SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information

 

 



In Memory of  U.S. Army Specialist Fifth Class

Randall Lee Williams

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Minnehaha County

February 8, 1947 – June 2, 1969

Died of Battle Wounds in Vietnam

Randall Lee Williams was born February 8, 1947, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Robert and Helen (Henrikson) Williams. He had one sister, Deborah Williams. Randall attended several different schools: Lowell Grade School, Edison Junior High, and graduated from Washington High School in 1965. He also attended the University of South Dakota for one full semester. Randall also raced, loved going to drag races, and writing; it was said that he enjoyed writing stories and was a talented artist. Randall is remembered as being “good conversationalist and a loving boy.”

Randall entered the service on June 9, 1967, at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He was trained at Fort Leonard Wood, and went for additional training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was sent overseas on July 20, 1967, as a U.S. Army Specialist Fifth Class, Headquarters Battery, 4th Infantry ARTY, 4th Infantry Division at Camp Enari near Pleiku, Vietnam.

Specialist Fifth Class Randall Lee Williams died from a mortar wound to the chest in a base camp in Vietnam on June 2, 1968. His body was returned to the United States, and he was buried with military honors. His commanding officer wrote in a letter to his parents:

On 2 June 1968, our survey section was air lifted by helicopter from Dak To, Vietnam to a forward fire base on Hill 990 to establish a flash base to detect the firing location of incoming enemy rockets and mortars. Randall and two members of the survey section were manning an aiming circle when the enemy launched a mortar attack on the fire base. At 1645 hours, your son was mortally wounded in the chest by mortar fragments.

Randall was with the battery for ten months. During that time he won the respect of all in the battery for his abilities as a soldier and the friendship of all as a warm and wonderful person. His loss was a severe blow to all of us and we will long remember him.

Also writing to the family was the Chaplin for the Fourth Division Artillery; he said:

As your son’s Chaplain, I had the opportunity to speak with Randall on several occasions. I was impressed by his enthusiasm which won for him the friendship of all his fellow soldiers; but I was even more impressed by his very fine Christian spirit and attitude. It was this spirit that enabled me to conduct a memorial service here at Division Artillery Chapel on 3 June 1968, with complete Christian confidence.

Among Williams’ awards were the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, UN Campaign Ribbon, and Sharp Shooter’s Badge with Rifle Bar. The day room at Camp Enari was named Williams Hall in his memory. He also received the Military Merit Medal of Gallantry Cross with palm from the Government of the Republic of Vietnam.

Randall is currently survived by his sister, Deborah McMicheal, who lives in Sioux Falls and his mom and dad in Arizona. He is also survived by two nephews, Randall (named for his uncle) and Robb McMicheal and a great niece, Jennifer McMicheal.

In closing, a memorial prayer/poem was written by Loraine Mueller for Randall’s parents and a little of it is quoted here:

He died to save a people bound in warring madness grim, In all the world the light of faith is wavering and dim. O thou who loved a hate-filled world and died for its release; We pray, speak through this violence and bring our world to peace.

   

This entry was respectfully submitted by Kaitlin Clauser and Larisa Spaans, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, on February 9, 2006. Information for this entry was provided by the Williams’ family via Deborah McMicheal, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, sister of Randall, and a South Dakota Vietnam Veteran’s bonus application. Profile approved by Deb McMicheal.

 


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