Dear Valued DFC SOCIETY Members –
The interview is part of the Old Guys and Their Airplanes “Debrief” series and brought to the public, free of charge by the Distinguished Flying Cross Society (DFCS), South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB), South Dakota Air & Space Museum, and San Diego Air & Space Museum.
Williams’ mark on history was made on November 18th of 1952 when he faced seven Russian-flown MiG-15 fighter planes and single-handedly downed at least four, flying a distinctly inferior aircraft. During the fight, Williams’ F9F-5 Panther received numerous hits that dramatically reduced the aircraft’s ability to maintain controlled flight. Nevertheless, Williams was able to evade enemy fire and return to the carrier. Additionally, at 38 minutes, the dogfight was one-of-a-kind, if not the, longest duration dogfights in American history.
Because of sensitivities with Korean War negotiations and risk of accelerating the conflict with direct American to Russian combat, the incident was obfuscated and rendered Classified. It was only decades later that records became unsealed; had it not been for the dedicated work of U.S. Navy leaders (lead by Rear Admiral Doniphan Shelton), Royce’s story may well have remained secret. Indeed, Williams respected secrecy protocol — waiting over forty years to tell his wife, Cami.
Williams continued to fly combat into the Vietnam War, exhibiting the same commitment to excellence, humility, and passion in order to fulfill his sworn duty. Today, Williams recognizes the power of his story as a way to inspire others that they too can overcome overwhelming odds and prevail beyond the need for personal fame.
Williams is especially proud of his South Dakota roots, growing up near Wilmot, SD prior to entering service during the last year of WWII. Today, Williams is 95, a lifetime member of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society and grateful for the opportunities provided by his upbringing and freedoms. An effort is underway to upgrade his Silver Star to the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Please CLICK HERE on December 2, 09:00 AM Pacific, 10:00 AM Mountain, 11:00 AM Central and 12:00 AM Eastern to watch, learn and participate in a live Q&A interview with Royce Williams.
To watch the live December 2nd interview and learn how to participate in the Q&A opportunity CLICK HERE.
For additional information on the DFC Society and previously archived Debriefs
For information on OGTA