RICHARD WILLIAMS (DOC) CPO/USN

 

(8 JUNE 1934 to 20 JANUARY 2007 )

 

by Franklin W. Anderson

 

 

Richard Williams was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, however when he was a small child his parents moved to Washington State. He was married on 29 April l955 to the love of his life (TILLIE who survives after 52 years of marriage). To this union three sons were born: Richard Scott - 1956; Bryon Lee - 1958; Joseph – 1959. They have 5 Grandchildren and 4 Great Grandchildren.

Although born in Scottsbluff, Willie was raised in Washington State. His father was a lumberjack and was a big man. Willie developed into a man of over 6 feet 4 inches and weighed in at over 250 lbs. He was a rambunctious kid and one night he was late in meeting his curfew time, although not the first time. His father went into his bedroom and rolled him out of bed and TOLD HIM to meet him out in the shed/garage. When he walked thru the door his father was standing there waiting for him. His father grabbed him with one huge arm and lifted him off the floor and held him against the side of the building. His Dad said he was tired of him getting into mischief and disregarding his authority and that he was taking him to Portland and he was going to enlist in the Navy; so that is how Willie got into the NAVY.

DOC was a loving Father and cherished his time with family and friends. He loved to hunt and fish with them until his health curtailed his outdoor activities. There are many great stories about DOC, and I would like to relate a few of them. Once while serving with SEAL TEAM ONE in Da Nang, Vietnam, some of his teammates were splashed with White Phosphorus from a 3.5 inch rocket. The doctor on the scene was new and not experienced in treating WP. DOC, using his regular TACT, took over and treated the two men LTJG ABBETT and Petty Officer Rusty Campbell. Afterwards he apologized to the Doctor for his actions and the Doctor was very Grateful. Another time the SEALs were operating in the RSSZ and Vung Tau, when BM1 Raymond Abreu was stricken with amebic dysentery---DOC went to the infirmary to check on ABE and found him in very serious condition with very little was being done to curtail his problems. DOC took the Bull by the Horns and using; his own initiative had ABE transferred to the States, most likely saving Abe’s life, as he had lost over 20 lbs and very weak. Another time while back in the States the SEALs were on an operation in the Imperial Valley. Petty Officer Peter Slempa was walking along side SR 78 with some other SEALs when he was hit from behind by an 18 Wheeler Truck. The impact smashed some cans of food in his backpack and threw Pete quite a distance. DOC immediately checked Pete over, and could not find any external Injuries and no obvious internal injuries. However, to be sure-the nearest Doctor available was a Veterinarian in Salton Sea. While they had Pete laying on the cold steel table, which the VET used for animals, the VET had the nerve to ask DOC, who was going to pay for the examination. DOC in his normal tactful manner grabbed him by the front of his shirt and lifted the Vet off the floor and said I PROMISE NOT TO HURT YOU IF YOU DO A THOROUGH EXAMINATION, AND THAT’S YOUR PAYMENT. DOC spoke softly and did not need a big stick.

 

DOC loved the Navy and his teammates. He once said, that everything he accomplished in life he could attribute to the training he received throughout the Navy.

DOC attended Boot Camp in San Diego, CA., striking for Boatswain Mate. His first duty station was on the USS SALISBURY SOUND AV-13 (1952-1953) During this time he ran an assault boat for beach landings in Korea, and then he transferred to the USS PINE ISLAND AV-12 (1953-1954). In 1954 he was assigned to Hospital Corpsman School in San Diego, CA., and from there he was assigned to Advanced Hospital Corpsman School in Portsmouth, VA., where he became qualified to serve as an Independent Duty Medical Technician, which allowed him to practice medicine independent from a Doctor. In 1957 he attended Deep Sea Diving School at Washington, D.C., then assigned to the USNTS Diving Locker at Keyport, Washington. Then to the USS RECLAIMER ARS 42, then to the AS Diving locker in Hawaii (1960-1963)- During this period he worked with the Nuclear Test Task Force, Pacific and participated in Operation DOMINIC during the spring and summer of l962. He was the Nuclear Exposure Advisor, and the sole monitor of the targets during the Christmas Island Nuclear Tests. From there he was assigned to SEAL TEAM ONE until November l966 where he served several tours of duty in Vietnam under hazardous conditions. In November 66 he was once again working in the Diving Locker at Keyport, Washington. He retired from the Navy in February l971 after 20 years of Service. He maintained a continuous record of Good Conduct during his entire time in the Service. Upon retirement he attended San Diego City College Police Academy, then returning to Washington and joined the Klickitat County Sheriffs Department, and was promoted to Sergeant after 6 months on the Force. He served 32 years in Law Enforcement, 6 of which were as Sheriff of Klickitat County, WA., He also got Doc CHURCHILL and DOC MARSHALL to come help him in the County. Churchill became the Judge and Marshall on the sheriffs departments

 

Some of DOC’s awards and decorations are:

PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION

SECRETARY OF THE NAVY COMMENDATION MEDAL; COMBAT V

EXPERT PISTROL AND RIFLE MARKSMAN

GOOD CONDUCT AWARDS

DOC was Jack-of-all-trades and was actively involved in fabricating an LCM into the MIGHTY MOE, which SEALs used to traverse the rivers and waterway in the Rung Sat Special Zone (RSSZ). He did a great deal of the welding of armor plating. He and Roger Moscone worked long arduous hours in making the boat as safe as possible for their teammates. DOC had a subtle sense of Humor and was always willing to assist a teammate no matter what. He will be greatly missed by his Teammates and vast numbers of friends.

 

Memorial Services will be held on 9 February 2008, 1100 at the Glenwood High School., Glenwood, Washington.

 

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