William Francis Buckley : biography
William Francis Buckley (May 30, 1928June 3, 1985) was a United States Army officer and the CIA station chief in Beirut from 1983 until 1985. His cover was as a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.Thomas Gordon, Journey Into Madness: Medical Torture and the Mind Controllers (1988) He died on or around June 3, 1985 while in the custody of Hezbollah.Joseph Trento, Prelude to Terror (2005) He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and is commemorated with a star on the Wall of Honor at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
Death and memorials
On October 4, 1985, Islamic Jihad announced that it had executed William Buckley. The US National Security Council acknowledged in an unclassified note that Buckley probably died on June 3, 1985 of a heart attack.US Security Council, "U.S./Iranian Contacts and the American Hostages" -"Maximum Version" of NSC Chronology of Events, dated November 17, 1986, 2000 Hours – Top Secret, Chronology, November 17, 1986, 12 pp. (UNCLASSIFIED) Buckley's remains were recovered by the late Major Jens Nielsen (Royal Danish Army) attached to the United Nations Observer Group Beirut on December 27, 1991.Giandomenico Picco, Man Without a Gun, Times Books, New York (1999) His body was returned to the United States on December 28, 1991, and he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
An agency memorial service was held in August 1987 to commemorate his death. A public memorial service was held with full military honors at Arlington on May 13, 1988, just short of three years after his presumed death date. At the service, attended by more than 100 colleagues and friends, CIA Director William H. Webster eulogized Buckley, saying, "Bill's success in collecting information in situations of incredible danger was exceptional, even remarkable." He is buried in Section 59, Lot 346 of Arlington National Cemetery., Findagrave.com, (2001-10-17). Retrieved on July 13, 2008.
Early life and career
William Francis Buckley was born in Medford, Massachusetts. After graduating from high school in 1947, he joined the United States Army. He began as a military police officer and served in that capacity for two years, but then attended Officers Candidate School and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in Armor. He continued his military education at the Engineer Officer's Course at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the Advanced Armor Officer's Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and the Intelligence School at Oberammergau, Germany., Arlington National Cemetery Website, (2006-04-23). Retrieved on 2008-07-13/
During the Korean War, Buckley served as a company commander with the 1st Cavalry Division. Next, he returned to Boston University and completed his studies, graduating with a degree in Political Science. It was during this time that Buckley began his first employment with the Central Intelligence Agency, from 1955 to 1957. He was also employed as a librarian in the Concord, Winchester and Lexington public libraries. In 1960, Buckley joined the 320th Special Forces Detachment which became the 11th Special Forces Group and attended both Basic Airborne and the Special Forces Officers Course. He was assigned as an A-Detachment Commander and later as a B-Detachment Commander. Colonel Buckley served in Vietnam with the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, or MACV, as a Senior Advisor to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam.
Awards and honors
Among Colonel Buckley's decorations and awards are the Silver Star, Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star Medal with "V" Device, two Purple Hearts, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, and the Parachutist Badge. He also received the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with bronze star from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. Among his CIA awards are the Intelligence Star, Exceptional Service Medallion and Distinguished Intelligence Cross.
Among Buckley's civilian awards are the Freedom Foundation Award for Lexington Green Diorama, Collegium and Academy of Distinguished Alumni Boston University. The William F. Buckley Memorial Park in Stoneham, Massachusetts is dedicated to his memory. The fifty-first star on the CIA Memorial Wall represents him, surrounded by about 82 other stars (as of January 2005) representing CIA officers killed in the line of duty. Approximately 35 of the stars are for unnamed agents whose identities have not been revealed for national security reasons. His name and year of death are recorded in the "Book of Honor" at the wall. The CIA awarded him the Distinguished Intelligence Cross, an Intelligence Star, and an Exceptional Service Medal, but has not said whether any of these were issued posthumously (although at least one award of the Exceptional Service Medal must have been made posthumously).
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