Bill, David Spencer, Jr., CAPT

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

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Virginia
Virginia
Year of Birth
1916
 
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:
RIVERINE FORCES VIETNAM
COMPHIBRON EIGHT


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. 
   
 Photo Album   (More...



World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Luzon Campaign (1944-45)
Start Year
1944
End Year
1945

Description
On December 15, 1944, landings against minimal resistance were made on the southern beaches of the island of Mindoro, a key location in the planned Lingayen Gulf operations, in support of major landings scheduled on Luzon. On January 9, 1945, on the south shore of Lingayen Gulf on the western coast of Luzon, General Krueger's Sixth Army landed his first units. Almost 175,000 men followed across the twenty-mile (32 km) beachhead within a few days. With heavy air support, Army units pushed inland, taking Clark Field, 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Manila, in the last week of January.

Two more major landings followed, one to cut off the Bataan Peninsula, and another, that included a parachute drop, south of Manila. Pincers closed on the city and, on February 3, 1945, elements of the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division pushed into the northern outskirts of Manila and the 8th Cavalry Regiment (organized as infantry) passed through the northern suburbs and into the city itself.

As the advance on Manila continued from the north and the south, the Bataan Peninsula was rapidly secured. On February 16, paratroopers and amphibious units simultaneously assaulted the islet of Corregidor. It was necessary to take this stronghold because troops there can block the entrance of Manila Bay. The Americans needed to establish a major harbor base at Manila Bay to support the expected invasion of Japan, planned to begin on November 1, 1945. Resistance on Corregidor ended on February 27, and then all resistance by the Japanese Empire ceased on August 15, 1945, obviating the need for an invasion of the Japanese Home Islands.

Despite initial optimism, fighting in Manila was harsh. It took until March 3 to clear the city of all Japanese troops, and the Japanese Marines, who fought on stubbornly and refused to either surrender or to evacuate as the Japanese Army had done. Fort Drum, a fortified island in Manila Bay near Corregidor, held out until 13 April, when a team of Army troops went ashore and pumped 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the fort, then set off incendiary charges. No Japanese soldiers in Fort Drum survived the blast and fire.

In all, ten U.S. divisions and five independent regiments battled on Luzon, making it the largest American campaign of the Pacific war, involving more troops than the United States had used in North Africa, Italy, or southern France.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1944
To Year
1945
 
Last Updated:
Nov 2, 2014
   
Personal Memories

Memories
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.

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  385 Also There at This Battle:
  • Albanesi, Thomas, PO1, (1943-1946)
  • Bagby, Henry Lawton, CAPT, (1941-1970)
  • Block, Charles John, CPO, (1938-1945)
  • Bolmgren, Mary
  • Booth, Robert Douglas, PO2, (1943-1945)
  • Brewster, Donald, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Campbell, Donald Christenberry, ENS, (1943-1945)
  • Colvin, Victor Morgan, F1c, (1944-1945)
  • Crookshank, Irvin, PO2, (1942-1946)
  • Crowley, Art Smith, PO2, (1944-1946)
  • Deschenes, Alfred Joseph, CPO, (1942-1970)
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