Richard D. Williams, III, Ensign
Semmes 1964-1966





Captain Richard D. Williams, III, began his naval service in 1959 when he joined the U. S. Naval Reserve at the end of his junior year at Messick High School in Memphis, Tennessee. He received a U. S. Naval Reserve appointment to the U. S. Naval Academy where he studied Naval Science. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1964 and was commissioned an Ensign.
The two years following his commissioning, Captain Williams served aboard the USS SEMMES (DDG-18). He held the position of Assistant Combat Information Officer, Gunnery Officer and First Lieutenant before going to the Republic of Vietnam where he reported to COASTAL SQUADRON ONE in November 1966. He was assigned as Officer-in-Charge of a patrol craft, fast (PCF) and spent the following year conducting Operation Market Time missions from Da Nang and Chu Lai.
In January 1968 he reported to NAVAL STATION SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, and served there as Security Officer until August when he was assigned to the staff of COMMANDER, SOUTH ATLANTIC FORCE. He remained with USCOMSOLANT as Aide and Flag Secretary until June 1970.
He received a Master's of Science Degree in Physics at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California in 1972. In 1973 he attended the Navy Nuclear Propulsion School in Bainbridge, Maryland, and then the Nuclear Power Training Unit at Saratoga Spring, New York. In March 1974 he reported as Electrical Officer aboard the USS LONG BEACH (CGN-9). Two years later he went to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he served until February 1978 as Executive Officer of the Navy Nuclear Power Training Unit. In July 1978 he became Engineer Officer of USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69), a position he held until December 1981.
In July 1982 Captain Williams relieved as Commanding Officer USS CLARK (FFG-11). During his tour, USS CLARK participated in operations off Lebanon and in the Persian Gulf.
He reported to the USS CALIFORNIA (CGN-36) as relieving Commanding Officer in October 1985.
Captain Williams' decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, two Navy Unit Commendations, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, three Battle "E's", two Navy-Marine Corps Expeditionary Medals and two Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals.
He is married to the former Sherry Lynn Cooper of Memphis, Tennessee. They have two children, Deborah and David.


United States Navy

Captain Williams commanded USS CALIFORNIA (CGN 36) from October 1985 until August 1988 and participated in USS CALIFORNIA's around-the-world deployment in 1987. He has served as Chief of Staff for the Surface Ship Directorate of the Naval Sea Systems Command Washington, DC, as Commander, Port Hueneme Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme, California, and as Director, Naval Warfare System Architecture and Engineering, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Washington, DC. At present, he is the Program Executive Officer for Mine Warfare (PEO MINEWAR).(March 1996)

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