VIETNAM - ABERNETHY, WILLIAM FORMAN

Abernethy, William Forman

VIETNAM - ABERNETHY, WILLIAM FORMAN
ABERNETHY, WILLIAM FORMAN

Rank: Captain

Unit: L Troop, 3rd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

MOS: 1204 – Armored Reconnaissance Unit Commander

Awards: Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Unit awards: Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Citation, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm device

Note: Track L-66

Enlisted by: Reserve

Date of birth: 17-Nov-1938

Hometown: Winter Haven, Florida

Marital status: Never Married

Campaign: Vietnam Conflict

Start of tour: 12-Dec-1966

Incident date: 21-Jul-1967

Date of casualty: 21-Jul-1967

Age at death: 28

Cause of death: Hostile, Died. Small Arms Fire. Gun or small arms fire.
William Forman Abernethy died as a result of a gunshot wound received while a passenger in a military convoy.

Fourteen Blackhorse troopers died in this incident:
CPT William Forman Abernethy
PFC James Francis Bean
PFC John Joseph Campa
PFC Roosevelt C. Curley
SP4 Lawrence Michael Dawson
PFC George Arthur Foster
PVT Thomas Francis Ganion
PFC Douglas Wayne Hill
PFC Frank Daniel Leal
PFC Gary Alfred McLennan
PFC Billy Gene Rodgers
SP4 Richard James Schutz
1LT Ponder Ray Sims
PFC James Lemar Whitfield

Location of fatality: Long Khanh, South Vietnam, YT 430 308

Place of interment: Lakeside Memorial Park, Winter Haven, Florida, USA

View this soldier‘s Find a Grave page (opens in a new window)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial panel and row: 23E 096 (view Vietnam Veterans Memorial link in a new window)

 

BRONZE STAR MEDAL WITH VALOR DEVICE
POSTHUMOUS 

CAPTAIN WILLIAM FORMAN ABERNETHY, ARMOR
21 JULY 1967
L TROOP, 3rd SQUADRON
11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

Captain Abernethy distinguished himself by valorous actions on 21 July 1967, while serving as the Commander of an armored convoy proceeding down Highway 20. As the unit proceeded on its mission, it suddenly came under intense concentration of anti-stank, automatic, and semi-automatic weapons fire from a well concealed Viet Cong force. Reacting instantly, Captain Abernethy immediately deployed his men to both sides of the road and began evasive movements in a courageous attempt to ascertain the locations of the Viet Cong positions. Skillfully directing his driver through the accurate lethal barrage of enemy fire, Captain Abernethy delivered devastating barrage of highly accurate .50 caliber machine gun fire upon the fanatical attackers. When it became apparent that additional firepower would be necessary to repel the aggressors, Captain. Abernethy fearlessly ordered an artillery concentration extremely close to his own position in order to confuse and disperse the Viet Cong. During the ensuing action, Captain Abernethy alertly observed an Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle that had received a direct hit and erupted in flames. Skillfully maneuvering his vehicle between the Viet Cong and the blazing vehicle in order to cover the occupants withdrawal, Captain Abernethy’s vehicle became the target of a devastating volley of anti-tank and automatic weapons fire. Refusing to forfeit his position, Captain Abernethy was mortally wounded by a burst of enemy fire. Captain Abernethy’s personal bravery and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, 9th Infantry Division General Orders No. 3872 (5 August 1967)

 

SILVER STAR

CAPTAIN WILLIAM FORMAN ABERNETHY, ARMOR
19 JUNE 1967
HEADQUARTERS TROOP, 3D SQUADRON, 11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT

Captain Abernethy distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 19 June 1967, while serving as Commanding Officer of Headquarters Troop, 3d Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. On this date, as his command post was attacked by an estimated battalion of well armed Viet Cong, Captain Abernethy reacted instantly and directed a devastating volley of highly accurate .50 caliber machine gun fire upon the onrushing insurgents. Although enemy fire came within inches of Captain Abernethy, he doggedly remained at his post and continued to suppress all forward enemy movement. Realizing that the main concentration of the attack was inflicting heavy damage on friendly elements, he fearlessly directed his Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle to maneuver toward the outer fringe of the perimeter system. As he alertly observed a disabled track, Captain Abernethy immediately maneuvered toward the vehicle and began evacuating the wounded. Before all the men could be evacuated however, Captain Abernethy’s vehicle sustained a direct hit from an enemy rocket round, completely disabling it. Despite the heavy volume of fire being directed upon him by the enemy, Captain Abernethy continued evacuation of the wounded form the area, repeatedly exposing himself to enemy fire. His bravery, judgment, and staunch persistence against seemingly insurmountable odds while exposed to enemy fire served as a definite incentive to those of his command and subsequently assured defeat of the Viet Cong force. Captain Abernethy’s heroic actions in close combat with an armed hostile force were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Headquarters, 9th Infantry Division General Orders No. 3957 (10 August 1967)

 

 

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