William E. Dill
E. Dill born Feb 1947, in Buffalo NY the second oldest of six children.
Father was a city policeman and mother was a housewife. Grew up in public
housing in Buffalo and attended Catholic grammar and high schools. Worked
full time at Bethlehem Steel while attending Canisius College. Finally got tired of that and enlisted in the
Army October 1967. This was between classes of my senior year. The
recruiter tried to talk me into learning a skill but I enlisted for
airborne infantry and never regretted this decision.
Started my career at Ft. Dix NJ went on to AIT at FT. McClellan, Alabama
then went to jump school at Ft. Benning. Was selected to attend Special
Forces Training Group in the spring of 1968. Got thru phase I okay and
then went to weapons school. Phase II was the highlight of my training as
ending up being a member of top rated team at the end of training.
After training group I was assigned to the 7th SFGA where we continued our
training. I did become a member of the rappelling team at the Gabriel
demonstration center. This kept me busy and helped to meet some of the
great troops that were at Ft. Bragg.
As everyone else was at that time I was itching to go to Vietnam but
decided to go to Ranger school first. Went to Ft. Benning in January 1969
with Chester Howard and Al Schwarcbher and one other SF troop whose name I
forgot. Three of us were E-4s and Al was an E-5. Since it was winter,
ranger school was really a challenge. Our SF training really gave us
an advantage and we finished four out of the first five graduates with
myself number one. That was quite a surprise as our only goal was to
earn a Ranger tab.
Went back to Ft. Bragg to the 7th group and waited for orders to RVN. We
all got impatient and made the call to Mrs. A in Washington. I got orders
for an August departure soon afterwards.
Arrived in RVN 8-15-69 looking for a job. When I arrived in Nha
Trang, Chester Howard and Al Schwarcbher were assigned to Project Delta and
they talked me into trying to get in the Project. The biggest hurdle was
getting an interview with Doc Simpson. The second biggest was surviving
the interview. Everything went well and I was assigned to the recon
section where I was to meet some of the best soldiers in the world.
We went up to Mai Loc Sept 69 for my first operations, of course Doc put
me under the wing of Joe Alderman and my transformation began.
During my year in the Project, I had the opportunity to run operations
with Jay Graves, Gil Woods, Bobby Pruitt, Howard, and Schwarcbher among
others. I really enjoyed the month I was assigned to the RoadRunner
platoon as an advisor when one of the regular advisors was injured.
The highlight of my tour was being a team leader on an operation, of
course Moose Monroe assigned Joe Alderman as my second man just to make
sure everything went right.
I was one of men left when we closed the Project down in July 1970. It was
a sad time removing all the plaques and mementos and especially knowing
that this was the end of an era.
After returning to the states I was discharged from the regular Army and
returned to Buffalo where I was soon hired by the fire department where I
remained for 31 years, the last eleven as head of the fire investigation
unit. I did continue my military career first - one year with the 19th
special forces (reserves) until this unit was shut down. I then went to
the USAF reserves in 1977 where I became a member of the crash rescue
crew, finally retiring in 1998 as assistant fire chief. I have also
operated a tavern in Buffalo since 1983 just to keep me busy.
I retired from the Buffalo Fire Department in 2002 and I am now working as
a private fire investigator. I have a winter home in Myrtle Beach, SC that
Iím looking forward to spending more time at.
I am married and have three children; two girls in Columbus, Ohio, and one
son who is also a Buffalo firefighter and is currently in Iraq training
Iraqi troops as a member of the US Army reserves. The military tradition
Footnote: Soon after the writing of this bio, the following message was
received from Bill:
To all my friends on the Delta net, I have
received news that my son Christopher was killed in an ambush by small
arms fire in Iraq. He was an advisor and trainer to the Iraqi army. Chris
was a veteran of the first Iraq war and continued his service in the army
reserve. He has been in Iraq since October and lately had said how the
Iraqi troops are improving and was very happy with his mission. Details of
the burial are unknown at this time, I will keep you informed.