Peter D. Williams

Peter D. Williams
Peter D. Williams
Williams PD.jpg
Born November 15, 1939 (1939-11-15) (age 72)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1963-1997
Rank Brigadier General
Commands held VMA-542
Marine Corps Air Bases, Western Area
Inspector General, USMC
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross

Major General Peter D. Williams (also known as Drax Williams; born November 15, 1939)[1] is a retired United States Marine Corps general and an aviator. He served as the Inspector General of the United States Marine Corps in his last command.



Peter D. Williams, originally a native of Geneva, New York, was raised in Bermuda where his father edited the Bermudian magazine. He graduated from Cornell University in 1963.

Early USMC career

After college graduation, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. After completing The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, and flight training he was designated a Naval Aviator in October 1965.

Williams then flew the F-8 Crusader at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii for two years before joining VMF(AW)-235, flying the F-8E Crusader from Da Nang in the Republic of Vietnam. In April 1968, he reported to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, on the Demilitarized Zone as Air Liaison Officer and in September of that year, completed his first combat tour. Returning from overseas, he was assigned for two years as Flight Instructor at Chase Field, Texas.


Ordered back to Quantico, he attended the Amphibious Warfare School, and in February 1971, reported for temporary duty to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., for duty as Special Project Officer (Harrier)/Liaison to U.S. Government Accounting Office. In August 1971, he transferred to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, for duty as Flight Instructor in the A-4 Skyhawk.

During September 1972, he returned to the Republic of Vietnam where he joined MAG-12 flying A-4s at Bien Hoa. During his second combat tour he served as MAG-12's Aviation Safety Officer, then as the Operations Officer of VMA-211, flying over 300 combat missions.

Returning in August 1973, General Williams joined newly recommissioned VMA-231 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, where he flew the AV-8A Harrier and served as Operations Officer until March 1975 when he was posted for two years as Officer in Charge of VMA-513 Detachment A with seven Harriers assigned. The primary mission of this detachment was to publicly demonstrate the combat capability of the Harrier. In June 1977 he reported to Landing Force Training Command at Little Creek, Va., as Head, Aviation Section, Supporting Arms Branch.

In August 1979 he attended the Armed Forces Staff College and subsequently was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 32, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, where he assumed command of VMA-542.

1980s to present

After two years, he received orders to the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy and following that tour was assigned in February 1982 as Chief of Plans, Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force, Europe in London. He departed Europe in June 1985 for two years as Commanding Officer, Marine Aircraft Group 12 at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan where he flew the A-4, A-6 and A-7 aircraft.

In 1987, he transferred to the Naval Space Command at Dahlgren, Virginia, as Deputy Commander. He was selected in November 1988 for promotion to brigadier general and assigned duty as the Legislative Assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps/Director of Public Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps in August 1989. General Williams served in this capacity until July 1991, when he was assigned as Commander, Marine Corps Air Bases, Western Area. This command included Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, Marine Corps Air Station Tustin, and Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton in California, as well as Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona. He served in this capacity for four years until he assumed his position as Inspector General of tne Marine Corps in July 1995. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1997.

Awards and medals

General Williams' decorations include:

Naval Aviator Badge.jpg
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Naval Aviator Badge
1st Row Legion of Merit
2nd Row Distinguished Flying Cross Meritorious Service Medal Air Medal w/ Strike/Flight numeral "22" Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ valor device
3rd Row Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal w/ valor device Combat Action Ribbon Navy Presidential Unit Citation w/ 1 service star Navy Unit Commendation
4th Row Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 2 service stars Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
5th Row Vietnam Service Medal w/ 3 service stars Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 2 service stars Arctic Service Ribbon Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon w/ 3 service stars
6th Row Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/ silver star Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit citation Vietnam Civil Actions unit citation Vietnam Campaign Medal

See also


  1. ^ Official Marine Corps biography.


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

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