William Walter HesterPrivate First Class
I CO, 3RD BN, 4TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
10 May 1949 - 01 July 1968
Panel 54W Line 029
The database page for William Walter Hester
William W. Hester and Robert E. Church graduated together
On 16 May 1968, Bob Church was killed in action.
Six weeks later, on 01 July 1968,
Central Regional High School's Class of 1969
A memorial initiated by a fellow Vietnam veteran.
The following article is taken from The Philadelphia Daily News, special supplement entitled 'SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY,' October 26, 1987. The special supplement was issued in conjunction with the dedication of the Philadelphia Viet Nam Memorial.
In 1967, Hester graduated from Central Regional High School in Bayville, NJ, where he was a star basketball player and a member of the All-Ocean County team. He could not find a job, so in August 1967, he enlisted in the Marine Corps to supplement his family's income. One month later, his older brother also joined the Marines. The 19-year-old private first class sent money to his brothers on their birthdays from Viet Nam. The rifleman was assigned to Company I of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. Hester died on July 1, 1968, in Khe Sahn, Quang Tri Province. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. Survivors included his parents, four brothers and two sisters.
SEMPER FIDELIS, MARINE!
From a native Philadelphian and Marine,
For William Hester, a great person with whom I had personal contact in high school. I tried out for the Central Regional High School basketball team in the fall of 1966 (for the 1966-1967 season). My first and lasting recollection of our basketball practices was this big intimidating leader of a man. He would lead us in our calisthenics and warm ups before our practices. My favorite memory was of him doing finger tip push ups. He would stop on every repetition and look around for people who were not keeping up and calmly keep goading people to do their push ups correctly. Of course, every one else was huffing and puffing and dying just to do one non-finger tip push up. I could still hear him saying, "Johnson, get your butt up in the air, stop being such a slouch" (or something of that sort). He was an inspiration to me not only for what he did in practice but especially how much he pushed himself and how intimidating he was during ball games. A big man with a big heart. Unfortunately, his physical stature may have lead to his undoing. A heartfelt remembrance of him is always with me. What a shame that such a person with such a heart had to leave us so early.
For the red badge of courage has claimed another heart
His stature, his courage, his energy and inspiration
And now we go on with our lives into our future
I look back to that man, that crazy man
Over and over we must go
From a teammate, Central Regional Basketball team, 1966-1967
A Note from The Virtual WallDuring the first two weeks of July 1968 India Company, 3/4 Marines, was stationed on Foxtrot Ridge, a hill mass on the south side of Highway 9 about 4 kilometers south-southeast of the Khe Sanh airfield. Khe Sanh was being abandoned at the time, and India 3/4's mission was to provide flank security for the convoys rolling east from Khe Sanh. The North Vietnamese repeatedly attacked the Foxtrot Ridge position with both infantry and indirect fire, resulting in 8 deaths among the Marines:
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
a fellow Vietnam veteran.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 13 Oct 2002
Last updated 07/28/2008