Williams, Roy Colon, Jr., Capt

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Last Rank
Captain
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1115A-Pilot
Last AFSC Group
Aircrew
Primary Unit
1969-1969, 4th Special Operations Squadron
Service Years
1966 - 1969
Captain

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
1942
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by A3C Michael S. Bell to remember Williams, Roy Colon, Jr., Capt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Eagle Springs, NC
Last Address
Nha Trang AB, South Vietnam

Casualty Date
Sep 01, 1969
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Binh Thuy (Vietnam)
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Eagle Springs Presbyterian Church Cemetery - Eagle Springs, North Carolina
Wall/Plot Coordinates
18W 022

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 Unit Assignments
14th Special Operations Wing4th Special Operations Squadron
  1969-1969, 14th Special Operations Wing
  1969-1969, 4th Special Operations Squadron
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1969-1969 Vietnam War
 My Aircraft/Missiles
AC-47 Spooky/Puff  
  1969-1969, AC-47 Spooky/Puff
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
US Air Force Capt Roy Colon Williams Jr, Vietnam Veteran, Native of Eagle Springs, NC.

US Air Force Capt Roy Colon Williams Jr was a member of the Air Force Reserve. CPT Williams served our country until September 1st, 1969 in Bing Thuy, South Vietnam. He was 26 years old and was married. It was reported that Roy died when his plane crashed. His body was recovered. Roy was born on October 26th, 1942 in Eagle Springs, North Carolina. CPT Williams is on panel 18W, line 022 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for 3 years.

His memory still lives on: His gunner at Binh Thuy 15 Sheffield Dr Canton Ma 02021 Memory still lives on forever Today is Sept 1, 2008 our holiday, Labor Day. In honor of some labor friends of mine I would like to pay tribute to their sacrifices. On Sept 1, 1969 the last AC-47 SPOOKY GUNSHIP was shot down and all lost aboard EN 021 flying out of Bien Hoa: Capt Robert Acher Jr, pilot; 1st Lt Roy Williams, copilot; Capt James Pitches, navigator; Tsgt Albert McBride flt eng; Msgt Harry Wecker, flt mech; Ssgt Lester Cavallin, loadmaster; Tsgt Willie Alley, gunner; Ssgt Fred Smith, gunner. It was a night I should have been with you. I was given the options of going to Bien Hoa and specifically be with your crew again or pick another location. But because you guys were short timers and I still had aways to go I asked for Da Nang. In 2008 at Ft Walton Beach we had a first ever 'ALL' gunship reunion. During the memorial services 'ALL' those who lost their lives had their names read at roll call by myself & Lt Col Al Sproul (pilot). I had the honor of reading the names of the last crew lost. I still remember. Bob McGarry, spooky gunner 3rd/4th SOS 69. shadow gunner 17th SOS 70. Bob McGarry, spooky1969@aol.com, or spooky1969@comcast.net.

In memory of The last AC-47D "SPOOKY" gunship Lost in Vietnam: On 1 September 1969, while on a night patrol a "SPOOKY" Gunship  out of Bien Hoa Air Base was directed to assist friendly troops who were under attack from enemy forces about 20 miles east of Bien Hoa. The gunship arrived at the scene and rendered support by flares and from its three 7.62 mini-guns firing down on the enemy. While engaging the enemy in the target area, their gunship was struck along the starboard side by enemy fire. They crashed into a mountain in Long Khanh province while attempting recovery at Bien Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam. All crew members aboard lost their lives. This was the last AC-47 "SPOOKY" gunship lost in South East Asia during the war. Later, on 15 December 1969, the last AC-47 "SPOOKY" gunship Squadron, 4th Special Operations Squadron was inactivated.

Short History of the AC-47D GUNSHIP, VIETNAM: In 1965 the USAF launched its first fixed wing gunship program in the Vietnam War.  A C-47 WWII cargo plane was converted to carry three 7.62 mini-guns and 24 MK24 flares which illuminated 1 million candle power each. Each gun had the capability of firing 3 or 6 thousand rounds per minute with every 5th round being a tracer. With this fire power, 3 mini-guns firing at a deadly fast 6 thousand rounds per minute could rain down on the enemy 18,000 rounds of 7.62 a minute. This fire power and flare capability proved to be invaluable to the ground troops, bases and hamlets.

During the 1st year, 1965 the gunships had a nickname of "PUFF" because of its "Dragon" breath firing look when the guns fired at night. Later in 1966 the official call sign for the AC-47 gunship became known as "SPOOKY". The Spooky gunships received the distinction of "Ghost Riders".

In 1968 a Spooky gunship with the call sign "Spooky 71" flying out of Bien Hoa was flying in support of ground troops under enemy fire. During this mission Spooky 71 was struck by an 82mm enemy round causing severe damage and wounds to the flight crew. For his heroic actions after being struck by enemy fire, the loadmaster, Sgt John Levitow received the highest award, the "MEDAL OF HONOR". Sgt Levitow was the 1st USAF enlisted man to receive this award in Vietnam.

In March 69 the 14th Special Operations, Air Commando Wing (AC-47 Spooky gunships) was the "first" USAF unit in South East Asia to be awarded the VIETNAM CROSS OF GALLANTRY WITH PALM. In it's 4 year history of flying missions in Vietnam and Laos, the gunships provided close air support and successfully defended 3,926 hamlets, outposts, forts and LIMA SITES in Laos under their protection. The AC-47 gunships had participated in virtually every major battle, including Dak To, Khe Sanh, Hue-Kontum, A Shau and An Khe. The gunships had fired over 97 million rounds of 7.62 ammo and have been credited with killing more than 5,300 enemy soldiers. During this four year period, the Air Force lost a total of 19 AC-47D gunships and 92 crew members killed. Three of the Spooky gunships with 20 crew members were lost while flying missions in Laos.

Capt Roy Colon Williams was a member of the 4th Special Operations Squadron, 14th Special Operations Wing, 7th Air Force.

He was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross, The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal and The Air Medal with Multiple Oak Leaf Clusters.

Crew:
Captain Robert Paul Acher, pilot 
Captain James Sutherland Pitches, navigator 
1st Lt. Roy Colon Williams Jr., co-pilot
 MSgt. Harry Herr Wecker, flight mechanic 
TSgt William Warnie Alley, gunner 
TSgt Lester Melvin Cavallin. loadmaster 
TSgt Albert Carl McBride, flight engineer 
SSgt. Fred Winston Smith, gunner

   
Comments/Citation
Sources:

http://www.ac47-gunships.com/ac47_miakia.htm
http://www.virtualwall.org/dw/WilliamsRC08a.htm http://www.thevirtualwall.org/thewall/Wall_Id_No=56450
http://www.findagrave.com/
http://www.thewall-usa.com/guest.asp?recid=56494
   
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