Billy Joe Williams
1930 – 1953
Sergeant Billy Joe Williams was born on October 4, 1930 in Madison County, Texas to Joe and Edith (Akins) Williams. After his mother died, he and his four older brothers were placed in the Methodist Orphanage in Waco, Texas.

Sergeant Billy Williams joined the U.S. Army at a young age. His life was cut short while he was serving his country during the Korean War. Sgt. Williams was a member of the 2nd Reconnaissance Company (Recon. Co.), 2nd Infantry Division (Inf. Div.). Sgt. Williams was reportedly captured on February 14, 1951 during a battle between UNC and CPVF in the vicinity of Chum-ni, Republic of Korea (R.O.K.), and marched north to Suan Prisoner of War (POW) Camp Complex. On September 6, 1953, a POW returnee reported during an interview that Sgt. Williams died from dysentery while being held in the Suan Bean POW Camp. The Department of the Army declared Sgt. Williams’s remains non-recoverable on September 8, 1953. The last known family member to have had contact with Sgt. Williams was one of his brothers, also serving in Korea, who’s company had coincidentally passed by Sgt. Williams and his company, while they were both on separate military exercises. The family of Sgt. Williams was notified of the news and were finally able to put closure on the years long mystery as to what had really happened to him after he was captured. 

On December 22, 1993, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.) unilaterally turned over 34 boxes containing remains thought to be those of U.S. Servicemen. The remains were reportedly recovered from an area with the POW Camp known as the Suan Bean POW Camp. A maternal aunt, Esther Akins Bolton and her son, Douglas Bolton of Decatur, Texas were contacted as remaining, surviving family members to provide DNA to confirm that Sgt. Billy Williams’s remains were part of the remains recovered in 1993. A positive result confirmed that Sgt. Williams was, indeed, part of the group of remains recovered in 1993. His remains will be returned to Madison County where he will be laid to rest on May 17, 2016 at 2:00 P.M. in the Rock Prairie Cemetery, west of Madisonville, Texas. A Chaplain from the U.S. Army will officiate the service, and a full military honor guard will present funeral honors. A register book will be provided for the general public from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on May 12th, 13th and 16th at the Madisonville Funeral Home. 

Sgt. Williams was preceded in death by both of his parents; grandparents, Alford & Oad Akins and four older brothers, A.J., Alton, Leroy and Murl Wiliams. He is survived by one sister-in-law, Estelle Williams of Rosenburg along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Madisonville Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements. Please sign the online memorial guestbook at http://www.madisonville funeralhome.com.

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