LTC Billie G. Williams Lifted off to Fiddler’s Green 4-11-2019

Posted on April 13, 2019


LTC. Billie Gene Williams, USA Ret

MARCH 8, 1931 – APRIL 11, 2019

As a Major, Billie G. Williams was the  Charlie Troop 1/9th Cavalry Commander. He trained his Troops at Ft Benning, Georgia and went Vietnam with them in 1965. While in Vietnam, his call sign was Thirsty-Six.  Billie was loved by all of his Troopers and all who ever meet him.

Mr. Williams was born on March 8, 1931 in Hughes Springs, Texas to the late George Clarence and Lillie Pearl (Callaway) Williams. He passed away on April 11, 2019 in Lufkin. Billie had a contagious smile and dearly loved his family. He was married to Dorris (Howle) Williams for 68 years and as a celebration he renewed their wedding vows on their 65th Anniversary. He and Dorris loved to Square and Round Dance with each other and they shared that love with fellow dancers as they travelled to enjoy dance clubs across the US. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Lufkin, Lions Club, Senior Kiwanis and he was a 60 year member of the Texas order of A.F.&A.M. in Cass County Lodge 147. He was a true friend of Mr. Bill W. and Dr. Bob S. and he was always generous with his time in helping others whenever or wherever they needed a friend. Billie came from a family with a long history of service to our nation in the armed forces and he and Dorris dedicated over 20 years to the United States Army where he completed assignments as an Army Aviator flying fixed wing aircraft and helicopters in Korea, Germany, Vietnam (2 combat tours) and a variety of stateside locations before they retired and settled in Lufkin, Texas. His military service was distinguished by decorations that include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with Valor Device, (20) Strike Flight Air Medals, Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters and various personal and unit citations. After the Army, Billie served in a management position at Lufkin Industries until he retired from his second career in 1992.

Mr. Williams is survived by his wife, Dorris; his son and daughter–in-law, Paul and Debbie Williams of New Braunfels, TX; and grandchildren, Emma Williams of San Diego, CA and Joshua Williams of Norfolk, VA; and Matt Williams’ surviving spouse, Maleia Williams; and grandchild, Christopher Williams of Lufkin, TX.

An American Hero. RIP. Slow Hand Salute Thirsty-Six we will see you in Fiddler’s Green.

Billie asked me in 2014 to organize a Special Reunion to honor His Troopers who went with him to Vietnam. He wanted it at Columbus, Georgia since that is where they left from to go to Vietnam.  It was done with Dignity, Honor and Pride. I wrote a certificate for them and it was read to them by Gary Sinise via video. If you would like to hear him read it, send me an email.

Here is a Copy of the Letter of Recognition Given to all of the men. Each Troop had their own however this is the one given to Charlie Troopers Certificate of Recognition. The Certificate is as follows:

On July 28th, 1965, with the words, “I have today order to Vietnam, the Airmobile Division”, President Lyndon B. Johnson unleashed on to the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong Armies the 1st Cavalry Division (AM). Leading the 1st Cavalry Division, was the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment lead by LTC John B. Stockton. The Squadron was made up of Headquarters and Headquarters, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta Troops.

With its superior leadership at all levels and the professionalism display by all of its Troopers, Charlie Troop, made major contributions in making the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry one of the most feared units in Vietnam.

You, the men who went to Vietnam in 1965, led by example. With no prior combat experience, you forged Charlie Troop 1st of the 9th Cavalry into a disciplined fighting machine. You set the standards for all who came later to follow.

It is therefore, our honor to recognize each of you as the Pioneers of Airmobile Reconnaissance and the men who wrote the Playbook that we followed.

Given on this 1st day of July 2015

Charles Bagnal
LTG, US Army Ret
Commanding 1966-1967

The men were also given a copy of a DVD of Gary Sinise reading their Certificate to them.

The Coin given to the men looked like this:

50th Anniversary Souvenir Coin front

50th Anniversary Souvenir Coin front

Scan_20150324 (2)

50th Anniversary Coin Back.

This is the Certificate that each man received and was read by Mr. Sinise. They also received these coins.

The sad news it that LTG Charles Bagnall ( who was the Charlie Troop Commander in 1966-67) went to Fiddler’s Green the night before the certificates were given.

Billie Williams was an Officer in the US Army. He was an innovator. He was on the team that first researched the concept of  Divisional Airmobility. He was on the team with LTC John B. Stockton that devised the “Play Book” that the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment would implement and use. His Charlie Troop was the First to record a Kill of the enemy and the First to take a POW.

Billie was also a great leader who lead by example and was actually loved by his Troopers.

After Vietnam, Billie became a “Friend and a Mentor not only to the Troops that served under him by to all he knew.

Billie’s biggest accomplishment and the one he was most proud of was being a Husband and Father.

I met Billie in 2004. Since then I have and always will consider Billie as one of my best friends. I Love Billie like only one soldier can love another. I Love Billie like only one Best Friend can Love another Best Friend. I never got to meet his son Matt who had passed away a few years ago. I have met his Lovely Bride Dorris and that became an instant Love. I hate to say a Funeral brought us together but that is how I met Billie and Dorris’s other son, Paul. Every time I called Billie he would tell me about his son, Paul. He was so proud of Paul. Now I know why. Paul is a clone of Billie. He has a big heart and it is full of love.

A few pictures from LTC Billie G. Williams’s funeral.

The 1st Cav Wreath from all of Charlie Troop+

Pat Bieneman, Jim Reid, Dorris Williams and Chuck Knowlen.

Paul Williams, Pat Bieneman, Chuck Knowlen and Jim Reid.

Carol Bieneman, Pat B, Katie Reid, Jim R, Dorris, Chuck Knowlen and Beverly Knowlen.

The folding of the Flag.

Wreath and flowers in front of Billie’s crypt.

This was the First Stetson that LTC John B. Stockton gave to Billie Williams.

See you in Fiddler’s Green” Brother Billie.