Arthur Williams was born on April 16, 1937, in Stockton, California. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve on April 27, 1954, and went on active duty beginning January 12, 1955. After completing basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in March 1955, he attended Mineman school at Yorktown, Virginia, from April to July 1955. MNSN Williams served as a mineman at Naval Base Panama City, Florida, from July 1955 to July 1956, followed by service as a mineman at Naval Ammunition Depot Lualualei, Hawaii, from August 1956 to March 1957. His next assignment was as a mineman at Naval Ammunition Depot West Loch, Hawaii, from April 1957 to January 1958. MNSN Williams received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy on March 12, 1958, and then enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 13, 1958. PFC Williams attended Army Basic Training at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, from March to May 1958, followed by Advanced Individual Training as a Cannoneer at Fort Chaffee from June to August 1958. He served as a cannoneer, gunner, and rifleman with the 1st Airborne Battle Group of the 327th Infantry Regiment at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, from August 1958 to November 1959, and then completed Special Forces training as a demolition specialist with the 77th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from November 1959 to April 1960. He attended radio teletype operator training at Fort Gordon, Georgia, from April to July 1960, followed by service as a Special Forces demolition specialist with Company A and then B of the 7th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg from July 1960 to September 1961. His final assignment with the Army was as a demolition specialist with Company A of the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg from September 1961 until he left active duty on March 8, 1962. Williams reenlisted in the U.S. Navy on April 26, 1962, and attended Underwater Demolition Team training at NAB Little Creek, Virginia, from June to October 1962. He served with SEAL Team TWO at NAB Little Creek from October 1962 to June 1967, and then deployed to South Vietnam with his Team from June 1967 until he was badly wounded on January 18, 1968. GMG1 Williams was medically evacuated to the U.S. Naval Hospital at Portsmouth, Virginia, in February 1968, and he died there of his combat injuries on April 11, 1968. He was buried at Woodlawn Park North Cemetery and Mausoleum in Miami, Florida.
His Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For meritorious service with foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against Communist insurgent forces in the Republic of Vietnam from 26 August 1967 to 17 February 1968. Petty Officer WILLIAMS distinguished himself by his sustained high performance of duty during combat patrols, ambushes, reconnaissance, raids and other clandestine combat operations ashore in adverse conditions of swamps, jungle, streams and mud of the Mekong Delta. Assigned to SEAL Team TWO, Detachment ALFA, Petty Officer WILLIAMS served as machine gunner with a SEAL squad. He participated in over 38 combat operations ashore in areas that were heavily controlled by the Viet Cong. He played a vital role in one operation during which his quick reactions in the face of heavy enemy fire greatly assisted his squad in extracting from an enemy ambush. During another operation his extremely aggressive actions resulted in the killing of a high ranking Viet Cong. Petty Officer WILLIAMS' devotion to duty, sense of responsibility, professionalism and courage under fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Petty Officer WILLIAMS is authorized to wear the Combat "V".