Charles Q. Williams

5th Special Forces Group

Medal of Honor



2d Lt. Charles Q. Williams


9 to 10 June 1965

U.S. Army

5th Special Forces Group

Dong Xoai

Republic of Vietnam

Entered service at: Fort Jackson, S.C.

Born: 17 September 1933, Charleston, S.C.


FIRST LIEUTENANT CHARLES Q. WILLIAMS, UNITED STATES ARMY, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, distinguished himself on 9-10 June 1965 while serving as the Executive Officer of the Special Forces Camp at Dong Xoai, Republic of Vietnam, when the camp was attacked by a Viet Cong reinforced regiment. Lieutenant Williams organized personnel, determined where the source of the enemy’s main thrust was, and then led his men to their defensive positions. Running to the District Headquarters to establish communications with his commanding officer, he discovered the radio was not operational. When attempting to reach the other compound, he was halted by intense enemy fire and sustained a shrapnel wound in his leg. Ignoring his wound, he returned to District Headquarters where he directed the defense against the first assault. As the insurgents scaled the walls and some of the Vietnamese defenders began to retreat, he dashed from his position through a barrage of gunfire, successfully rallying the defenders and leading them back to their positions. Wounded in the thigh and left leg during this action, Lieutenant Williams returned to his position where he was told that communications had been reestablished, but that his commanding officer was seriously wounded. Taking charge of both compounds, he attempted to reach the communications bunker, but again was wounded, this time in the stomach and right arm. As casualties mounted and the defenders tired, Lieutenant Williams consolidated the defense at the District building and adjusted air strikes on the advancing enemy. The men, inspired by his courage, held off the advancing Viet Cong throughout the night. At daylight Lieutenant Williams and another volunteer worked their way south of the Headquarters where they disabled an enemy machine gun emplacement. While returning, Lieutenant Williams and his comrade were wounded and he pulled his comrade to cover. Back at the District building, he ensured the evacuation of the wounded men and directed air strikes. By afternoon, the Viet Cong began firing directly into the building and Lieutenant Williams ordered all seriously wounded personnel moved to a bunker. When rescue arrived, he led his team to the landing zone, and evacuated the wounded.

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