William Ross Bond
Brigadier General
Army of the United States
Relay, Maryland
December 04, 1918 to April 01, 1970
WILLIAM R BOND is on the Wall at Panel W12, Line 65

William R Bond
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William R Bond


30 May 2005

General William Ross Bond came to Vietnam to the 199th Light Infantry Brigade after I had already left the 199th LIB and Vietnam. I would have been at Fort Hood, Texas at the time of his death. From what I understand of General Bond, however, he was no back seat General, he wanted to be right up there with the front line troops, and wanted all the front line information to be gathered and sent back to Headquarters himself. He was one brave and gallant man, according to the people I've talked to who actually knew him. I'm just picking up this site so he won't be forgotten, now others who actually knew him can add their memories to his Memorial site.

Gregory Payne
Oregon Veterans Home
700 Veterans Drive
The Dalles, Oregon 97058

07 Sep 2005

I was PFC Hector J. Vega, 2nd platoon, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 199th Light Infantry Brigade. My platoon leader, Lt. Davoky, made me a member of the honor guard welcoming General Bond to the 199th when he assumed command in November of 1969.

On December 17th I was wounded in action and medevaced to the 24th EvacHospital near Long Bien. The next day, while I was recovering from surgery, along with other soldiers who had been wounded in that fire fight, General Bond came in with an entourage, walked up to my bed and grabbed my hand and asked how I was doing. I pinched my trac tube and said "I was an Honor Guard when you took command last month." He gave me a big grin, continued to hold my hand and said enthusiastically, "You're going to be fine, soldier, you're going to be fine." Meanwhile his photographer had taken a Polaroid of us. He handed me the picture and moved on to the next bed.

I still have that photo of me lying there shaking hands with Brigadier General William R. Bond. May he rest in peace.

From a soldier under his command,
Hector J. Vega

01 Nov 2005

The Fireball Aviators of the 199th LIB are pleased to announce that after a long and thorough search, the Command and Control helicopter used by our own General Bond has been located. This is the very same helicopter in which he died on April 1, 1970 after being wounded in ground combat with the enemy.

I have a letter from the Department of State telling me of their intention to donate this aircraft to us. Papers are being drawn up at this time for a California non-profit corporation and we are hopeful that within the next few months Army Aviation Museum of the West will be able to receive this helicopter and begin restoration. Although no permanent location has been decided upon, our long term goal is to display this helicopter as a memorial. We may use it as an attention-getting device for a more ambitious Army aviation museum project. Whatever we do this helicopter will be the centerpiece of our efforts.

In a telephone conversation several weeks ago the State Department representative told me that he believes we have a complete helicopter and that we will also be given all of the available maintenance log books. Upon receiving the helicopter an evaluation will be made to determine whether we will be able to restore it to flying condition. The project Chief of Maintenance will be Jack Bakholdin (Medic E Recon 4/12, 199th LIB, 1970). Our ultimate goal is to present this historic aircraft as it was when General Bond used it. Therefore I am asking all of you who have photographs of this helicopter to send copies to me. We are interested in every detail of this machine.

As you all can imagine we will need plenty of help for such a grand and worthy task. Perhaps some of you will feel inclined to team up in your old Unit's and support particular areas of the project. I have envisioned the men of D/17th Cav coming up with two 50 cal's like General Bond used on his helicopter. One or more of you may have expertise in the area of trucking or trailers. We will need a very low trailer for transporting the helicopter to schools, Army Recruiting and ROTC functions, parades and of course a 199th reunion. Call me for details. A Command and Control radio console (AN/ASC-15A(v) ) must be located and restored, we need two machine gun mounts (M-23 with 50 cal adaptors), and the day we take delivery we will need correct ground handling wheels, a tow bar and a tug (you Army parts guys, don't throw away anything!).

I am building a large workshop and storage facility in the Fresno area specifically for this project. No donated funds will be used for this building. The workshop will be large enough to house and support General Bond's helicopter with trailer and two other former 199th helicopters, an OH-58 still in Army service (training) and our highest time OH-6 which is still used daily by the Border Patrol but has my name on it when they turn it in. You may also be interested in knowing that another 199th OH-58 is in service with the Kansas Highway Patrol and two others have been upgraded to D Model Kiowa Warriors and are today still fighting the enemy after thirty five years. Additionally one of our former UH-1s is in museum display.

If you are able to assist in a particular area of this effort or can send some encouragement please contact me via email or home phone. I am away from home for work on a regular basis so please be patient.

If you are able to help financially please send your donations to

Army Aviation Museum of the West
3746 E. International Ave.
Clovis, CA 93619

If the tax deduction is of major importance to you please tell me and I will hold your check until tax exempt status is received.

