William Barott was born on September 7, 1928, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on July 1, 1947, and was commissioned a 2Lt of Infantry on June 1, 1951. Lt Barott completed Infantry School and Jump School before serving with the 38th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division during the Korean War, from November 1952 to December 1953. After Korea, Barott served with the 504th Airborne Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from December 1953 to January 1957. Capt Barott next served as an Army ROTC instructor at Cornell University from September 1957 to September 1960. He then served with the 6th Infantry Regiment in Europe from September 1960 to July 1963. Barott served with the 82nd Airborne Division from July 1964 to December 1965, and then served with the Military Assistance Command in Vietnam as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, from May 1966 until he was killed in action on November 4, 1966.
The Army General Orders for his 2nd Silver Star reads:
For gallantry in action: Lieutenant Colonel Barott distinguished himself by heroic actions while commanding the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry during Operation Attleboro, in the Republic of Vietnam. Approximately fifteen miles east of Tay Ninh, the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry was pinned down by exceedingly heavy fire in a densely wooded area. Lieutenant Colonel Barott's battalion was flown from Cu Chi to Dau Tieng as a reserve force. The Viet Cong began to make successive human wave assaults on the 1st Battalion. The 2d Battalion was committed to attack the flank of the pinned down battalion. Eagerly seizing the mission, Lieutenant Colonel Barott promptly organized his battalion for a helicopter lift into the objective area. Shortly after landing, he led his force into the dense jungle to attack the enemy flank which could be identified by the heavy firing. He was in radio contact with the commander of the beleaguered unit and all coordination had been completed. As he moved through the hot, humid terrain, a Viet Cong machine gun suddenly began firing at a very close range. The heavy vegetation of the jungle prevented prompt location of the gun, but Lieutenant Colonel Barott quickly organized his troops and began moving them around the line of fire. As he moved from man to man giving encouragement, the machine gun began firing again. However, this last fusillade enabled Lieutenant Colonel Barott to spot the exact location of the enemy weapon. He instructed the men on either side of him to load their weapons with fresh magazines and place fire on the Viet Cong gun emplacement. He then rose to lead the assault with the cry, "Let's go, Wolfhounds." As he courageously led the charge in the face of insurmountable odds, Lieutenant Colonel Barott was killed by a heavy burst of fire from the machine gun. His unimpeachable valor and fearless leadership proved inspirational to the men of the unit. His gallant actions and heroic sacrifice reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, the 25th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.