the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross but neither were granted.

Battles or Engagements

Banana Wars
  • Occupation of Nicaragua

World War I
  • Battle of Chateau-Thierry / Battle of Belleau Wood (Aisne-Marne Offensive)

Other Events

Captured / Escaped / Wounded


Second Lieutenant Lloyd W. Williams circa. 1909.jpg
Lloyd William Williams senior portrait from the 1907 VPI Bugle.jpg
Lloyd William Williams from the 1907 VPI Bugle.jpg



“Williams, Lloyd William,” VPI in World War I, accessed March 19, 2018, http://vpiworldwarone.lib.vt.edu/items/show/644.

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