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/Iwo Jima Operation
Start Year
1945
End Year
1945

Description
The Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February – 26 March 1945), or Operation Detachment, was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire. The American invasion had the goal of capturing the entire island, including its three airfields (including South Field and Central Field), to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. This five-week battle comprised some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific of World War II.

After the heavy losses incurred in the battle, the strategic value of the island became controversial. It was useless to the U.S. Army as a staging base and useless to the U.S. Navy as a fleet base. However, Navy SEABEES rebuilt the landing strips, which were used as emergency landing strips for USAAF B-29s. 

The Imperial Japanese Army positions on the island were heavily fortified, with a dense network of bunkers, hidden artillery positions, and 18 km (11 mi) of underground tunnels. The Americans on the ground were supported by extensive naval artillery and complete air supremacy over Iwo Jima from the beginning of the battle by U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators.

Iwo Jima was the only battle by the U.S. Marine Corps in which the Japanese combat deaths were thrice those of the Americans throughout the battle. Of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima at the beginning of the battle, only 216 were taken prisoner, some of whom were captured because they had been knocked unconscious or otherwise disabled. The majority of the remainder were killed in action, although it has been estimated that as many as 3,000 continued to resist within the various cave systems for many days afterwards, eventually succumbing to their injuries or surrendering weeks later.

Despite the bloody fighting and severe casualties on both sides, the Japanese defeat was assured from the start. Overwhelming American superiority in arms and numbers as well as complete control of air power — coupled with the impossibility of Japanese retreat or reinforcement — permitted no plausible circumstance in which the Americans could have lost the battle.

The battle was immortalized by Joe Rosenthal's photograph of the raising of the U.S. flag on top of the 166 m (545 ft) Mount Suribachi by five U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy battlefield Hospital Corpsman. The photograph records the second flag-raising on the mountain, both of which took place on the fifth day of the 35-day battle. Rosenthal's photograph promptly became an indelible icon — of that battle, of that war in the Pacific, and of the Marine Corps itself — and has been widely reproduced.
 
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1945
To Year
1945
 
Last Updated:
Jul 24, 2013
   
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.

   
Units Participated in Operation

VF-46 Men-O-War

USS Bismarck Sea (CVE-95)

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  335 Also There at This Battle:
  • Alseike, Leslie, PO3, (1944-1946)
  • Arenberg, Julius (Ted), LTJG, (1943-1946)
  • Bagby, Henry Lawton, CAPT, (1941-1970)
  • Baker, Cecil, Cox, (1941-1946)
  • Barr, John Andrew, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Baylor, Warner, LCDR, (1942-1963)
  • Bergin, Patrick
  • Block, Charles John, CPO, (1938-1945)
  • Brewster, Donald, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Carter, Loyd, PO3, (1941-1945)
  • Crookshank, Irvin, PO2, (1942-1946)
  • Crowell, Marshall Medford, F1c, (1943-1945)
  • DeGeus, Robert, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Deschenes, Roland Clarence, S1c, (1944-1946)
  • Dobratz, Arthur, PO3, (1943-1945)
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