Capt. E. Royce Williams, a 95-year-old Navy war hero, received one of the U.S. military’s most prestigious honors during a ceremony at American Legion Post 416 in Encinitas. Williams was awarded the Medal of Valor for his efforts against several Soviet fighter jets during the Korean War. Flying a Grumman F9F Panther, Williams shot down four planes on November 18, 1952, expending all 760 rounds of ammunition on board his aircraft. He returned to the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany to discover that his plane had sustained 263 holes from enemy gunfire.
According to military officials, Williams’ bravery saved hundreds of lives. During his 37-year military career, Williams has received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver and Bronze stars, and Legion of Merit with a Combat “V.” Congressman-elect Darrell Issa also delivered remarks during the ceremony.