B BTRY, 1ST BN, 5TH ARTY RGT, 1 INF DIV
From Waimanalo, Hawaii
19 June 1944 - 01 November 1968
William Alameda manned a 105mm howitzer in the night of November 1, 1968 at Fire Support Base Rita. The FSB was part of the Operation Fishhook to block NVA infiltration into South Vietnam.
After 0300 hours an NVA sapper unit launched a major attack. All 6 Howitzers were soon under attack, and lost, and Bill Alameda, my father, was the only one standing. LTC Rogers and 1LT Callahan came to his help, in an effort to beehive the sappers directly. A mortar landed at the left wheel, mortally wounding my Dad. LTC Rogers and 1LT Callahan were both wounded in the attack, my Dad died in the arms of Doc Johnson.
Before he died, he was able to give pictures of my pregnant mother, Mai Tran, to another soldier. This soldier was able to bring the pictures to my mother, and to pass on the message that he died.
My father had six brothers and four sisters on Hawaii. He was liked by his fellow soldiers, as he played the ukulele to entertain them. He was loved by my mother, while he was in Vietnam. And most of all, he is loved by me, his daughter. I just found him, in August of 2005, and was able to connect with his family. I will visit them in January 2006. I also connected with his brothers of The Big Red One, who have embraced me as their own daughter.
I love you, Dad. I am so proud of you!!!
From his daughter,
Just after 0300 on the morning of 01 Nov 1968, FSB Rita came under attack by North Vietnamese Army units. At the outset, the base was subjected to heavy mortar, artillery, and RPG attack, followed by a "human wave" assault against the northwestern defensive perimeter. Sappers and enemy infantry penetrated the perimeter, resulting in fighting within the northwestern section of FSB Rita. The 1st Bn, 5th Artillery commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charles C. Rogers, rallied his men and beat back the initial assault. A second massed assault followed, and again LTC Rogers led a successful defense. As dawn broke a third massed attack was launched. Rogers, now with four serious wounds, no longer was able to physically lead his men but continued to direct the defense and once again the NVA were repulsed. The battle continued until about 0800, when increasing air support forced the NVA to break off the attack and retreat across the border to sanctuary in Cambodia.
While one Medal of Honor (LTC Rogers, 8/6 Arty) and one Distinguished Service Cross (SP4 Lester Williams, 8/6 Arty, posthumous) were won that morning, the attack cost the lives of fourteen American soldiers:
The database page for William Kapena Alameda
17 Oct 2005
Last updated 10/23/2005