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Super Senior: Victor ‘Mulfy’ Mulford Williams

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 12:22 PM EDT
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RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) - Dan and Ginny Buckley are regular visitors to the Saint Joseph Kervick Center in Rutland, visiting Ginny’s dad, Victor “Mulfy” Mulford Williams.

“Very proud of him,” Ginny said. “The whole family is.”

Proud of his past and what will happen this Saturday -- Williams will be turning 100. “I can’t believe it, to tell you the truth,” he said.

But he almost didn’t make it past his 22nd birthday. “I was one of the lucky ones,” Williams said. He survived the landing at Normandy during World War II, part of the third wave of soldiers who battled the Germans in what was dubbed “Operation Overlord,” the largest amphibious battle ever.

The Long Island native has vivid memories and words to describe his experiences. “A lieutenant -- not all lieutenants are like this -- but he was the stupidest jackass you’ve ever heard,” Williams recalled. “He sent me and another guy out into the field. It was early in the morning. I made it almost to the other end before the guy tagged me.”

Shot in the backside by the enemy, Williams lay in a ditch for over 24 hours. When he heard the sound of a Jeep, he fired his gun up in the air and was noticed. “And where I laid and looking up, they looked to be 8-feet tall, with their rifles pointed at me. The guy yelled, ‘what’s the password?’ Well, I’m lucky I know my own name.”

Williams instead let out a few choice words. “One of the engineers there, he says, ‘He’s got to be an American. Nobody else cusses like that.’ Saved my butt anyways,” Williams said.

The young Army soldier was shipped off to England to mend. “My legs were numb, I couldn’t use them at all,” he said. But with time, Williams walked again. So much so, that he was shipped back to fight, ending up at the Battle of the Bulge, one of the bloodiest battles of the war for the U.S.

After the war, Williams came back to a wife and a young daughter and tried to forget what he saw and endured, but it all came back at a local VFW displaying names of the fallen. “I walked in and I seen the plaques on the wall and their fathers standing there, I just turned around and walked out, I couldn’t stay there,” Williams said.

“Like a period of three or four years -- through the war -- that we really never discussed before, and it makes me very emotional, Ginny said.

His medals, including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, went missing. So when Williams was in his 90s, his son-in-law took on a project. “It was something that needed to be done,” Dan said.

With help from Senator Patrick Leahy’s office, Williams received re-issued medals. Memories and medals from 77 years ago proudly worn.

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