Waldron, Adelbert F., III, SSG

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
11B10-Infantryman
Last MOS Group
Infantry
Primary Unit
1969-1970, US Army Marksmanship Unit
Service Years
1953 - 1970
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Shellback Certificate
Infantry
Staff Sergeant
Five Service Stripes
Two Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
1933
 
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Contact Info
Home Town
Syracuse
Date of Passing
Oct 18, 1995
 
Location of Interment
Riverside National Cemetery (VA) - Riverside, California

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord US Navy Honorable Discharge


 Unofficial Badges 

Sniper


 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
National Cemetery Administration (NCA)
  1995, National Cemetery Administration (NCA)


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity:

Sniper Tab Tees, T-shirts & Gift Ideas
Highest scoring US sniper in history until 2011
 

This is to Certify that
The President of the United States of America
Takes Pride in Presenting


THE 
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS
to

WALDRON, ADELBERT F.
(First Award)

 

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Adelbert F. Waldron, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company B, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Sergeant Waldron distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions during the period 16 January 1969 to 4 February 1969. His extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 1068 (1969)

 

WALDRON, ADELBERT F.
(Second Award)

 

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Service Cross to Adelbert F. Waldron, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company B, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Sergeant Waldron distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions during the period 5 February 1969 to 29 March 1969. His extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 2904 (1969)


Silver Star
The Silver Star Medal

Specialist Fourth Class Adelbert F. Waldron
Company D, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division

 

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Specialist Fourth Class Adelbert F. Waldron (ASN: RA-11938508/NSN: 4615848), United States Army, for gallantry in action involving close combat with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Specialist Fourth Class Waldron distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 22 January 1969 while serving as a Sniper with Company D, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, on a reconnaissance mission in Kien Hoa Province. After setting up in a night position, Specialist Waldron spotted enemy movement to his front. Disregarding his own safety, Specialist Waldron courageously engaged the enemy for over three hours before his position was detected and he was forced to withdraw from the area. As a result of his heroic acts, eleven enemy were mortally wounded. Specialist Fourth Class Waldron's extraordinary heroism in close combat with an armed hostile force was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Military Service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army. General Orders: Headquarters, 9th Infantry Division, General Orders No. 1139 (January 31, 1969)

   
Other Comments:

Adelbert Waldron US Sniper Ace

Second Highest scoring US sniper in history

© Christopher Eger

Oct 31, 2008

 
In the first half of 1969, 36-year old Sgt Waldron of the US Army's 9th ID in Vietnam was credited with 109 confirmed kills, making him the highest scoring US sniper until 2011.
 

SSG Adelbert F. Waldron, or Adelbert F. Waldron III, (March 14, 1933 – October 18, 1995) was a United States Army sniper who is little known, but until 2011, Waldron held the record for confirmed kills by any American sniper in history at 109. Replaced in 2011 by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle with 160.

Waldron is all but unheard of. Waldron also was one of the few two time recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross, both awarded for separate actions in 1969.

He is buried in Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California, Columbarium.

Snipers have been a specter of the modern battlefield since the American War of Independence when Colonial sharpshooter Timothy Murphy was reputed to have killed both Sir Francis Clerke and General Simon Fraser with single well placed shots from a distance. Fast forward two hundred years and sniping had become an obsession of the US military foot soldier. In Vietnam several sniper schools produced wickedly efficient young snipers who have since become legend such as marines Charles Mawhinney, Eric England and Gunnery Sgt Carlos Hathcock Snr. However the most successful sniper of the conflict is a little known US Army Staff Sergeant, Aldelbert "Bert" F Waldron III.

 

Adelbert Waldron was born March 14, 1933 in Syracuse New York. He joined the US Navy in 1953 and left that branch after successful service as an E-5 (GMG2) in 1965. Waldron enlisted in the US Army in May 1968 as a Sergeant, the equivalent rank he held in the Navy. Sgt Waldron found himself attached to Company B, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment (Scouts Out!) of the 9th Infantry Division in South Vietnam the same year. An expert marksman with a rifle he was chosen to attend the 9th Infantry's in-country sniper school run by members of the Army Marksmanship Unit and formed with the blessing of the division commander Lt Gen Julian J. Ewell. The 9th Infantry was the only major U.S. Army combat unit to conduct operations in the Mekong Delta where it was part of the Mobile Riverine Force (MRF). Riding shotgun on US Navy brown water 'Tango Boats” and PBRs the MRF attempted to clean out the multitude of insurgent units operating in that lawless area. In this high tempo hazardous environment Waldron was placed as a sniper
 

