Austin, William Eugene, SGT

Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
11B20-Infantry Team Leader
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1970-1970, 11B20, C Company, 2nd Battalion 12th Infantry Regiment
Service Years
1969 - 1970

Sergeant



One Overseas Service Bar


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
1949
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT Dave Stutesman to remember Austin, William Eugene ("Buck"), SGT.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Casualty Info
Home Town
Lenoir, NC
Last Address
Lenoir, NC

Casualty Date
Jul 31, 1970
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Location
Tay Ninh (Vietnam)
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Blue Ridge Memorial Park - Lenoir, North Carolina
Wall/Plot Coordinates
08W 072

 Official Badges 




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 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
  2015, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2018, The National Gold Star Family Registry

 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Rifle
Machine Gun

 
 Unit Assignments
25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)2nd Battalion 12th Infantry Regiment
  1970-1970, 11B20, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
  1970-1970, 11B20, C Company, 2nd Battalion 12th Infantry Regiment
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1969-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Sanctuary Counteroffensive Campaign (1970)
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VII Campaign (1970-71)
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  Memorial Page2
  Apr 16, 2019, General Photos2
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

SGT William Eugene Austin was a member of the Army. SGT Austin served our country until July 31st, 1970 in Tay Ninh, South Vietnam. He was 20 years old and was married. It was reported that William died from small arms fire or grenade. His body was recovered. SGT Austin is on panel 08W, line 072 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. 

He was a posthumous recipient of the SILVER STAR MEDAL, THE BRONZE STAR MEDAL WITH V DEVICE FOR VALOR AND ONE OAK LEAF CLUSTER. THE PURPLE HEART MEDAL, NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL, VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL WITH 3 STARS, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM CAMPAIGN SERVICE MEDAL, COMBAT INFANTRYMAN BADGE. THE PROUD YOUNG VALOR THAT ROSE ABOVE THE MORTAL AND THEN, AT LAST, WAS MORTAL AFTER ALL, YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN, NOR SHALL YOU EVER BE.

I wanted to say Thanks for being a part of my uncles life and memories. His name is Ralph (Sugarbear) Winters. I know he thinks of you just about everyday. I wanted to thank the people responsible for the reunion of your group as it has helped my uncle more than you could imagine. I never knew what my uncle experienced in Vietnam until these past few years. It is such an honor to have him as part of my family. I thank you all for giving your lives for our country. God Bless you all. Jennifer (Winters) Mackall.

"Buck", you are our Hero! We still love you very much. A man named Ralph Winters (nicknamed Sugar Bear) who was with you on your last day, visited your family last month april 2003). They spent the day remembering you and visiting the cemetery together, to pay their respects to you. I think it helped everyone to some degree. Although it's been almost 33 years since you left us we have not forgotten you. We will always remember you and love you! "Thank You" for fighting for us! May God Bless You! I will always love you, your Aunt Jane. Wilma Jane Crump Hollander.

TO A GREAT POINT MAN WHO DIED A HERO: SGT William (Buck) Austin. It's been almost 33 years that your life was taken from you in an ambush. You have not been forgotten and you will be in our hearts forever. Ralph (Sugar Bear) Winters, and Ron (Festus) Hughes, 6806 Notre Dame, Austin, Tx, ron.hughes@house.state.tx.us.

No One Died Alone: In the jungle of my heart, No one died alone ~ No one died in pain and fear, Thinking of his home. In the graveyards of my memory, Each one has a cross ~ For every one who perished there, I seem to feel the loss. Every brother, sister, Father, son~They all belonged to Everyone ~ And in the shadows of the night, When all is dark and calm ~ I say "goodnight" to all of those Who served in Vietnam. Though I never met him, he was my great uncle. I thought I would show my respect by giving this poem. From his Great Niece, Tabitha Millsaps, and his niece, Sharon(Austin)Hicks. Tabitha Millsaps, 208 Power Circle, Hudson NC 28638.

THINKING OF YOU ON THE 31TH. HI BUCK, GRODIE CAME DOWN THIS YEAR TO BE WITH ME ON THE 31TH. WE TALKED ABOUT YOU AND THE OTHER GUYS THAT WAS WITH US THAT DARK DAY IN JULY. YOU WERE THE BEST POINT MAN THE PLATOON EVER HAD AND WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE TIMES YOU SAVED OUR ASS FROM GETTING CAUGHT IN AN AMBUSH. WE THINK OF YOU OFTEN.WILL TALK TO YOU AGAIN NEXT YEAR. REST IN PEACE BUCK. YOUR FRIENDS AND FELLOW COMRADES, FESTUS AND GRODIE. RON HUGHES.

William(Hillbilly) its been 31 year that we were in Nam together. i think of you often.You gave your life so I and others could live that day. I only knew you for 3mo. but I have carried your memory for 31 years now. I owe you my life. THANKS and REST IN PEACE.

BUCK ANOTHER YEAR HAS GONE BY, ALL THE GUYS IN OUR PLATOON. THAT I FOUND GOT TOGETHER AT MY HOUSE FOR A REUNION OVER MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND.YOU WERE MUCH IN OUR THOUGHTS. WE HONOR YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICE FOR US AND COUNTRY. YOU ARE MY HERO REST IN PEACE YOUR VIETNAM BROTHER RON HUGHES. 

