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David S. Bill III is a retired Rear Admiral in the United States Navy.


Bill is a native of Norfolk, Virginia.[1] His father was a Captain in the Navy, his grandfather was U.S. Representative Winder R. Harris.[2]


Bill graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1966. He would serve aboard the USS John King (DDG-3) before being deployed to serve in the Vietnam War.

Later, he was assigned to the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850) and the USS Talbot (FFG-4) before being assigned to the Caribbean and attending the Royal Naval Staff College in England. He was then assigned to United States Naval Forces Europe before being named Executive Officer of the USS Coontz (DDG-40).

From 1981 to 1983, he was stationed in Gaeta, Italy as Flag Secretary to the United States Sixth Fleet. In 1984, he was given command of the USS Mahan (DDG-42). Later, he became an instructor at Dam Neck and worked on the Aegis Combat System as Executive Assistant to the Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command. In 1988, he was assigned command of the USS Mobile Bay (CG-53).

During the Gulf War, Bill commanded the USS Wisconsin (BB-64). While in command, on February 23, 1991, the Wisconsin launched an AAI RQ-2 Pioneer on a reconnaissance mission. Having previously seen the damage done by the USS Missouri (BB-63) using information obtained after it launched a Pioneer to Failaka Island, the Iraqi Armed Forces surrendered immediately before a shot was fired after realizing the Wisconsin's Pioneer had seen them.[3] This marked the first time enemy troops surrendered to an unmanned aircraft controlled by a ship.

Awards he has received include the Legion of Merit with award star, the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal with award star, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.


  1. "Commanding Officers". USS Wisconsin (BB-64) Association. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  2. "David Bill Jr.". Sikeston Standard Democrat. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  3. "Pioneer Short Range (SR) UAV". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 

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