Williams, Lavester Lee, CPT

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1962-1963, U.S. Special Forces (Provisional), Vietnam
Service Years
1954 - 1963


Special Forces

One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Oklahoma City
Last Address
Oklahoma City

Casualty Date
Mar 23, 1963
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Other Accident
Vietnam, South (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens Cemetery - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01E 020

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2015, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)
Vietnam - Jump Wings

 Unit Assignments
1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)U.S. Special Forces (Provisional), Vietnam
  1960-1962, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1962-1963, MAAG Vietnam (MAAGV)
  1962-1963, U.S. Special Forces (Provisional), Vietnam
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1962-1963 Vietnam War/Advisory Campaign (1962-65)
 Colleges Attended 
University of Oklahoma
  1954-1957, University of Oklahoma
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Captain Williams was struck on the head by a passing VIetnamese boat while SCUBAing. He drowned as a result. He served with Det. A5/5, in An Long, Kien Phong Province. 

He had been trained as an officer in Armored warfare.
2nd Lt., USAR, USA Armor School Basic Officer Course 1958.
According to U.S. Select Military Register for 1960:

He had enlisted service
from 2 December 1947 - 24 May 1948
from 5 August 1949 - 24 April 1953

Commissioned service:
2nd Lt. from 1 August 1957 - 5 September 1959 in USAR, Armor
Then over to the Regular Army, as a 2nd Lt.  to 1st Lt by 1960.

CAPT Lavester L. Williams was a Special Forces qualified infantry unit commander serving with Detachment A5-5 (An Long), 5th Special Forces Group. On March 23, 1963, he was drowned after accidently being hit by a passing boat while swimming in the Mekong River. CAPT Williams was diving for firearms when struck by the propeller of the boat. His body was recovered after an all-night search. [Taken from an undated news article from the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library System]

Published in The Carnegie Herald, Carnegie, Caddo Co., OK
Wednesday, April 10, 1963
Rites Held For Veteran Killed In Viet Nam Accident
Funeral services for Capt. Lavester L. Williams, 30, son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. Wayland Mitchell of Eakly, were conducted in the Olivet Baptist church in Oklahoma City last Saturday. Interment was at the Masonic cemetery near Oklahoma City.
Captain Williams was killed March 23 while on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces in Viet Nam. His company of men were under orders to retrieve arms and other equipment from a river. Williams was killed when he came in contact with a boat propeller after a dive.
A career serviceman, Williams is survived by his wife, the former Julia Mitchell, two children, Rex Lee, 5, and Gala Lynn, 19 months old; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Williams, Oklahoma City.
He had been in the service 10 years, the first four as a Navy medic. After completing a four-year tour of duty in Germany last summer, he was stationed in North Carolina. He had been on a special six-months assignment in Viet Nam since last December.

Link:  http://www.sfahq.com/reg/reg_sfqual.htm

Gayla Williams, Gayla_Williams@Hotmail.com Daughter Beaumont, Tx 77713. Corrections to this Bio: He was not drown. Cause of death was Decapition,although he was in the water at the time of death and his body was found 72 hours later about 5 miles down river. Capt. Williams was a member of the Special Forces at the time of death. He also participated in the "Bay of Pigs" and completed a tour of duty in the Korean War while in the Navy. He was a Purple Heart and Bronze Star Receipant. The first casuality of the Vietnam conflict from the state of Oklahoma. He left behind a wife Julia and two children Rex Lee and Gayla Lynn. He now has three grandchildren:Rex Lee Jr., Joseph Paul, and Melissa Anne.
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