Historical records matching Brig. General William R. Bond
About Brig. General William R. Bond
Brig. Gen. William R. Bond was killed by a sniper's bullet about 70 miles northeast of Saigon. He was the first U.S. general killed in ground fighting in the Vietnam War.
Brig. Gen. William R. Bond, commander of the U.S. 199th Light Infantry Brigade, was killed by enemy small-arms fire. He was the fifth American general killed in action in the Vietnam War - the previous four died in aircraft crashes. Bond, 51, of Portland, Maine, was hit in the chest by a single bullet along the southeastern edge of war zone D, about 70 miles northeast of Saigon. He died within minutes after reaching an Army field hospital. Military spokesmen said his command and control helicopter landed in the area shortly after noon. He was shot after he got out to inspect a patrol that had been in contact with Viet Cong troops during stepped-up enemy attacks.
"Apparently he had gotten out of the helicopter and was walking when he was hit," said one spokesman. "He was not very far away from the helicopter. His pilot flew him to the hospital." The spokesman said it is quite possible that Bond was hit by a sniper's bullet. Contact earlier in the day indicated enemy troops remained in the region.
Bond assumed command of the 199th Nov. 28, replacing Maj. Gen. Warren K. Bennett. He had served one previous tour in Vietnam, and had also served in Thailand. Bond had more than 26 years active duty in the Army. He was deputy director of the international and civil affairs directorate of the Department of the Army before returning to Vietnam last year. He held the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf, and the Purple Heart.
Bond was promoted to brigadier general in August 1969. He was graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in political science and history. A graduate of the Army War College and other senior service schools, Bond held a number of key staff posts at Army headquarters during his career. He first was in Vietnam in 1959-1960, when the United States had a small advisory mission there.