GLEN R WILLIAMS

GLEN R WILLIAMS - SGT

  • HOMETOWN:
  • cherry hill
  • COUNTY:
  • Camden
  • DATE OF BIRTH:
  • February 28, 1947
  • DATE OF CASUALTY:
  • November 04, 1967
  • BRANCH OF SERVICE:
  • Army
  • RANK:
  • SGT
  • STATUS:
  • KIA
  • COUNTRY:
  • South Vietnam

Biography


Glen Raymond Williams was born on February 28, 1947.  His home of record is Cherry Hill, NJ.  Glen graduated from Cherry Hill High School West in 1965.  He belonged to the Audio-Visual Aides, the Booster Club, the Civil War Club and the Drama Club.  Glen especially enjoyed satires and comedies.  He played freshman football, was in the Junior-Senior Musical, participated in Sophomore Track and the Variety Show.  His senior yearbook says "Glen Raymond Williams, 300 Greenleigh Court, Cherry Hill.  Glen enjoys satires, comedies and Christmas...Army, then college."

Williams served in the US Army and attained the rank of Sergeant (SGT).

Williams was killed in action on November 4, 1967.

Glenn R. Williams, son of Ray and Madeline Williams, was born February 28, 1947.  He attended Longfellow Elementary School in Pennsauken and Hinchman Elementary School in what was then Delaware Township.  He graduated in 1965 from Cherry Hill High School (West).

Glenn's life revolved around reading, particularly about history; however, he was a notorious not-working-up-to-his-ability student.  His high school report cards featured the words "Glenn can do better" throughout his four years.  But teachers also praised his enthusiasm and cited his personality.  In an article that appeared in the Philadelphia Bulletin in December 1967, a month after Glenn's death, a former Cherry Hill High School teacher, Joseph Ellis, wrote, "If there was a school activity, the inimitable Glenn Williams was involved in it; he acted like a person and treated you as one and not as a mere dispenser of grades."

In high school, Glenn was an audio-visual aide, a very vocal member of the Booster Club, a participant in Drama and Civil War clubs and appeared in junior-senior musicals and plays.

Glenn announced his plans to enlist in the Army almost as soon as he learned to talk.  He began Basic Training at Fort Dix in September 1965, deciding to change the spelling of his name to Glen, which caused quite a battle back at the homefront.  My parents never did accept it, but that is how it is written on memorials.

After a year stationed in Germany, he was assigned to Vietnam in Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry in February 1967.  He was 19.

Before and during his Vietnam service Glenn was a prolific writer. He left behind dozens of journals, beginning in high school and ending days before he was killed in Chu Lai, South Vietnam.  In the journals he talks about the boredom in Germany, the humility of K.P. duty washing metal trays for 12 hours straight, the realities of sniper fire on patrol in Vietnam and the wonders of a five-day R&R in Hong Kong.

Glenn's R&R in Hong Kong came 10 days before he was in a combat zone near Chu Lai, digging a ditch for a fox hole or latrine - reports were never clear - when a soldier next to him struck an anti-personnel land mine. Glenn died shortly later in a field hospital. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, the Purple Heart and a medal from the Republic of South Vietnam.

On November 4, 1967, when my parents came to my freshman college dorm to tell me my brother had been killed, I thought how old he seemed; how brave he was to be fighting in a war; how much more grown-up his frequent letters to me had sounded lately; and how proud I was of him.

Now I think how young he was, just 20, and how he never had the opportunity to vote, marry, be a favorite uncle or even own his own car.

When I think of him, I think how distant he was from us, his home in Cherry Hill and his family and friends when he died.

When I reread his letters, as a mother of young adults myself now, I think how scared he sounded sometimes, how lonely, how far away.

One thing has never changed over these past four decades.  I am still so proud of him.

Written by Jacqueline Lehatto, Sister
April 2009

Sources: Jacqueline Lehatto (sister), Jay Grear (friend) and NJVVMF.

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