Bill, David Spencer, Jr., CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
113X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Special Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1965-1969, COMPHIBRON 8, Commander Amphibious Group Two (COMPHIBGRU 2)
Service Years
1939 - 1969
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Cold War
Iwo Jima
Order of the Rock
Panama Canal
Plank Owner

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Bill, David Spencer, Jr., CAPT.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Richmond, VA
Last Address
Alexandria, Virginia

Date of Passing
Nov 29, 2003
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback US Navy Honorable Discharge Order of the Golden Dragon Blue Star

 Military Association Memberships
United States Naval Academy Alumni AssociationNaval Postgraduate School Foundation
  1940, United States Naval Academy Alumni Association - Assoc. Page
  1960, Naval Postgraduate School Foundation

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Captain David Spencer Bill, Jr. USN (Ret.)
former director of amphibious warfare on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations

Born Oct. 22, 1916, in Richmond, Virginia, he descended from John Bill who settled in Boston in the 1620s. Part of his family migrated to Southwest Virginia in 1853 and his ancestors included the founders of Snowville and Spencer, Va. Captain Bill was a 1939 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He attended Ohio State University for one year prior to his appointment to Annapolis where he was captain of the tennis team and excelled academically.  

During his distinguished naval service he held nine commands: three during World War II; an anti submarine patrol craft, PC583, USS O'Neill (DE 188) and USS Hughes (DD410) - serving in the Atlantic on convoy escort duty and Pacific in the battles for the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  

Following World War II, Captain Bill commanded Destroyer Division 1 during the Bikini Tests and was chief of staff to the commander of the Middle East Force from 1953-54, during which time the Bill's family became one of the first U.S. Navy families to live on Bahrain Island in the Persian Gulf, now the site of a major US naval installation and a key ally in the region.  

His subsequent commands at sea included USS Shea (DM 30), Landing Ship Medium Rocket (LSMR) and Landing Ship Tank (LST) Squadrons, USS Francis Marion (APA 249) during the Cuban missile crisis, and Amphibious Squadron Eight based in Little Creek, Va.  

While in the final post of his 30-year naval career, Bill was responsible for the development of the Riverine Force deployed extensively in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, and for the Amphibious Helicopter Carrier (LHA) program which marked a major advance in amphibious operations for the Navy and Marine Corps.  

Captain Bill retired from the US Navy in 1969.

In 1991, his eldest son, Rear Admiral David Bill III was the Honorary Grand Marshal of Skeston's Veteran's Day Parade 
(Alexandria VA), having served in the first Gulf War as Commanding Officer of the Battleship Wisconsin. 
Other Comments:

In Washington the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Horacio Rivero, Jr., supported the concept of a riverine force and approved a proposal to send a planning group to Saigon to work with the MACV staff. The group was asked to develop a complete plan and to specify the means to support it. Headed by Captain David Bill, U.S. Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and consisting of representatives of the Bureau of Ships, the Marine Corps, and the Amphibious Command, Pacific, the planning group arrived in Vietnam in January of 1966. Together the MACV staff and the Navy group studied in detail the experience of the French and Vietnamese with river assault forces in order to establish a similar American force, but one with greater capabilities. Under the leadership of Captain Welsh and Captain Bill, requirements were drawn up for self-propelled barracks ships (APB's), LST's, large covered lighters (YFNB's), large harbor tugs (YTB's), landing craft repair ships (ARL's), and a mine countermeasures support ship (MCS) ; all were to carry appropriate armament for the area of operations. The LCM-6 would be used instead of the LCM-8, which was in limited supply. 
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  1942-1943, 112X, CNO - OPNAV

Lieutenant Junior Grade

From Month/Year
May / 1942

To Month/Year
June / 1943

CNO - OPNAV Unit Page

Lieutenant Junior Grade

112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare

Not Specified

Not Specified
 CNO - OPNAV Details


Garrison - Base Station


Parent Unit
Major Commands


Created/Owned By
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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2020
Memories For This Unit

Chain of Command

May 1942-June 1943. LT BILL then commissioned and took command of USS O'Neill DE-188.

PC-461 Class Submarine Chaser: Laid down 6 May 1942 by the Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, MI; Launched, 12 June 1942; Commissioned USS PC-583, 2 September 1942; Decommissioned, 20 September 1946 at San Diego, CA.; Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 9 July 1948 and sold to Raymond Turner of San Diego, CA; Renamed M/V Pan American; Converted to a fishing boat in 1949. Fate unknown.

Other Memories
Anti-Submarine Warfare School, Miami, FL, where he spent three months learning ASW. LTjg Bill was assigned to PC-583 (approximately a 200? patrol craft) which ran with the smaller sub chaser, SC, slightly more than 100? long; together these vessels gave yeoman service. He served as Commanding Officer for one year. LT BILL then commissioned and took command of USS O'Neill DE-188.

