A Delaware county airborne infantry officer was killed in action in Vietnam just four days before he was to begin a 15-day rest and relaxation furlough in Hawaii.
First Lt. William C. Sproule Jr., 23, son of Mr. and Mrs. William C. Sr.,715 Taylor dr., Folcroft, was to have met his wife, Susan, in Hawaii on Thursday. She and their son, William C. 3d, 18 months, have been living with his parents.
Lt. Sproule was reported missing after action in the Central Highlands on May 10, and his family was notified of his death Wednesday.
A platoon leader, he said in letters he was proud of his men. He referred to teenage soldiers in his unit as his "babies." Many times, his mother said, the letters reflected the horror of seeing his men killed.
"It is really rough and at times I think, why did I ever do it? But I must be truthful. Aside from being separated from my wife and family and all my friends, I like it because I am at last serving my country in a proper manner," Lt. Sproule said in one letter.
His last letter to his wife was written May 7. "This is the last letter - until we meet in Hawaii," he wrote.
Lt. Sproule was a graduate of St. James High School, Chester. He worked at the Du Pont Co., 1300 Grays Ferry ave., by day and studied business administration at night at St. Joseph's College.
He enlisted for three years in the Army in April, 1966, and was commissioned in April, 1967.
He is also survived by a sister, Christina, 18. Posted by: Jim McIlhenney
Relationship: Native Pennsylvanian & VietVet
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
The last time that I saw Bill Sproule was as he was rousted from his bunk at 0-Dark30 one night, told that his time in AIT Infantry, Ft. Dix was being curtailed, and that he was, immediately being reassigned to Inf. OCS, Ft. Benning.
Bill Sproule was a super soldier, who I knew would do great things. That he died saving others, is to describe this great, funny, sensitive warrior.
Posted by: Larry Farrell
Friday, December 12, 2003