BUCK ANOTHER YEAR HAS GONE BY AND I HAVE FOUND SOME MORE OF THE GUYS THAT WE SERVED WITH. RALPH (SUGAR BEAR) WINTERS, ROGER (HILLBILLY) MAXWELL, LT.TED GRACE, BOB (GRODIE) WILLS, RICHARD BECK, GLENN(TURTLE)REED,TOM ALLENSPACH, LOUIE WILLIAMS, AND LONNIE NELSON. WE WILL BE THINKING OF YOU ALL DAY TODAY, YOU WILL BE IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER. TALK TO YOU AGAIN NEXT YEAR. YOUR FRIEND & VIETNAM VET RON (FESTUS) HUGHES.

WILLIAM IT'S BEEN 32 YEARS NOW. ANOTHER YEAR HAS GONE BY, I HAVE FOUND SOME OF OUR BUDDIES THAT SERVED WITH US THIS PAST YEAR. I WILL BE THINKING OF YOU ALL DAY TODAY. REST IN PEACE AND I WILL TALK TO YOU AGAIN SAME TIME NEXT YEAR. ron.hughes@house.state.tx.us,6806 Notre Dame, Austin TX. 78723. 

Your Family Misses You. Hello Buck, We miss you and love you. I was only 3 years old, but they say I was crazy over you. I still am your my hero.I'll have to put some pictures of us on here so your friends that write you can see them. Your wife wants to try to talk to some of your buddies so if any of you are readings this mail me a letter and we will write back. We love all you heroes. Sharon Austin Hicks, 208 Power Circle, Hudson, NC 28638, saphire0223@yahoo.com.

William Eugene "Buck" Austin was only 20 years old, lacking 13 days of reaching his 21st birthday when he was mortally wounded in northern Tay Ninh Province, Republic of Vietnam. On July 31, 1970, as his unit Company C, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division was fighting its way back into Vietnam from Cambodia, where it had joined American efforts to trap North Vietnamese Army units in their sanctuaries, Buck was hit. He did not live long. In fact, he never made it to the helicopters which could have taken him to a field hospital. He became another Caldwell County soldier to die in Southeast Asia.

Though drafted in August 1969, according to his parents, Isaac C. and Mamie Austin of 130 Wayside Drive in Lenoir, Buck didn't hesitate when called by his country. Buck's parents are proud of his service and feel his death was a waste only in that the country's leaders did not stand behind our boys." Buck and his wife, Marie Robbins, were planning to meet in Hawaii in August, but a military funeral was held instead. Marie remarried only three years ago. There were no children. Buck attended Happy Valley High School, but dropped out to work. He loved to hunt and fish. When his draft notice arrived, he was employed with Singer Furniture Company, in the old Kent-Coffey Plant. He had every intention of returning, and, according to Isaac, was going north to work in the steel mills of Pennsylvania. But, after basic training at Fort Bragg and infantryman's training in Alabama, Buck went to Vietnam and as each month passed during the six he fought there, he became more and more convinced he might not make it. He wrote me and said, "To many were getting killed over there and felt he wouldn't come back," said Mamie. "He didn't want to make Specialist 5 because too many were getting killed." But, as his brother Roger, said, "He made it the same day he was killed." Roger doesn't share his parents belief that Buck fought in a noble cause but instead believes the war was political and "we didn't have any business over there." Besides Roger, Buck had three other brothers; Ronnie, Billy and Edward and a sister, Linda.

The family takes pride in Buck's military accomplishments, which included an Air Medal, which he got for flying 50 combat missions as a helicopter machine gunner and Silver and Bronze stars for valor. Buck also had the Purple Heart, for being wounded once before, a National Defense Service Medal, Vietnamese Service Medal, Vietnamese Campaign Medal, and a Medal for Efficiency and Honor plus his Combat Infantryman's Badge and 2 Rifle Marksmanship awards. "His death really tore me up," said Mamie. "It still hits me, just as if it happened last week." Isaac also says the memories can be turned on in a flash, "just if the weather is wet and cloudy, that will do it," he said as he remembered the rainy Sunday morning an Army man came from Boone to deliver the word Buck had been killed. "His wife got a telegram," said Isaac. "But, that Army man came to us before the telegram arrived." "It's something you can never get over," said Mamie. "You just have to live with it and keep on with your life."

I Fought with Buck: Buck, I was with you when you got decorated for saving us from a tripwire. You were the best point man. I was with you when you ate a rum-soaked cake from home and fell off of a bunker. I was also with you, when the Lord took you. I see Grody made it home. I saw him Medevaced, but never knew what happened and I'm glad he made it. I just read all the letters I sent home to my folks and even after 40 years I shed tears for you and other good men from Company C, 2/12, who didn't get to go home. I'll never forget you. (Sgt.) Adrian Peter Boone, 1372 Chase Road, Newtown, PA, 18940, apboone46@msn.com

He served with Charlie Company, 12th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, "Tropic Lightning", USARV.

He was awarded The Combat Infantryman's Badge(CIB), The Silver Star Medal for Gallantry, The Bronze Star Medal for Bravery and 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal.
   
Comments/Citation

Casualty Occurrence: Details undetermined, GWS during Combat Operation.
   
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