Bill Maddox was born on May 22, 1921, in Newburgh, New York. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve on May 16, 1942, and went on active duty beginning May 20, 1943. After serving as a Sergeant in the Cavalry he entered Infantry Officer Candidate School on March 23, 1944, and was commissioned a 2d Lt of Cavalry at Fort Benning, Georgia, on July 25, 1944. Lt Maddox next served as a Troop Officer and Troop Executive Officer with the Cavalry Replacement Training Center at Fort Riley, Kansas, from July 1944 to July 1945, followed by service as a Platoon Leader with the 122nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop at Fort Winfield Scott, California, from July to December 1945. He then attended Liaison Pilot Training at Sheppard Field, Texas, and received his pilot wings on April 20, 1946. After completing Field Artillery Liaison Pilot training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Lt Maddox served with the Field Artillery School at Fort Sill from July to December 1946. His next assignment was as an Air Observation Pilot with the 82nd Field Artillery Battalion on occupation duty in Japan from December 1946 to November 1947, followed by service as an Economics and Labor Officer with the Fukushima Military Government Team in Japan from November 1947 to November 1949. Capt Maddox served as a Platoon Leader with Company H of the 8th Cavalry Regiment in Japan from November 1949 to June 1950, and then as an Air Observation Pilot with the 1st Cavalry Division during the first year of the Korean War from June 1950 to June 1951. His next assignment was as an Aviation Officer with the 1st Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas, from June 1951 to March 1953, followed by helicopter pilot training from March to June 1953. He served as Aide-de-Camp to Gen Bruce C. Clarke at I Corps, X Corps, and then at 8th Army in Korea from June 1953 to September 1954, and then as an Admin Officer, Commanding Officer of the Flight Detachment, and as Aide-de-Camp to the Commander of the Military Assistance and Advisory Group in Japan from September 1954 to May 1957. Maj Maddox next served as Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General of 7th Army in West Germany from June 1957 to September 1958, followed by service as Battalion Operations Officer with 3rd Battalion of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, and then as Regimental Operations Officer with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in West Germany from October 1958 to August 1960. LTC Maddox attended Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, from August 1960 to August 1961, and then served as a Staff Officer in the Plans Division in the Office of the Chief of Research and Development with Headquarters U.S. Army in the Pentagon from August 1961 to August 1964. He next attended National War College at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., from August 1964 to June 1965, followed by service as Commanding Officer of the 13th Aviation Battalion in South Vietnam from July 1965 to July 1966. He then remained in South Vietnam, serving as Deputy for Plans and Operations and then as a Detachment Commander with the IV Corps Advisor Group with U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam from August 1966 to July 1967. Col Maddox next served as Chief of Staff and then Assistant Division Commander for the 3rd Armored Division in West Germany from July 1967 to June 1969, followed by service as Commanding Officer of 3rd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division in South Vietnam from June to December 1969. He served as Commanding Officer of the 164th Aviation Group in South Vietnam from December 1969 to July 1970, and then as Director of Army Aviation with the Chief of Staff for Force Development with Headquarters U.S. Army in the Pentagon from July 1970 to September 1973. Gen Maddox next served as Commandant of the U.S. Army Aviation School and as Commanding General of the U.S. Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker, Alabama, from September 1973 until his retirement from the Army on July 1, 1976. Gen Maddox amassed 10,582 flying hours during his flying career, as well as 3,997 combat hours flying in Korea and Vietnam. After his retirement from the Army, he served as Advisor to King Hussein of Jordan, as Managing Director of Arabian Helicopters in Saudi Arabia, and as Managing Director of Bell Helicopters in Asia. Bill Maddox died on January 5, 2001, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
His 1st (of 4) Silver Star Citation reads:
For gallantry in action: Lieutenant Colonel Maddox distinguished himself on 5 July 1966 while serving as aircraft commander of a UH-1D helicopter during combat operations in Vinh Long Province, Republic of Vietnam. While returning from an airmobile assault operation, Lieutenant Colonel Maddox and his crew observed a helicopter which had been shot down 40 meters from Viet Cong positions. Lieutenant Colonel Maddox immediately contacted the ground advisor who was pinned down with part of his company near the crashed aircraft. Accompanied by a medical evacuation helicopter, Lieutenant Colonel Maddox and his crew attempted the rescue of the wounded. As the two aircraft approached the burning helicopter, they were hit by Viet Cong fire and forced to depart the area. Lieutenant Colonel Maddox them attempted a single ship rescue. While and armed aircraft engaged the Viet Cong positions, he skillfully maneuvered within ten meters of the wounded men. As his pilot hovered the aircraft, Lieutenant Colonel Maddox and two crew members rushed through the intense hostile fire to the stricken men, dragged them to the aircraft and loaded them aboard. He then skillfully maneuvered out of the battle area and evacuated his wounded comrades to medical facilities. Lieutenant Colonel Maddox's extraordinary heroism in close combat against a numerically superior hostile force was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.