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Rifleman
02-11-2007, 03:23 AM
Kind of vague about the details isn't it? Bert Waldron made 109 confirmed kills as a sniper in the Mekong Delta area.....in five months.

WALDRON, ADELBERT F.
(First Award)
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Company B, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division
Date of Action: January 16 - February 4, 1969
Synopsis:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Adelbert F. Waldron, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company B, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Sergeant Waldron distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions during the period 16 January 1969 to 4 February 1969. His extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
HQ US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 1068 (1969)
Other Award: Distinguished Service Cross w/OLC (Vietnam)

WALDRON, ADELBERT F.
(Second Award)
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Company B, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division
Date of Action: February 5 - March 29, 1969
Synopsis:
The Distinguished Service Cross (First Oak Leaf Cluster) is presented to Adelbert F. Waldron, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company B, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Sergeant Waldron distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions during the period 5 February 1969 to 29 March 1969. His extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
HQ US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 2904 (1969)
Other Award: Distinguished Service Cross (Vietnam)

Jedburgh
02-11-2007, 03:43 AM
Waldron is mentioned in passing in the book Sharpening the Combat Edge: The Use of Analysis to Reinforce Military Judgment (http://www.army.mil/CMH/books/Vietnam/Sharpen/index.htm#contents)
...As an interesting war story, our most successful sniper was Sergeant Adelbert F. Waldron, III, who had 109 confirmed kills to his credit. One afternoon he was riding along the Mekong River on a Tango boat when an enemy sniper on shore pecked away at the boat. While everyone else on board strained to find the antagonist, who was firing from the shoreline over 900 meters away, Sergeant Waldron took up his sniper rifle and picked off the Viet Cong out of the top of a coconut tree with one shot (this from a moving platform). Such was the capability of our best sniper. We had others, too, with his matchless vision and expert marksmanship. Sergeant Waldron earned two Distinguished Service Crosses for his outstanding skill and bravery...

Rifleman
03-04-2007, 07:59 PM
A little more about the little known Bert Waldron, pieced together from different sources:

The 9th Division started training snipers in December of 1968. The division started to withdraw from Vietnam in the summer of 1969. That means Waldron made his 109 confirmed kills in about six months. Michael Lee Lanning says in "Inside the Crosshairs" that Waldron made 92 confirmed kills in the first five months of 9th Division sniper employment.

Waldron made 9 of his kills in one night from the same hide site. He was shooting a suppressed M-14 with a starlight scope at ranges averaging 400 meters, according to a 9th Divison after action report quoted in "Stalk and Kill" by Adrian Gilbert.

Some sources credit Waldron with 113 confirmed kills. This appears to stem from an offhand quote from the sometimes famous, more often infamous, late Colonel Mitchell WerBell. Waldron was Werbell's marksmanship instructor at the SIONICS mercenary training camp in Georgia in the 1970s. The story goes that WerBell knew that Waldron had something over 100 confirmed kills but not the exact number. Werbell pulled 113 off the top of his head to sound good during an interview and that number is still quoted in some sources. 109 is the number seen in 9th Infantry Divison after action reports.

There was a barracks rumor floating around Ft. Bragg in the 1980s that said Waldron was doing some time on a Federal firearms charge. If he was, one has to wonder if it had something to do with his employment with WerBell, who was frequently being investigated for one thng or another. Unconfirmed rumor, but given Waldron's association with WerBell it doesn't sound improbable. If true, this may explain why he never became well known or wrote a book.

I got an email from one source that knew a little about Waldron. The source said Waldron was pretty much estranged from most people when he died. Perhaps bitterness from the way things turned out? Again, unconfirmed, but not improbable if the prison time is true.

Adelbert F. Waldron III is buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Riverside, California. The listed dates are: B. March 14, 1933 - D. October 18, 1995. That means Waldron was 36 years old during the peak of his combat effectiveness in early 1969.

He was a superb rifleman correctly employed in a target rich environment.

researcher
07-30-2007, 05:20 PM
I'd be very interested in hearing from anyone who knew Waldron. I've been trying to find out more about this somewhat mysterious individual.

Waldron was from Syracuse, N.Y. On January 25, 1953 he joined the navy, which he left on July 27, 1965.

He enlisted in the Army on May 7, 1968, and was discharged March 16, 1970. For the last 9 months of his enlistment he was a Sniper Instructor at the Sniper School at Ft. Benning, GA.

LTC. Robert K. Brown, editor/publisher of Soldier of Fortune, wrote an article on Waldron called "Silent Death in Vietnam," which includes some after-action reports describing Waldron's activities. I believe this was published in the mid 1980s. For actions within the 3-month period of January 1969-March 1969, Waldron was not only awarded two DSCs but a Bronze Star and a Silver Star.

Steve Blair
07-30-2007, 06:13 PM
One reason he may have faded from sight is the record of the 9th ID in that region during that time. Now, let's be VERY clear that I'm not saying Waldron did this, but the 9th under Ewell (the division commander at the time who also wrote "Sharpening the Combat Edge") had something of a history of padding its body counts (very out of balance ratios of weapons to bodies tends to raise an eyebrow...and it's interesting that in "Sharpening the Combat Edge" Ewell talks about KIA 'exchange ratios' as a measure of combat effectiveness but remains fairly silent about weapons captured). They did a lot of night operations which seemed to boil down to shooting anything that moved after dark (again, this is something of a generalization, but it is commented on in many sources including Krepenevitch's book on Vietnam and "Self Destruction"). I think John Paul Vann had some sharp words about the 9th ID's combat operations.

If he was being used to pad body counts, I could see where that might contribute to his estrangement.

Rifleman
11-01-2009, 01:48 AM
I just picked up a book called More of the Deadliest Men Who Ever Lived by Paul Kirchner. The book has 33 chapters, each one devoted to a different person - often a cop or soldier - who proved deadly.

One of the chapters was devoted to Bert Waldron. This is the most extensive information I've seen yet on Waldron and it appears to be the most objective. Kirchner interviewed a former wife of Waldron, plus several people who served with Waldron.

In a nutshell: Waldron was an enigmatic man of contrasts. He appears to have been a good combat soldier, yet he had some disciplinary problems stateside and his chain of command asked him to accept an honorable discharge after one enlistment because they didn't want to discipline such a decorated soldier.

Waldron often lied and his habit of lying made some who encountered him think that everything about him must be BS. The odd thing was that he often lied even though the truth was impressive enough. For example, Waldron was the recipient of two DSCs, one Silver Star and three bronze stars; yet, Waldron once told someone that he had four Silver Stars and was going to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Kirchner wasn't able to come up with a hard yea or nay on Waldron's official 109 confirmed kills. Kirchner interviewed one officer who served with Waldron who said that he "suspected" that kills made by Waldron's security element were sometimes added to Waldron's total. Yet there is quite a bit of credible informantion in the form of 9th ID after action reports and interviews with soldiers who served with him that Waldron was indeed an effective sniper who made quite a few legitimate confirmed kills and some impressive individual shots. Or, as I said in a previous post: He was a superb rifleman correctly empoyed in a target rich environment. At least that much does appear to be true even if it's impossible to be certain about the 109 confirmed kills at this point.

Kirchner never mentions Waldron doing time, so evidently the rumor that I'd heard and mentioned in my previous post isn't true; however, Kirchner says that the FBI was indeed keeping an eye on Waldron during the time he worked for WerBell.

Anyway, the book is an interesting read and not just for the chapter on Bert Waldron.