William Leon Vick

Chief Warrant Officer
H&MS-17, MWSG-17, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
11 March 1926 - 30 August 1968
Paducah, Kentucky
Panel 45W Line 005

Silver Star


The database page for William Leon Vick

19 Jul 2007

I am proud to have served with Bill Vick back in 1958-'59. We were in the E.O.D. Section at Quantico, Virginia.

Vick was the finest Marine I knew in my nine years in the Corps. He was the "Poster Marine" that was the real thing! He was a Chosin Reservoir survivor and was awarded the Silver Star for that engagement.

He seldom spoke of his combat experiences. It was years later while reading Eric Hammel's book CHOSIN that I got the story. He is also mentioned in Volume III of U.S. MARINE OPERATIONS IN KOREA.

Vick was a mentor to me back in the Quantico days. The E.O.D. section was a small close group. We were in each others' company every day. There was a lot of work. We worked in small teams. I was always glad to be on his team.

CWO3 William L. Vick was killed in action on August 30,1968 with two other E.O.D. Marines while responding to an UXO call at Ha Thanh, VietNam.

The E.O.D. community from all services gather for a memorial service each year. I can always meet old Marines who knew and loved Bill Vick.

John C. Weatherell
St.Petersburg, FL

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 17 Command Chronology for August 1968 contains the following entry:
"30 AUG 68. At 0730 Capt Jones, CWO Vick, and Sgt Beck responded to an urgent request from Special Forces to render safe and recover a 122mm rocket which had impacted within the Special Forces Camp at Ha Thanh, located 25km west of Quang Ni [sic, "Ngai"] in Southern I Corps. Capt Jones, CWO Vick, and Sgt Beck arrived at the Special Forces Camp via chopper at 1035. They walked uphill to S-3 Operations, entered operations shack, and were receiving verbal instructions on the location of the dud round, when at 1040 an incoming 122mm made a direct hit on the shack. Capt Jones, CWO Vick, Sgt Beck and a Special Forces Sgt, and Civilian Interpreter were KIA and 5 WIA from this one round."
The account is incorrect in one aspect: two Special Forces soldiers were killed by the incoming rocket. The five Americans were
  • H&MS-17, MWSG-17:
    • Capt James W. Jones, Hawthorne, CA
    • CWO3 William L. Vick, Paducah, KY
    • Sgt John R. Beck, Goshen, NY

  • DET A-104 (HA THANH):
    • MSG Tadeusz Sosniak, Burlington, ON, B Co, 5th SF Group
    • PFC Richard E. Traster, McMinnville, OR, C Co, 5th SF Group

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 19 Jul 2007
Last updated 08/10/2009