William Ross BondBrigadier General
COMMANDING GENERAL, 199TH INFANTRY BDE
Army of the United States
04 December 1918 - 01 April 1970
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The database page for William Ross Bond
General William Ross Bond came to Vietnam to the 199th Light Infantry Brigade after I had already left the 199th LIB and Vietnam. I would have been at Fort Hood, Texas at the time of his death. From what I understand of General Bond, however, he was no back seat General, he wanted to be right up there with the front line troops, and wanted all the front line information to be gathered and sent back to Headquarters himself. He was one brave and gallant man, according to the people I've talked to who actually knew him. I'm just picking up this site so he won't be forgotten, now others who actually knew him can add their memories to his Memorial site.
I was PFC Hector J. Vega, 2nd platoon, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 199th Light Infantry Brigade. My platoon leader, Lt. Davoky, made me a member of the honor guard welcoming General Bond to the 199th when he assumed command in November of 1969.
On December 17th I was wounded in action and medevaced to the 24th EvacHospital near Long Bien. The next day, while I was recovering from surgery, along with other soldiers who had been wounded in that fire fight, General Bond came in with an entourage, walked up to my bed and grabbed my hand and asked how I was doing. I pinched my trac tube and said "I was an Honor Guard when you took command last month." He gave me a big grin, continued to hold my hand and said enthusiastically, "You're going to be fine, soldier, you're going to be fine." Meanwhile his photographer had taken a Polaroid of us. He handed me the picture and moved on to the next bed.
I still have that photo of me lying there shaking hands with Brigadier General William R. Bond. May he rest in peace.
From a soldier under his command,
The Fireball Aviators of the 199th LIB are pleased to announce that after a long and thorough search, the Command and Control helicopter used by our own General Bond has been located. This is the very same helicopter in which he died on April 1, 1970 after being wounded in ground combat with the enemy.
I have a letter from the Department of State telling me of their intention to donate this aircraft to us. Papers are being drawn up at this time for a California non-profit corporation and we are hopeful that within the next few months Army Aviation Museum of the West will be able to receive this helicopter and begin restoration. Although no permanent location has been decided upon, our long term goal is to display this helicopter as a memorial. We may use it as an attention-getting device for a more ambitious Army aviation museum project. Whatever we do this helicopter will be the centerpiece of our efforts.
In a telephone conversation several weeks ago the State Department representative told me that he believes we have a complete helicopter and that we will also be given all of the available maintenance log books. Upon receiving the helicopter an evaluation will be made to determine whether we will be able to restore it to flying condition. The project Chief of Maintenance will be Jack Bakholdin (Medic E Recon 4/12, 199th LIB, 1970). Our ultimate goal is to present this historic aircraft as it was when General Bond used it. Therefore I am asking all of you who have photographs of this helicopter to send copies to me. We are interested in every detail of this machine.
As you all can imagine we will need plenty of help for such a grand and worthy task. Perhaps some of you will feel inclined to team up in your old Unit's and support particular areas of the project. I have envisioned the men of D/17th Cav coming up with two 50 cal's like General Bond used on his helicopter. One or more of you may have expertise in the area of trucking or trailers. We will need a very low trailer for transporting the helicopter to schools, Army Recruiting and ROTC functions, parades and of course a 199th reunion. Call me for details. A Command and Control radio console (AN/ASC-15A(v) ) must be located and restored, we need two machine gun mounts (M-23 with 50 cal adaptors), and the day we take delivery we will need correct ground handling wheels, a tow bar and a tug (you Army parts guys, don't throw away anything!).
I am building a large workshop and storage facility in the Fresno area specifically for this project. No donated funds will be used for this building. The workshop will be large enough to house and support General Bond's helicopter with trailer and two other former 199th helicopters, an OH-58 still in Army service (training) and our highest time OH-6 which is still used daily by the Border Patrol but has my name on it when they turn it in. You may also be interested in knowing that another 199th OH-58 is in service with the Kansas Highway Patrol and two others have been upgraded to D Model Kiowa Warriors and are today still fighting the enemy after thirty five years. Additionally one of our former UH-1s is in museum display.
If you are able to assist in a particular area of this effort or can send some encouragement please contact me via email or home phone. I am away from home for work on a regular basis so please be patient.
If you are able to help financially please send your donations to
If the tax deduction is of major importance to you please tell me and I will hold your check until tax exempt status is received.
Right now I am calling on all Redcatchers to step forward and be counted. Join with the Fireballs and let us all commit together to make this the most accurate, complete and noteworthy memorial presentation possible.
From one of General Bond's pilots,
On April 1, 1970, 37 years ago, I was in the 44th Medical Battalion and put this man in his body bag at the 24th Evac Hospital in Long Bien, cut his stars and name off his bloody uniform, wrapped them up in a brown paper towel and brought them home and kept them for several years. I intended to someday, when enough time had passed, try to contact his family and see if they would like to have them. A fellow veteran, Larry Hodge, from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, came to visit me and asked for them; he advised me that he was the model/manequin for the General's uniforms so I gave them to him. It was before the advent of the computer. Any family members who are interested, I am sure that Mr. Hodge would be happy to give these to you.
Spec 4 Ed Bennett
A Note from The Virtual Wall
As noted in the news articles cited above, General Bond hit the ground in order to visit a unit which had been in contact with, and taken casualties from, an NVA/VC unit. The American unit was 2nd Platoon, D Troop, 17th Cavalry, the 199th Infantry Brigade's ground reconnaissance element. One report indicates the unit was escorting an ammunition resupply for 2/35 Arty when it was ambushed.
Four men had been killed in the morning action; General Bond was the Brigade's fifth loss of the day. Two others later died of wounds received in the action:
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
one who remembers,
Oregon Veterans Home, 700 Veterans Drive, The Dalles, Or 97058
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 30 Jun 2005
Last updated 09/09/2007