The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, PFC William Jacob Goldberg, who died in the service of his country on February 9th, 1968 in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death William was 21 years of age. He was from Miami, Florida. William is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 38E, Line 49.
The decorations earned by PFC William Jacob Goldberg include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
I shall never forget the coincidence of friendship forming a circle at the Coral Gables Draft Station May 25,1967. It began as the Life Long Buddies, Garnnet Owen and William "Billy" Goldberg introduced themselves to me and the Three of us became instant friends. Before that day ended, 200 to 300 of the days inductees, including ourselves, were given random serial numbers, split up with different orders and flown to different training bases. For unknown reasons our new friendship was to go unbroken, we were numbered US 53-579-701 Owen, US 53-579-702 Billy and US 53-579-703 myself, Donald "Don" Stephenson. Grouped up with an assortment of other random numbered inductees we were cut station orders with thoughts our lucky trio in numbered order would keep us together in safety to eventually return us and our friendship home, to where it all began with a laugh, an introduction and a handshake. We shared Basic Training together at Ft Jackson, S.C afterwards Owen remained behind for 2 more months for Advance Infantry Training. Bill and I were ordered to packed our duffle bags and were flown to Ft. Polk, La. for 2 months of Advanced Infantry Training, in the Vietnam Readiness, of a place called, "TIGER LAND". Finishing our training, Bill and I, were separated by orders, Owen and Bill were ordered to different areas of Vietnam after 30 day home leave and Bills marriage to his Sweetheart Sarah Fraga. I was ordered to Ft. Benning, Ga. to attend N.C.O Infantry School for Rifle Squad Leadership in Vietnam. It was while I was there, that I first saw Owens name and serial number 53-579-701 in the casualties list, of The Armys newspaper "Stars and Stripes". A week later I saw Bills name and serial number,53-579-702. I will never forget the devastation I felt in the loss of their friendship nor the conversations we shared as Brothers in service. Going to Vietnam a few months later in May of 1968, my High School Friends, threw a going away party for me, I smiled, hugged them and said Good Bye as I felt for sure, it was final. My fate in life would come, with my number 703, and my fears of losing my life was acceptable and Peace would replace the fears of war, as I would join the ranks with my fallen brothers. The memories of their positive smiles and faces will live with me always. I will Honor Them as Heroes, until we meet again to share the Brotherhood we so much enjoyed in the service of our country. God Bless America and My Ever Lasting Friendships. Don Stephenson US 53-579-703. May their Families and Friends Be Bless This X-mas and New Year coming "2016"
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From a High School Friend
Posted for: WILLIAM JACOB GOLDBERG:
Bill and I attended Miami Jackson High, where we both graduated in 1964. He was the best student in agriculture class, where I knew him--there were about 25 of us as I recall. He was intelligent, funny, industrious, and ambitious. I last saw him a couple of years after graduation at a Miami-Jackson football game. He laughed and told me how he had "borrowed" my motorcycle (a 1962 BSA Bantam) many times during lunch hour to take rides around the campus. We had a good laugh. I think of him often and realize that when he died, his greatness was before him--potential that was never realized. I too was drafted and was an 11B. However, I was fortunate to sent to the DMZ in Korea.
Posted by: Arden Jensen
Relationship: We were high school classmates
Friday, November 10, 2000
(His ARCOM Citation)
General Orders 1197, Award of The Army Commendation Medal for Heroism, 4th Infantry Division, 30 March 1968
For heroism in connection with military operations against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Private First Class Goldberg distinguished himself while serving as a Rifleman with C, 1/35th Infantry. On 9 February 1968, Company C was on a search and destroy mission west of Hoi An when Private First Class Goldbergs squad began receiving intense hostile recoilless rifle and automatic weapons fire. In the initial volley, a number of men in the platoon were wounded and Private First Class Goldberg immediately laid down a base of fire to keep the enemy down while the wounded were carried to cover. At this time, the enemy attempted to penetrate his position. Private First Class Goldberg, with complete disregard for his own personal safety, exposed himself several times to the enemy barrage in order to bring more effective fire on the advancing enemy. Under the cover of his fire, the wounded were evacuated to safety. The enemy again attempted to overtake the platoon. Private First Class Goldberg, seeing this, moved to a better firing position and continued to fire on the enemy. It was at this time that he was mortally wounded. Private First Class Goldbergs personal bravery, professional integrity, and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.