My Photos For This Duty Station
No Available Photos
101 Members Also There at Same Time

Martin, Charles Franklin, RADM, (1914-1946) OFF 112X Captain
King, Ernest Joseph, FADM, (1897-1945) OFF 132X Fleet Admiral
McCain, John, ADM, (1906-1945) OFF 131X Vice Admiral
Sherman, Frederick Carl, ADM, (1910-1947) OFF 131X Rear Admiral Upper Half
Turner, Richmond Kelly, ADM, (1908-1952) OFF 131X Rear Admiral Upper Half
McCrea, John Livingstone, VADM, (1911-1953) OFF 111X Captain
Russell, James Sargent, ADM, (1926-1965) OFF 131X Captain
Struble, Arthur Dewey, ADM, (1915-1956) OFF 111X Captain
Johnson, Lyndon Baines, CDR, (1940-1964) OFF 110X Lieutenant Commander
Decker, Paul, LCDR, (1940-1945) OFF 1710 Lieutenant
Yarris, William, LT, (1942-1945) OFF 210X Lieutenant Junior Grade
Bussell, John Edward, ENS, (1942-1944) OFF 114X Ensign
Kloss, Earl, PO2, (1941-1944) OFF 1710 Seaman Recruit
Hollandersky, Abraham, (1904-1966) .T Sp(T) [Other Service Rank]
Helms, Richard, LCDR, (1942-1945) IS IS-0000 Lieutenant Commander
Begor, Fay Broughton, LTJG, (1942-1943) OFF 210X Lieutenant Junior Grade
Craven, John Harold, CAPT, (1942-1973) OFF 410X Lieutenant Junior Grade
Montgomery, Loren, (1943-1946) CB CB-0000 Other Service Rank
Wood, Jimmie SC SC-0000 Other Service Rank
Knauss, August, CPO, (1942-1945) ME ME-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Isbir, Amin, PO3, (1933-1944) BM BM-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Petricca, Frank Joseph, PO3, (1942-1944) GM GMG-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Sandholm, Hollace, PO1, (1943-1946) EM EM-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Taulbee, Theodore L, PO3, (1942-1945) BM BM-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Bartley, Richard, LT, (1942-1952) PhM PhM-0000 Seaman 1st Class
Krakovsky, Solomon, SN, (1940-1954) SN SN-0000 Seaman 1st Class
Savino, Joseph, PO3 EM EM-0000 Fireman
Grogg, David, PO1, (1942-1965) 00 00-0000 Seaman Second Class
Thompson, Mary AS AS-0000 Seaman Second Class
Jones, John, PO3, (1943-1945) SN SN-0000 Seaman Apprentice
JACOBSEN, JOSEPH, HA2c, (1940-1947) GM GM-0000 Hospital Apprentice 2nd Class
Despathy, Robert, PO1, (1943-1953) BG BUG-0000 Seaman Recruit
NIBALI, SIDNEY, PO1, (1942-1945) SR SR-0000 Seaman Recruit
Theriault, Gail 00 00-0000 Seaman Recruit
Cope, George Francis, PO3, (1942-1944) AS AS-0000 Apprentice Seaman
Doby, Lawrence, SN, (1943-1946) SD SD-0000 Apprentice Seaman
Tarrant, William Theodore, VADM, (1894-1946) OFF Vice Admiral
Conolly, Richard Lansing, ADM, (1914-1953) OFF Rear Admiral Upper Half
McCann, Allan Rockwell, VADM, (1917-1950) OFF Rear Admiral Upper Half
Kiefer, Dixie, Cmdre, (1918-1945) OFF Captain
Merrill, Aaron Stanton, VADM, (1912-1947) OFF Captain
Strauss, Elliott Bowman, RADM, (1923-1953) OFF Captain
Doan, Henry Carpenter, CAPT, (1920-1953) OFF Commander
Eccles, Henry Effingham, RADM, (1922-1952) OFF Commander
Holloway, James Lemuel, ADM, (1918-1959) OFF Commander
Raborn, William Francis, VADM, (1928-1963) OFF Commander
Wellings, Joseph Harold, RADM, (1925-1963) OFF Lieutenant Commander
Stark, Harold Rainsford, ADM, (1905-1946) Admiral
Yarnell, Harry, ADM, (1897-1944) Admiral
Ingersoll, Royal, ADM, (1905-1946) Vice Admiral
HOOPER, Stanford, RADM, (1905-1945) Rear Admiral Upper Half
Radford, Arthur William, ADM, (1916-1957) Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rosendahl, Charles Emery, VADM, (1914-1946) Rear Admiral Upper Half
McCormick, Lynde Dupuy, ADM, (1915-1956) Rear Admiral Lower Half
Badger II, Oscar Charles, ADM, (1911-1952) Captain
Denebrink, Francis Compton, VADM, (1917-1956) Captain
Ford, John, RADM, (1934-1955) Captain
Hill, Harry Wilbur, ADM, (1911-1954) Captain
Moon, Don Pardee, RADM, (1916-1944) Captain

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