Williams, Michael Ray

Michael Ray Williams was born on 19 January 1969 in Tyner, North Carolina. Mike enlisted in the Army in November 1987 and served in Desert Storm, from August 1990 to April 1991. Michael Williams completed ROTC and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army as an aviator in 1995. By 2001, CPT Williams had qualified on the AH-64 Apache helicopter.

In 2003, CPT Williams was assigned to Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment in Iraq as a pilot/gunner. Early morning of 12 June 2003, CPT Mike Williams (Killer Spade 06) in a team of 4 AH-64 Apaches departed Q-West airfield and flew west to conduct a Battle Handover with elements of TF20.  The objective was a terrorist camp northwest of Ar Rutbah, near the Syrian border, nicknamed the “Bad Lands”.  As CPT Williams and his team entered into what was then “OBJ SNAKE”, he received radio traffic that reinforcements were entering OBJ SNAKE from the west.  As CPT Williams move in to close with and destroy the enemy his aircraft was immediately struck by RPG fire.  CPT Williams and his wingman broke contact and the second team returned fire.  CPT Williams’ team took up position and entered from the south and began their gun/rocket run.  As CPT Williams was completing his second run and while inbound for what would be his last run, he received a radio call from his wingman, “Spade 6 your whole #1 side is on fire”.  CPT Williams’ aircraft had lost all electrical power and on his last bump he had negative weapons response.  While on that final engagement, CPT Williams’ Apache took another direct hit, this time to the main rotors.  CPT Williams’ aircraft lost 2/3 of one main rotor blade and ultimately and violently impacted the ground nose first within 75 meters of the terrorist that shot him down.  After a six-kilometer escape and evasion, CPT Williams linked up with the ground troops.  CPT Williams, on 12 June 2003, entered OBJ SNAKE with 4 AH-64 Apache helicopters and only 2 made it home. For his actions on this date, Captain Michael Ray Williams was awarded the Air Medal with V Device, the nation's award for exceptionally valorous aerial achievement against enemy forces. In addition, CPT Williams was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat.

CPT Willilams went on to serve a second tour in Iraq in 2006 and later to Afghanistan in 2014. In October 2016, now Colonel Michael Willliams retired from the US Army and resides in the Huntsville, Alabama AREA.