William Cecil Rigg

Private First Class
Army of the United States
16 January 1947 - 18 February 1966
Los Angeles, CA
Panel 05E Line 048


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William Cecil Rigg

29 Dec 2002

My name is Ralph C. Mitchell and I was a medic during Operation Masher/White Wing. On 18 Feb 1966 Sgt Collins was laying beside me when he took a hit from a 50 cal [machine gun] in the head. Sgt Terlecki took a hit from the same 50 and fell at my feet behind me, his last word was "Doc". I had been hit in back of my right shoulder. Preira got hit the first time and fell, he got up calling for Sgt Allison and got hit the second time, he tried to get up and the Cong finished him off. Riggs was killed by M79 fire.

I wish I could get in contact with their folks and tell them what a great job these fellows tried to do for their country.

Ralph C. Mitchell
Box 297 Cross Plains TN 37049

Virtual Wall Notes

Operation Masher/White Wing was the 1st Cavalry Division's name for their part of an Allied operation conducted against main force VC and NVA units operating in southeastern Quang Ngai Province and northeastern Binh Dinh Province. The combined VC/NVA force was the Sao Vang (Gold Star) Division, and a force totalling nearly three divisions of US Army, US Marines, Korean Army, and SVN Army and Marines were staged against them.

The Allied sweep of the operation area began on 24 Jan 1966 and continued for 6 weeks, officially ending on 6 March. The 1st Cav Division mounted out its 1st and 3rd Brigades. By mid-February, the Cav had operated from the coastal areas into the interior mountains. Based on intelligence data that the 2nd VC Regiment was concentrated in the hills south and east of the Kim Son Valley, the focus of the 1st Cav Div offensive changed. On 17 Feb the 5th Cav caught the heavy weapons battalion of the 2nd VC Regiment, leading to a series of engagements over the next four days.

On 18 Feb 1966, nine men of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, died in battle. Their bodies could not be immediately recovered and all are coded as "Died while missing":

  • SGT Walter Alexander Terlecki, A CO
  • SP4 Dominic J Preira, A CO

  • SP4 Bob Gene Brumley, B CO
  • SP4 James Wesley Mize, B CO
  • PFC Richard Frank Barnes, B CO
  • PFC Willie Edward Davis, B CO
  • PFC Andrew Albert Graziano, B CO
  • PFC William Cecil Rigg, B CO

  • PFC Patrick James Harris, C CO
Three more men of C Company, 1/5 Cav, died on the 19th and 20th:
  • SGT Freddie Wallace Green, 02/19/1966
  • PFC Ronald Michael Kenny, 02/19/1966
  • SSG James Otis Allen, 02/20/1966

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a comrade-in-arms,
Ralph C. Mitchell
30 Dec 2002

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 12/30/2002