Right now I am calling on all Redcatchers to step forward and be counted. Join with the Fireballs and let us all commit together to make this the most accurate, complete and noteworthy memorial presentation possible.

From one of General Bond's pilots,
Dudley (Doc) Young
Authorized Representative,
Army Aviation Museum of the West
3746 East International Avenue, Clovis, Ca 93619
(559) 322-0462

31 Mar 2007

On April 1, 1970, 37 years ago, I was in the 44th Medical Battalion and put this man in his body bag at the 24th Evac Hospital in Long Bien, cut his stars and name off his bloody uniform, wrapped them up in a brown paper towel and brought them home and kept them for several years. I intended to someday, when enough time had passed, try to contact his family and see if they would like to have them. A fellow veteran, Larry Hodge, from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, came to visit me and asked for them; he advised me that he was the model/manequin for the General's uniforms so I gave them to him. It was before the advent of the computer. Any family members who are interested, I am sure that Mr. Hodge would be happy to give these to you.

Spec 4 Ed Bennett
E-mail address is not available.


A Note from The Virtual Wall


SAIGON, April 1, 1970 (AP) - A U.S. general was shot and killed Wednesday in a new outbreak of fighting after the enemy shelled more than 100 military bases and towns overnight in the heaviest attack since last August.

Brig. Gen. William R. Bond was killed by a sniper's bullet about 70 miles northeast of Saigon. He was the first U.S. general killed in ground fighting. Four others have died in aircraft crashes.

The commander of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade, a decorated veteran, had just stepped out of a command helicopter to inspect a patrol when he was hit in the chest. The patrol had been fighting enemy troops. Bond, 51, was from Portland, Maine.


SAIGON (AP) - Brig. Gen. William R. Bond, commander of the U.S. 199th Light Infantry Brigade, was killed by enemy small-arms fire Wednesday. He was the fifth American general killed in action in the Vietnam War - the previous four died in aircraft crashes. Bond, 51, of Portland, Maine, was hit in the chest by a single bullet along the southeastern edge of war zone D, about 70 miles northeast of Saigon. He died within minutes after reaching an Army field hospital. Military spokesmen said his command and control helicopter landed in the area shortly after noon. He was shot after he got out to inspect a patrol that had been in contact with Viet Cong troops during stepped-up enemy attacks.

"Apparently he had gotten out of the helicopter and was walking when he was hit," said one spokesman. "He was not very far away from the helicopter. His pilot flew him to the hospital." The spokesman said it is quite possible that Bond was hit by a sniper's bullet. Contact earlier in the day indicated enemy troops remained in the region.

Bond assumed command of the 199th Nov. 28, replacing Maj. Gen. Warren K. Bennett. He had served one previous tour in Vietnam, and had also served in Thailand. Bond had more than 26 years active duty in the Army. He was deputy director of the international and civil affairs directorate of the Department of the Army before returning to Vietnam last year. He held the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf, and the Purple Heart. Bond's wife was reported to be on a trip to Columbia in South America.

Army Maj. Gen. Keith Ware, commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division, died in a helicopter crash, as did Maj. Gen. Bruno A. Hochmuth, who commanded the 3rd Marine Division. Air Force Maj. Gen. Robert F. Worley, vice commander of the 7th Air Force, was killed when his RF4 Phantom jet was shot down, and Air Force Maj. Gen. William J. Crumm, commander of the 3rd Air Division, died when his B52 bomber was involved in a collision with another B52 en route to a mission in Vietnam.

Bond was promoted to brigadier general in August 1969. He was graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in political science and history. A graduate of the Army War College and other senior service schools, Bond held a number of key staff posts at Army headquarters during his career. He first was in Vietnam in 1959-1960, when the United States had a small advisory mission there.


As noted in the news articles cited above, General Bond hit the ground in order to visit a unit which had been in contact with, and taken casualties from, an NVA/VC unit. The American unit was 2nd Platoon, D Troop, 17th Cavalry, the 199th Infantry Brigade's ground reconnaissance element. One report indicates the unit was escorting an ammunition resupply for 2/35 Arty when it was ambushed.

Four men had been killed in the morning action; General Bond was the Brigade's fifth loss of the day. Two others later died of wounds received in the action:

  • SFC Jay W. King, Newhall, WV
  • SSG Billy J. Schaffer, North Charleston, SC
  • SP4 Everett L. Ankrom, Pennsboro, WV (DoW 04/04/1970)
  • CPL Daniel L. Flynn, Seattle, WA
  • SP4 Edward E. Howard, Tuskegee, AL (DoW 04/11/1970)
  • PFC Eldon W. Moore, Oklaunion, TX
One of the dead, Cpl Daniel Flynn, was assigned to 1st Plt, D/17 Cav, which came to 2nd Platoon's aid.

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