Bobby Ray WilliamsChief Warrant Officer
335TH AHC, 268TH AVN BN, 17TH AVN GRP, 1 AVN BDE
Army of the United States
12 November 1943 - 05 May 1968
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The database page for Bobby Ray Williams
I ask my friends to remember another crew from the 335th AHC who were killed May 5, 1968.
CW-2 Bobby Ray Williams, WO-1 Richard G. Lewis, SP5 Glenn T. Fey, and PFC Jerome E. Jacobs were killed when their UH-1B gunship was hit with a B-40 rocket up near Bong Song. They were low level in a heavy and where unable to jettison the rocket pods before they hit the ground.
I usually flew the aircraft and would have been Aircraft Commander, but for some unknown reason was switched to a different aircraft and mission the night before.
Few days go by that I don't think of these guys, forever heroes in my mind.
It is with deep pain and sorrow that I recount some of the memories that I have of Bobby R. Williams.
Bobby and I went through Flight School at Fort Wolters and Fort Rucker. We joined the 61st AHC at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, prior to its deployment to Camp Lane in Viet Nam. Bobby was a true "Starblazer", a model gunship pilot. He was proud, but mostly soft spoken with a friendly Texas accent; his smiling face will always be permanently imprinted on my mind.
After our arrival at Lane, we shared a hooch with other gun platoon members. We built new quarters during our spare time (under the excellent direction of Dan Heckemann) where Bobby and I shared a room for a short time before being moved out to the field at LZ English. After a couple of months of distinguished service at English, Bobby was transferred to the 335th AHC "Cowboys". He was missed by all in our unit.
The last time I saw Bobby was on May 5th of 68. He and his crew were once again called to join the Starblazers. When I heard he was coming to help us out (because most of our gunships had been shot up and were unable to fly), I met Bobby at the "Crap Table" where he was re-fueling before going on his final mission. He said he would be going to Hawaii soon to see his wife on R&R. Less than 30 minutes later I received word that his gunship had been hit by a B-40 Rocket. His helicopter had crashed and burned with no survivors.
I attended the 2000 VHPA Reunion in Washington D.C. My strongest memory of that trip was going to the Wall at the Viet Nam Memorial, and placing my hand on the names of too many friends and comrades who had died in their service to our country. My final stop was at the name of "CWO Bobby R. Williams". As I placed my hand on his name engraved in the marble tablets, I broke down sobbing over the loss of a wonderful friend. With the hand of my wife on my back, many other "well wishers" gathered laying hands on us to share concern and prayers.
There will always be a place in the minds and hearts of those in the 61st who knew Bobby. Hopefully some of these memories, which I have shared, will rekindle the memories that others might have had.
Bill Hartrich, 61st AHC
From a friend and fellow pilot,
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009