In the first half of 1969, 36-year old Sgt Waldron was credited with 109 confirmed kills, making him the highest scoring US sniper in history. Unique among the highest scoring US snipers, who were all marines with bolt action rifles, Waldron was a soldier with a semi-automatic weapon. He used an accurized M-14 rifle, known popularly as an M-21. The M-21 Waldron used was a National Match quality weapon with a Leatherwood 3X-9X Adjustable Ranging Telescope (ART) and the standard leather M1907 sling. Rock Island Arsenal converted some 1,435 of these weapons for use as sniper weapons and sent them to Vietnam in 1969. From then on it was the primary Army sniper rifle until 1988. The M21 was accurate out to 800m and fired the M118 standard NATO 7.62mm round. Waldron at times used an early Starlight night vision scope coupled with a suppressor and sniped targets in the middle of the night. On one such night he took no less than nine confirmed targets. He was also credited with making one of the most famous mythical shots in sniper lore:
 

From Lt Gen Ewell in the US Army’s Center for Military History's archives "..., our most successful sniper was Sergeant Adelbert F. Waldron, III, who had 109 confirmed kills to his credit. One afternoon he was riding along the MekongRiver on a Tango boat when an enemy sniper on shore pecked away at the boat. While everyone else on board strained to find the antagonist, who was firing from the shoreline over 900 meters away, Sergeant Waldron took up his sniper rifle and picked off the Viet Cong out of the top of a coconut tree with one shot (this from a moving platform)."
 

Promoted to Staff Sgt Waldron finished his tour in Vietnam with a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, a Presidential Unit Citation, and two Distinguished Service Crosses. He taught at the US Army Marksmanship Unit as a senior instructor before leaving army service in 1970. In later years he worked for noted mercenary, firearms engineer and former CIA operative Mitchel WerBell III. Waldron was WerBell’s resident firearms instructor in his private training schools at the “Farm” in Powder Springs GA. It was in that school the Waldron’s name became linked to such groups as Lyndon LaRouche’s NCLC. WerBell died in 1983 and Waldron himself died in quiet obscurity on October 18, 1995 in California. He was 62 years old. Notably Waldron did not publish a book or lecture as many other noted snipers of the 20th century have.
 

Sources

Ewell Julian J Lt Gen "Sharpening the Combat Edge: The Use of Analysis to Reinforce Military Judgment" US Army Center for Military History Various archivists 1974

Lanning, Michael Inside the Crosshairs Snipers in Vietnam 1998 Ballentine-Random House

King , Dennis Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fasicsm Doubleday 1989

Gilbert, Adrian Stalk and Kill The Thrill and Danger of the Sniper Experience St Martins Press 1998

Roberts, Craig, Crosshairs on the Kill Zone: American Combat Snipers, Vietnam through Operation Iraqi Freedom 2007

Try searching for the United States' top sniper and you get a couple of names. Carlos Hathcock; a legend, but he doesn't have the most confirmed kills. Charles Benjamin "Chuck" Mawhinney; a talented sniper no doubt, but he's not top gun either.

The real deal? Staff Sgt. Adelbert F. Waldron III. He's the one of the most successful U.S. snipers ever, with 109 confirmed kills.

A passage from Inside the Crosshairs: Snipers in Vietnam, by Col. Michael Lee Lanning, describes just how good a shot Waldron was: "One afternoon he was riding along the Mekong River on a Tango boat when an enemy sniper on shore pecked away at the boat. While everyone else on board strained to find the antagonist, who was firing from the shoreline over 900 meters away, Sergeant Waldron took up his sniper rifle and picked off the Vietcong out of the top of a coconut tree with one shot (this from a moving platform). Such was the capability of our best sniper."

Waldron is one of the few people who have been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross twice, once each for separate actions in 1969.

He died in 1995 and is buried in California

A little more about the little known Bert Waldron, pieced together from different sources:

The 9th Division started training snipers in December of 1968. The division started to withdraw from Vietnam in the summer of 1969. That means Waldron made his 109 confirmed kills in about six months. Michael Lee Lanning says in "Inside the Crosshairs" that Waldron made 92 confirmed kills in the first five months of 9th Division sniper employment.

Waldron made 9 of his kills in one night from the same hide site. He was shooting a suppressed M-14 with a starlight scope at ranges averaging 400 meters, according to a 9th Divison after action report quoted in "Stalk and Kill" by Adrian Gilbert.

Some sources credit Waldron with 113 confirmed kills. This appears to stem from an offhand quote from the sometimes famous, more often infamous, late Colonel Mitchell WerBell. Waldron was Werbell's marksmanship instructor at the SIONICS mercenary training camp in Georgia in the 1970s. The story goes that WerBell knew that Waldron had something over 100 confirmed kills but not the exact number. Werbell pulled 113 off the top of his head to sound good during an interview and that number is still quoted in some sources. 109 is the number seen in 9th Infantry Divison after action reports.

   
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 Unit Assignments
US Navy3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry9th Infantry DivisionUS Army Marksmanship Unit
  1953-1967, US Navy
  1968-1969, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry
  1968-1969, 9th Infantry Division
  1969-1970, US Army Marksmanship Unit
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase V Campaign (1968)
  1968-1969 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VI Campaign (1968-69)
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Tet 69 Counteroffensive Campaign
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