William E. Dill

William 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 continues.


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.
Bill Dill
 

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