Chief Warrant Officer Richard Lee Williams was born on November 13, 1935, in Perry Point, Maryland. The eldest of six siblings, he began his professional career delivering newspapers. In 1945, while peddling newspapers with the title “The End of the War” for 3 cents, he was delighted to get a penny.
Richard Williams’ unique experience combines 44 years of military service for the Army and Navy. He was drafted in 1958 and reported to the 714th Transportation Battalion, Railway Operating, Steam & Diesel Electric at Fort Eustis, Virginia. When the battalion warrant officer asked Williams to volunteer to be a clerk, he refused, saying he wanted to work on the railroad. He was immediately assigned to the track maintenance crew carrying railroad ties. A few weeks later, Williams had a change of heart and became a BN clerk.
In 1960, Williams transferred to the Army Reserve’s 717th Transportation Battalion (Railroad Operations) in Philadelphia and became a dual-status Administrative Supply Technician. Regularly promoted, Sgt. First Class Williams transferred to 79th Army Reserve Command HQ. Promoted to warrant officer in 1969, he entered university and graduated in 1972.
As a recent college graduate, Williams became a criminal investigator with the IRS as part of the team investigating the Spiro Agnew fraud. His Army Reserve career continued with the 344th Data Processing Unit and 55th Materiel Management Command. In 1980, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Williams retired from the Army.
Moving to Washington D.C., Williams worked for the Department of Labor and later for the Office of the Inspector General of Navy Installations Engineering Command. He spent 19 years at NAVFAC as Assistant Inspector General from 1988 to 2007, receiving the Navy Superior Civilian Service Medal.
An avid runner for 45 years, Williams and his wife Kitt met at a road race. They moved to Coronado in 2007. He has supported his community as a docent of the Coronado Historical Association, an officer of the Silver Strand Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, and inspires the community by regularly hosting road races, placing often first in his age group. Williams walks the streets of Coronado daily, reminding us that personal fitness is important at any age.
FLIGHT. 112, NO. July 30 – 27, 2022