Military Wiki
William R. Bond
Born December 4, 1918 (1918-12-04)
Died April 1, 1970 (1970-05) (aged 51)
Place of death Bình Thủy District, South Vietnam
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service 1940–1970
Rank Brigadier General US-O7 insignia.svg
Unit 199th Infantry Brigade (Light)
Commands held 199th Infantry Brigade
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit (2)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal (9)
Prisoner of War Medal
Order of the Crown of Thailand (Knight Commander)

William R. Bond (December 4, 1918 – April 1, 1970) was a United States Army brigadier general who killed was killed by an enemy sniper in 1970 while commanding the 199th Infantry Brigade in South Vietnam. General Bond also served in World War II with the Army Rangers and was a prisoner of war.[1]

Early life and family

General Bond married Miss Theodora Sedgwick in 1960, a distant descendent of Union General John Sedgwick who was killed by a Confederate sharpshooter at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in 1864.


General Bond graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in political science and history. He was also a graduate of the Army War College and other senior service schools.

US Army career

General Bond enlisted in the Army in 1940, and rose through the ranks to staff sergeant. He was selected to go through the Officer Candidate School at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry in September 1942. He was then assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. He moved overseas with the unit and participated in the invasion of Sicily. He then volunteered for duty with "Darby's Rangers”, was assigned to the First Ranger Battalion, and lead his company in the Salerno landings in September 1943. On 22 January 1944 Bond's unit landed at Anzio. On January 29–30, the entire Ranger force made a night attack at Cisterna, Bond was awarded the Silver Star for his actions, but was captured by the Germans.

General Bond (then a captain) was held in a prisoner of war camp in Poland. When Russian forces breached the German lines in early January 1945, Bond escaped to Soviet lines and for several weeks, Bond became part of a Soviet Reconnaissance Detachment, before returning to the western Allied lines.

On his return Bond volunteered for duty in the Pacific and was training at Fort Benning, Georgia, when the Japanese surrendered. He was assigned to occupation duty in Korea where he began to study Asian social and cultural patterns.

In mid-1949, General Bond was selected as a member of the United Nation's truce team and sent to Palestine. Bond was cited for gallantry when he intervened to prevent a serious clash between Arabs and Jews just north of Jerusalem.

General Bond returned to Fort Benning in 1950 to attend the Advanced Infantry Course. He also helped establish Airborne Ranger Training and remained with this program for almost a year.

General Bond began his first tour in Vietnam in 1959 as a part of the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group. Although only a middle-ranking staff officer he was appointed to the post of Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.

In 1960, General Bond (then a colonel) was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army. One of his responsibilities in this assignment was the development of an Army capability for counter-insurgency. He was Chief of Plans and Policy and Deputy Director of Special Warfare from 1962 until the summer of 1964. Bond was awarded the Legion of Merit for his leadership in preparing the Army for counterinsurgency operations.

General Bond then left the Pentagon and, in the summer of 1964, took command of the 2d Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. In January 1965, while on a field exercise, Bond suffered a slight heart tremor and was rushed to Walter Reed Hospital for observation and treatment, weeks later, a medical board found Bond unfit for active duty. Through a complex series of appeals, he secured a probationary assignment to Thailand in 1965 where he took over the J-3 of the Military Assistance Command. In 1966, he was elevated to the post of Chief of Staff.

Posted back to Washington in September 1967, the Army Chief of Staff selected Bond to organize and conduct the IX Conference of American Armies. In 1969 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

Vietnam War

In August 1969, Bond was promoted to brigadier general. On 28 November, he was assigned to Vietnam a second time, this time to assume command of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. While commanding general, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 8 oak leaf clusters.

General Bond returned to Bangkok on 1 March 1970, and was received by the Prime Minister of Thailand who awarded Bond the Order of the Crown of Thailand, Knight Commander Grade, Medal.


On 1 April 1970, Brigadier General Bond was killed by a sniper's bullet shortly after landing in his command helicopter to oversee an operation 70 miles (110 km) northeast of Saigon.

See also

U.S Army general officers who died in the Vietnam War:


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