2nd Lieutenant David G. Williams

2nd Platoon, A Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry

Kien Hoa Province - September 21, 1967

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Williams 2A
Williams 2B
Williams 2D

While finishing Officer Candidate School in December
1966, Dave wrote this humorous letter in response to a letter from his former band members and closest
friends in "The Picardy III".  They had informed him of
their plans and goals for the band and how much he
was missed. Clearly, his response illustrates his
terrific sense of humor and his excellent writing skills.

 

Williams 2C
Williams 2E

E-mail message sent 12/31/2010 to Steve Williams from Bob Bischoff

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

We were out and about today and when we returned home there was a package on the porch.  It was a scrapbook that I left behind after we sold our Florida home.  The buyer found the book and mailed it to us.  JACKPOT!! I found three pictures of David and one of them was of General Omar Bradley (long retired at the time) pinning an award on David. Seeing the picture (I'm standing behind the General since I was HQ CO at the time) sort of refreshed my memory of that particular incident. I also have 2 others that are really good pictures of David and there are notes on the back of the pictures.  I would send these pictures home and my ex-wife kept an album. I forgot all about it.  I also found one of me with Ron Pease, the CO of Echo Company, and a couple of other Company Commanders.

I want to send you the originals that have my notes on the back. GENERAL OMAR BRADLEY!!! (I believe his title during World War II was "General of the Armies). This is really exciting!

Bob
 

Williams 2G

General Omar Bradley awards 2nd Lt. David
Williams the Purple Heart. Left, Lt. Colonel
Rhotenberry with General William Fulton at
center. Dong Tam - September 11, 1967.
Photo provided by Bob Bischoff.

 

Williams 2I

2nd Lt. David Williams, Captain Bob Bischoff & Captain Pohlod.
Dong Tam - August 20, 1967 - photo provided by Bob Bischoff.
 

Williams 2H

Captain Bob Bischoff and 2nd Lt. David Williams at Dong Tam.
Photo taken September 2, 1967 & provided by Bob Bischoff.
 

E-mail message sent 1/25/2011 to Bill Reynolds from Brice Barnes (2/47th Inf, 9th Division)

Bill, I read the tribute to LT Dave Williams.  He and I, along with 2 other butter bars, arrived at the 9th Inf Div at the same time, went through the "Old Reliable Academy," and then were transferred to our respective battalions.  As we were in the G-1's office getting our assignments, he was supposed to be assigned to the
2/47th and I was to go to the 4/47th; he mentioned to the G-1 that I had just come from a mechanized battalion in the States, and that he didn't know anything about mechanized.  Since the G-1 had no objection, we traded slots. It is almost surreal now thinking about that moment, and what might have been… As I recall, he also had Hollywood ambitions… RIP, Brother Dave!

 

Poem sent 5/6/2011 to Steve Williams from Brice Barnes (posted with his permission)

Tribute to Dave Williams

For a brief moment in time
Our paths crossed
Ever so gently back then.

We talked of big dreams and plans
To be done
When we were Stateside again.

Your dreams were of Hollywood
Mine of home
With my wife and son and peace.

Your path led to the Mekong
Mine to APC's
Neither one was very safe.

What now would you have become
Had you lived
And we hadn't traded places?

This then is my sore burden
To live life
As worthy tribute to you.

 

E-mail message sent 3/18/2011 to Steve Williams from one of Dave's high school classmates, Barbara Peters Hooker

Steve, I sure thought the world of Dave and he, indeed, was fun-loving.  I remember going with him to the laundry mat near our homes and putting dimes in the dryers and riding them around. How we could go from such carefree times to what Dave endured in such a short time is remarkable. I, of course, graduated with Dave and went to American River College with him.  I married in 1965 and my husband was drafted four months later.  He left for the army in June 1966, graduated OCS artillery in 1967 and was on short orders to Viet Nam to be a forward observer. He was never called; half of his OCS graduation classmates were killed.   While in Lawton, OK, I learned that Dave had been killed and was just devastated.  I remember very clearly that day and being so troubled that it had taken months for the news to get to me. I, too, have been to Washington and looked up Dave's name on the Memorial.  And I have taken my grandkids to the memorial here in Sacramento and shown them Dave's name. What a wonderful tribute you have made for him on these pages. Thank you so much for sharing them with me.

Barbara
 

e-mail message sent from Christy Albin to Steve Williams on 5/20/2011

Thank you, Steve.  I enjoyed this very much. I spent several hours looking it over, reading, thinking, crying.  It's hard to explain the connection I feel to Dave. I have always missed him, even though I didn't get to know him.  I think it's kind of like a kid who has always missed a father who died in the war... who they never got the chance to know.

I know he was deeply loved by both of my parents.  My dad [Larry] was particularly crushed.  I know that my dad was kind of like a "big" brother to [your mother] Bette because I have his diary (very detailed on a daily basis) from when he was 13.  He wrote of trying to land a newspaper job, finally getting the newspaper job, collecting from clients, and then spending the money by taking Bette for an ice-cream. Very sweet!

Our family has always been close, and especially Bette, Larry, Rex and Connie were full of love for each other and very close... and, in turn, we received so much Aunt/Uncle love. So, I know that my dad loved Dave like a son.

My dad saw war first hand [as a decorated Navy carrier pilot in WWII and Korea] and made the decision that the romantic notions as put forth in Hollywood films were untrue.  He was very much against war in general and decided that it must be some kind of natural population control for humans because he could not ever wrap his head around how mankind continues to slaughter each other... all over the world, and for a very wide number of different belief systems, and all through time with no end in sight.

We are not sure, but we think that Aunt Bette refused to talk to him about Dave because of their different views on the war.  But, that may be wrong.

I remember feeling so sad, and feeling so much empathy, when your mom would tell us that she has baked a gingerbread house every year, except the year that David died. I don't know why that was such a potent statement... but I've always been sad that we all lost Dave. I truly wished I could have enjoyed our time as cousins. I'm sure he was a great guy, a true winner.

I took my family to see his name on the Wall in DC when we toured around the US in 2004. We got a little print out of his name to keep.

I'm glad to learn that he died fairly quickly and that he did not have large chunks of his body blown apart. My mind has been playing tricks with me through the years.

Thank you again for sharing this memorial of Dave. Also, thanks for the pictures.

Cousin Christy
 

E-mail message sent on 5/21/2011 to Steve Williams from Shirlene Lansdon

Thanks, Steve. I took the time to read the letters and poems and looked at all the pictures.  This took me back. So wonderful to read the letter to his 'music' friends.  Dave was a genius and a character. So much talent lost. We all missed out on not seeing him become a successful musician.

I can't believe such a lively creative spirit was taken from us so quickly and so young. Dave was a charming guy who made such an impact on us, always the achiever and leader. Yes, he was taken too soon.  I know you have thought many times what could have been.  I know your family must grieve everyday.  I think of you, your sister Kathy and your late parents, who are now with Dave. To say life is unfair is so understated.

Many people have sent me this since you have sent it out.  Dave is remembered fondly.  He had such zest for life.  Again, thank you for sharing the personal letters, poems, and pictures which brought a smile to my face and the opportunity to think of Dave in those innocent years, a wonderful time in our lives.

Shirlene Lansdon
Highlands High School Class of '63

 

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