Korean, Vietnam War Marine veteran to speak at Heritage of Freedom |
Posted 12/19/2013 Updated 12/19/2013
by Mark Wyatt
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
12/19/2013 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- A highly-decorated combat veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars is the scheduled guest speaker for the next Heritage of Freedom event at the Hanscom Conference Center Jan. 23 at 2:30 p.m.
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. William "Wild Bill" Weise was awarded the Navy Cross, Silver Star and Legion of Merit for service during some of the heaviest action of the Vietnam War.
As commander of 2d Battalion, then Lt. Col. Weise received the Silver Star for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action" while engaging the enemy in early 1968.
He led a battalion-sized attack against the North Vietnamese Army that was well entrenched in a local village. Weise successfully positioned himself with one of the two assaulting companies.
Later that spring, Weise was awarded the Navy Cross for "extraordinary heroism" as commander of 2d Battalion from Apr. 30 to May 2, 1968.
Weise led his battalion against an estimated 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers who were entrenched in a well-fortified bunker complex that was supported by Vietnamese artillery fire. He was credited with "skillfully coordinating air strikes" and artillery fire against the Vietnamese.
Weise will speak about his experience in both conflicts as well as his career in the Marine Corps.
Weise entered the Marine Corps as a private in 1951 after graduating from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. He was commissioned upon completing the Officer Candidate Screening course and was appointed a second lieutenant soon after. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1982.
Today Weise is an active supporter and fundraiser in a number of veteran and community activities. He co-chaired the Marine Corps Heritage Center committee for five years and led the group which furnished the vision for the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
He is spearheading a drive to honor 1,100 Marines and Sailors of the 2d battalion, 4th Marines killed in action during the past 100 years.
In addition to the Navy Cross, Silver Star and two Legion of Merit, one with a combat valor device, Weise personal awards include three Purple Heart Medals, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with gold palm.
The Heritage of Freedom speaker series is a free event that features speakers who discuss their experiences serving in combat or while deployed. Their presentations are followed by short question and answer periods.
The entire Hanscom community is welcome at this informal event. Free refreshments and beverages will be provided. For further information about Heritage of Freedom, contact Bobby Jacques at 781-225-1333.