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ETSU Army ROTC

College of Business and Technology

Freddie Williams
Freddie Williams

 

Captain (Ret.) Freddie Williams

Captain (R) Williams was a Distinguished Military Graduate from the ROTC Program at ETSU in 1963. Following graduation and commissioning as a Second Lieutenant with a combat arms detail to Armor, Lieutenant Williams was assigned to the 1st Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas. He reverted to his basic branch, Transportation Corps, in the summer of 1965 and attended the US Army Flight Training Program at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Following graduation from the primary helicopter training program at Rucker, he attended the Aircraft Maintenance Officers Course at Fort Eustis, VA. He was next assigned to the 155th Assault Helicopter Company in Ban Me Thout, Central Highlands in II Corps, Republic of Vietnam on September 22, 1966.

He was medically retired in the grade of Captain, following his being severely injured in a helicopter crash associated with a classified combat mission in support of a U.S. Special Forces Team west of Ban Me Thout on 24 November 1966. Captain Williams, the aircraft commander, and his crew had just performed an extraction of a four member Special Forces Team that had been compromised and was in danger of being captured or killed by the enemy while operating across the border. Captain Williams suffered severe spinal cord injuries and was initially paralyzed from the waist down for many months. With therapy and extended treatment in VA hospitals for years, he eventually learned to walk with assistance. Ultimately, he learned to walk unassisted and drive an automobile

After he recuperated sufficiently well to permit his being in a public work environment for an average day, he was appointed an aide to Virginia State Senator Byrd in Richmond, VA in 1976. He served in this capacity until 1983 at which time he was appointed Registrar for Giles County, Virginia (Pearisburg, VA). He ably served Giles County for 15 years after which time he continued to assist the county as a volunteer in many capacities.

Captain Williams was active in local civic clubs, beginning with his membership in the Jaycees and later transitioning to the Lions Club. He held local and state level offices in the Lions Club and represented his club at annual national conventions for both. His local club was able to accommodate his special needs during travel as a result of his being "adopted" by his hometown club and transported to/from such activity by a privately owned airplane provided by local businessman. He has also remained active on the public speaker circuit where he continues to speak to local civic clubs and schools on the subject of the Vietnam War.

 

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