Citation: For extraordinary heroism on 15 January 1967 while serving with River Section 531 and friendly foreign forces during combat operations against communist insurgent (Viet Cong) forces on the Mekong River in the Republic of Vietnam.
As Patrol Officer of a combat PBR patrol BM1 Williams interdicted a
major enemy supply movement across the Nam Thon branch of the Mekong River.
He directed his units to the suspected crossing area, and was immediately
taken under intense hostile fire from fortified positions and from along
the river banks. After coordinating Vietnamese Artillery Support and USAF
air strikes, BM1 Williams courageously led his three PBRs back into the
hazardous river to investigate and destroy the enemy sampans and supplies.
Blistering fire was again unleashed upon his forces. Frequently exposing
himself to enemy fire, he directed his units in silencing several automatic-weapons
positions, and directed one PBR to investigate several sampans which could
be seen, while the other PBRs provided cover fire. Almost immediately,
the enemy renewed their fire in an effort to force the PBRs away from the
sampans. BM1 Williams ordered the destruction of the sampan and the extraction
of all his units. During the fierce firefight following the temporary immobilization
of one of the units, BM1 Williams was wounded. Despite his painful injuries,
he was able to lead his patrol back through the heavy enemy fire. His patrol
had successfully interdicted a crossing attempt of three heavy-weapons
companies totaling nearly four hundred men, had accounted for sixteen enemy
killed in action, twenty wounded, the destruction of nine enemy sampans
and junks, seven enemy structures, and 2400 pounds of enemy rice. By his
outstanding display of decisive leadership, his unlimited courage in the
face of enemy fire, and his utmost devotion to duty, BM1 Williams upheld
the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.