Special Forces Association Chapter 54

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In Memory of
LTC William Buckley

William Francis Buckley was a United States Army Special Forces officer and a Central Intelligence Agency employee. His last assignment with the CIA was as the station chief in Beirut from 1984 to 1985. His cover was a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy. He was captured by terrorists (Hezbollah) and tortured to death.

Bill Buckley was born in Medford, Massachusetts on May 30, 1928. He graduated from High School in 1947 and joined the U.S. Army. Following two years service as an enlisted Military Policeman (MP) he attended Officers Candidate School (OCS) and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Armor Branch. He later attended 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.

During the Korean War he served as a company commander with the 1st Cavalry Division. After the war he completed his college studies and graduated from Boston University with a degree in Political Science. He was employed as a librarian in the Concord, Winchester, and Lexington public libraries.

In 1960 Buckley attended the Basic Airborne Course and Special Forces Qualification Course. He was assigned to the 320th Special Forces Detachment (Reserve) which later became the 11th Special Forces Group (Reserve). He served as an A-team Detachment Commander and later as a B-team Detachment Commander.

Buckley served in the Vietnam War with MACV as a Senior Advisor to the ARVN. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in May 1969. LTC Buckley's military decorations include 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 Parachustist Badge.

Bill was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency from 1955 to 1957 and again from 1965 until his death. His service with the CIA within the Special Activities Division took him to Vietnam, Zaire, Cambodia, Egypt, Pakistan, and other countries around the world. His last assignment was as the CIA Station Chief at the US Embassy in Lebanon.

Bill was kidnapped in Beirut in 198 by the Hezbollah (a terrorist group supported by Iran). He was held captive by the Hezbollah for 15 months before he died from illness and torture. His body was recovered and returned to the United States on December 28, 1991. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery. He was awarded the CIA's Intelligence Star, Exceptional Service Medallion, and Distinguished Intelligence Cross.

Among his civilian awards are the Freedom Foundation Award for Lexington Green Diorama and Collegium and Academy of Distinguished Alumni - Boston University. The William F. Buckley Memorial Park in Stoneham, Massachusetts is dedicated to his memory. LTC Buckley was single and left two sisters - Maureen Moroney and Joyce Wing - and a longtime close friend, Beverly Surette.


Additional Information about William Buckley:

Remembering CIA's Heroes: William F. Buckley, CIA, 2015

LTC William F. Buckley, Special Forces History

William Francis Buckley, Arlington Cemetery





LTC William F. Buckley
Memorial Chapter

Serving Green Berets
in Massachusetts
and Beyond

Special Forces Shoulder Patch


LTC William Francis Buckley

William F. Buckley CIA




Special Forces Crest

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