Another American Hero has answered he Final Roll Call
COLONEL WILLIAM EDWARD CALLENDER, Sr., US ARMY (retired)
William Edward “Bill” Callender was born in Mobile Alabama in 1937. He graduated from Murphy High School in Mobile then attended the University of Alabama earning a BS degree. Bill began his military service in the Alabama National Guard in 1954, was commissioned in the Regular Army Infantry in 1960, was awarded Army Aviation “RW” designation from Camp Wolers, TX, in 1963, and was assigned to 3rd Inf Div flying OH-13s, -34s and UH-1s.
Bill was a qualified Airborne, Ranger Aviator, Pathfinder, who earned the Combat Infantryman Badge in Vietnam. During Bill’s military career he commanded 7 aviation units and 5 ground commands, and his command stretches from company, to battalion and brigade level. In between serving in all of these units he found time to get two Masters Degrees; one from University of South Alabama and the other from KSU.
In 1966 he was assigned to the 227 AHB, ist Cav Div, RVN, flying UH-1s. He transitioned to the AH-1 Cobra and returned to Vietnam assigned to command the 175 AHC in the Mekong Delta flying gunships and slicks. He reactivated the 227 CAB in 1977 as its commander and left command in 1979 to attend the US Army War College
Bill logged 3,095 hours total flying time in helicopters; during two tours in Vietnam, he flew 1,759 combat hours and was awarded two DFCs, 54 Air Medals, three with V device, Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars and the Soldier’s Medal. He was awarded the CIB for his ground duty in RVN. Of the 68 individual awards Bill has received, he was cited for valor and bravery 7 times. During service in Vietnam he was twice wounded and twice received the Purple Heart Medal.
Colonel Callender’s last active duty assignment was as the division chief. Operations, US Army, Europe. His greatest honor was to command troops in combat.
Callender retired from the Army in 1982 but he didn’t sit down. He completed 12 years as a senior administrator at the University of South Alabama and was active in the American Red Cross in Mobile County; he had membership in many Veterans Service Organizations including South Alabama Veterans Council; Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 2206; American Legion, Post 199; Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, and others. He was Mobile Bay Area Veteran of the Year in 2006 and served for many years on the Battleship USS Alabama Memorial Park Commission including a year as President of the Commission.
Another American Hero has answered the Final Roll Call.
He will be greatly missed.