Glenn Raymond Williams

Sergeant, United States Army


Company A, First Battalion
7th Cavalry Regiment
1st Cavalry Division (AMBL)

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: March 15, 1968
Buried at: 
Awards: Bronze Star, Air Medal, Purple Heart

GLEN RAYMOND WILLIAMS was born on February 28, 1947 to Ray and Madeline Williams. He attended the Longfellow School in Pennsauken, New Jersey and the Hinchman School which stood on Chapel Avenue near Route 38 in what was then Delaware Township (present-day Cherry Hill), New Jersey. Glen Williams graduated from Cherry Hill High School West in 1965. His high school yearbook reveals that he belonged to the Audio-Visual Aides, the Booster Club, the Civil War Club and the Drama Club, and that he played freshman football, was in the Junior-Senior Musical, participated in Sophomore Track and the Variety Show. His senior yearbook says “Glenn Raymond Williams, 300 Greenleigh Court, Cherry Hill. Glen enjoys satires, comedies and Christmas…Army, then college.”

True to his word, Glenn Williams went into the Army after graduating high school. He changed the spelling of his name to Glen while in the Army. After basic training Glen Williams served for a year in Germany, After a year he was sent to Vietnam. He began his tour of duty in Vietnam in February 18, 1967. He was promoted to Sergeant, although when that promotion occurred is not known at this time.

Sergeant Williams was killed in action while serving at Chu Lai, in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam on November 4, 1967. While part of a detail assigned to digging a ditch for use either as a defensive position or for use as a latrine, Sergeant Williams was mortally wounded when a fellow soldier triggered an anti-personnel mine with his shovel. Sergeant Williams died shortly afterwards at a field hospital, survived by his parents and sister Jacqueline. 

is honored on Panel 29E Line 023 of
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

by his sister

Glenn R. Williams, son of Ray and Madeline Williams, was born February 28, 1947.  He attended Longfellow Elementary School in Pennsauken and Hinchman Elementary School in what was then Delaware Township.  He graduated in 1965 from Cherry Hill High School (West).

Glenn’s life revolved around reading, particularly about history; however, he was a notorious not-working-up-to-his-ability student.  His high school report cards featured the words “Glenn can do better” throughout his four years.  But teachers also praised his enthusiasm and cited his personality.  In an article that appeared in the Philadelphia Bulletin in December 1967, a month after Glenn’s death, a former Cherry Hill High School teacher, Joseph Ellis, wrote, “If there was a school activity, the inimitable Glenn Williams was involved in it; he acted like a person and treated you as one and not as a mere dispenser of grades.”

In high school, Glenn was an audio-visual aide, a very vocal member of the Booster Club, a participant in Drama and Civil War clubs and appeared in junior-senior musicals and plays.

Glenn announced his plans to enlist in the Army almost as soon as he learned to talk.  He began Basic Training at Fort Dix in September 1965, deciding to change the spelling of his name to Glen, which caused quite a battle back at the homefront.  My parents never did accept it, but that is how it is written on memorials.

After a year stationed in Germany, he was assigned to Vietnam in Company A, 1stBattalion, 7thCavalry in February 1967.  He was 19.

Before and during his Vietnam service Glenn was a prolific writer. He left behind dozens of journals, beginning in high school and ending days before he was killed in Chu Lai, South Vietnam.  In the journals he talks about the boredom in Germany, the humility of K.P. duty washing metal trays for 12 hours straight, the realities of sniper fire on patrol in Vietnam and the wonders of a five-day R&R in Hong Kong.

Glenn’s R&R in Hong Kong came 10 days before he was in a combat zone near Chu Lai, digging a ditch for a fox hole or latrine – reports were never clear – when a soldier next to him struck an anti-personnel land mine. Glenn died shortly later in a field hospital. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, the Purple Heart and a medal from the Republic of South Vietnam.

On November 4, 1967, when my parents came to my freshman college dorm to tell me my brother had been killed, I thought how old he seemed; how brave he was to be fighting in a war; how much more grown-up his frequent letters to me had sounded lately; and how proud I was of him.

Now I think how young he was, just 20, and how he never had the opportunity to vote, marry, be a favorite uncle or even own his own car.

When I think of him, I think how distant he was from us, his home in Cherry Hill and his family and friends when he died.

When I reread his letters, as a mother of young adults myself now, I think how scared he sounded sometimes, how lonely, how far away.

One thing has never changed over these past four decades.  I am still so proud of him.

Jacqueline Lehatto
April 2009

by his second cousin

He was my second cousin and I only met him a few times but he was and is in my heart always. He got to Vietnam before I did and I remember my mother telling me about the funeral and what a nice young man he was. It's an honor to be considered part of his family. Glenn, may God bless your soul and your family.

G. Burt Pressey
Vietnam Veteran - 30% VA disability (USAF-Retired)

May 17, 2003