THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT
WILLIAMS James Rutherford
13672, Captain temp Major, 26 Battalion, NZ Infantry

CITATION
Distinguished Service Order
Gazetted 1 February 1945
During the assault on Cassino commencing 15 March 1944 Major Williams commanded a rifle company.  When his unit was ordered to advance on the railway station Major Williams was in command of the leading company.  Owing to the withering machine gun fire which swept all approaches to the start line the terrific enemy defensive artillery and mortar fire, and the appalling state of the terrain, communication by the usual means was impossible.  Yet Major Williams, with complete disregard for his own safety, personally contacted the neighbouring troops, moved amongst his own men, rallied them, and led them in a most successful attack which resulted in the capture of the railway station and the high ground beyond.  Next morning, the enemy counter attacked in strength but Major Williams immediately appreciated the position, with the result that after heavy hand-to-hand fighting, the enemy was forced to withdraw leaving behind a score of dead and several prisoners.  Throughout the action until his depleted company was withdrawn after nine days bitter fighting, without any sleep, he had complete control of the situation, and his outstanding leadership combined with his untiring devotion to duty, was responsible for the capture and defence of a large part of the town.  His quiet determination and cheerfulness was at all times an inspiration to his men

Mention in Despatches
Gazetted


AWARDS
Distinguished Service Order
1939-45 Star
Africa Star
Italy Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
       Mention in Despatches
NZ War Service Medal
Coronation Medal 1953
New Zealand Defence Service Medal
Territorial

NOTES
Born 27 July 1911, Christchurch, New Zealand
Died 11 November 2001 Christchurch, New Zealand
Buried at Ruru Lawn Cemetery [Block 25, Plot 68B]