Mrs. A

Billye Alexander
Special Forces "Guardian Angel"

 

When you gotta' go now!! Call Mrs. A

Billy Waugh with Mrs. "A" Billye Alexander 1971

A Conversation in November 1999 about Mrs. "A"

A great way to remember our Mrs. "A"


Phil King 07 Nov 1999
Re Larry's --- Pentagon
I don't remember her first name, but does Mrs. Alexander ring any chimes, If she's still around 30 something years later, I'll bet she knows where every one of us are.
Damn Gang we should build a memorial to her.
One of the SFA Chapters maybe named in her honor.
Is she still around??
De Oppresso Liber - Phil King
Bob Lewelling 06 Nov 1999
She was great. Saved many a good SF man's ass.
When they pulled us out of SEA, they did not need her any more.
Last time I saw her, I was pissed because my extension in Laos was denied and they were sending me to Devens.
She told me that she could do nothing about that.
Some admin/non tactical/personnel Sgt was in charge (he could run pretty fast when he was scared), and she was going to retire.
She was really hurt for us.
In the end, she was like us, she was a handy political expediency while we were necessary to fight that war.
When it was over, they could not get rid of us or her fast enough.
You are right. We should name an SFA Chapter after her.
Regards
Lew
CSM Reg Manning 07 Nov 1999
Billye (That's how I was told that it was spelled.)
Never called Ms A but once.
I left 1st of the 5th for Bootstrap at Methodist College in Fatalburg.
My slot sat empty for 17 months while I was gone. After Bootstrap, I had orders for the 10th at Devens.
Called her and suggested that we just might could save some PCS move money by just putting me back in my old slot. She allowed as how that made sense.
She told me to go report in. . . orders to follow. So, believing that the weenies at Main Post just wouldn't understand, I reported in directly to 1st of the 5th and moved back in.
I suppose that they've gotten the paperwork all finished by now maybe.
Wasn't reported AWOL that I recall.
Reg
Art Hines 7 Nov 1999
You are right. We should name an SFA Chapter after her.
Guys, if nothing else, maybe invite her to a convention as honor guest?
IMHO,she certainly deserves to be honored. If only all other govt employees took the same attitude to their jobs that she did her's!
Art
Bill Coombs 07 Nov 1999
Phil and all,
Sorry to have to inform you that Billye Alexander passed away about twenty years ago.
At the C Team at Bien Hoa, there was an oil painting of her. I took some photos of it and sent them to her. She told me that she knew about the painting but had never seen photos of it before and she was thankful.
I visited the Pentagon one time and brought my mother in to see Mrs. Alexander. While they were chatting, I did something else. After we left, my mother told me that Billye told her that she felt pain every time she saw the name of a Special Forces soldier who was killed in Vietnam. She felt a personal responsibility for all of us.
May she rest in peace.
Bill Coombs
John Ley  07 Nov 1999
Never met her, but talked with her on the phone, very nice lady and always willing to help if she could.....John L
Randy Cesani 07 Nov 1999
Yes I remember her early on, but Mrs. Palmer was more in my time. Owe her some.
Randy Cesani
Ben Roberts 07 Nov 1999
I would certainly like to see our Home page list Mrs. Alexander as one of the great friends of Special Forces as well as acknowledge her. There are many on of us that have met her or knew her well. I am sure that there are a few folks who knew her better and could enlighten the rest of the list as to her helpful ways of getting us transferred to where we requested.
Randy Cesani 07 Nov 1999
I saw Mrs. Alexander at the Main NCO Club. She was being wined and dined by a bunch of SF NCOs. She was visiting Bragg, sort of making the rounds upon her retirement. Can't remember if was in 67 while I was in Training Group or in 73-75 when I was again back at Bragg. I do remember she had a bunch of roses and all smiles.
Randy Cesani
CSM Rudy Cooper 07 Nov 1999
Billie is deceased several years ago. Her husband was Personnel Sgt. of the 5th in 1970. He was not SF. After taking the Hausa course went over to see her at the Pentagon and asked if the six of us were going to Africa. She pulled out my records from the top right drawer and told me I was going back to Nam. Did not meet any natives there that spoke Hausa.
Still a wonderful lady, When tired of Post details called her and said, "Get me out of here." She always commented that she was awaiting my call. Our casualties devastated her. She always called our class, as we were only six, for details at Arlington when an SF was being interred there.
Rudy
David Kirschbaum 07 Nov 1999
Hear hear! I seem to recall everybody chipping in down in the 8th, Panama, to bring her down there for a visit / vacation. Can't remember the details (must've been busy at something), plus I was a new guy (first SF assignment) and didn't know much about it. But I thought she came down there. Little middle-aged lady, looked like a typical little old lady, but the stories I all heard indicated she was as much a part of SF and its history as anything else I can think of.
They oughtta build a statue. Little old lady with a 201 file folder. What the hell, Bull Simons got one. And she'd be more respected by the old farts than Bronze Bruce.
Kirschbaum
Mike Rhode 07 Nov 1999
I remember how I got transferred to the 5th in 67. I got out of SFTG in May (?) 67 and went to the 3rd. Immediately we went to Alaska for training. We got back and I got on the horn to Mrs. A and asked for a transfer to the 5th.
She told me that I would have orders shortly. I got orders in August to report on Nov 2, 1967 to Ft Lewis to be shipped to the 5th. It was that quick. But then again I was commo and perfect for cannon fodder.
Mike Rhode
Ben Roberts 07 Nov 1999
I had the pleasure to meet Mrs. Alexander in 1966.....
I had just completed a field FTX and was informed that my new orders had been cut to teach medicine to National Guard troops that came to visit the 7th SFG at Ft Bragg.....
Somehow after spending almost a year of Medical Schooling including Dog Lab the thrill of this new assignment was met with a little enthusiasm......
I had heard of the wonderful abilities and sympathetic ear of Mrs. Alexander and went to Bowels of the Pentagon and sought out her help...
There surrounded by all types of military people was a Wonderful Civilian Lady with a quiet smile who was willing to see me without an appointment. I asked her if she could be of any help in changing my orders . I wanted to volunteer for Vietnam rather then waste my talents state side. She told me that she didn't think that would be any problem and wished me good luck.
Several days later back at Ft Bragg I had new orders in my hand, and 30 days vacation time to say my good-byes (I thought I had already said them).
The next thing I knew I was walking down the stairs of a Civilian Airliner into the Saigon Airport. I was met by an SF type NCO and walked around customs to a waiting jeep and the fragrant contrasting smells of flowers and tiger balm.
Art Hines 07 Nov 1999
Guys, it couldn't have been in 67 because I called her in 68 to get transferred to the 5th.
Art
CSM Bill Edge 07 Nov 1999
The first time I contacted Mrs. A was to request a transfer to The First Group.
She took a minute and came back and told me "I was on a COMMANDERS HOLD and could not be transferred till my CO said so, That was in 62, I spent the next TWO YEARS at Bragg in SFTG teaching HALO with Jim Hauck, Jim Smith , Bill Cranford, Squeek Charette and Jim Garvey, Jack Steere,
Then I got to go to OKI just BEFORE the HALO guys went to YUMA and set a new world record for altitude 43,500 ft, making my measly 40,000 footer look anemic, but by then I was up to my ass in NVA and wishing I was back at nice safe Bragg.. ain't that a sad story? Edge
Bill Coombs 07 Nov 1999
I was sitting in my Supply Room in Signal Company of the 8th SFG in the summer of 1966 wondering what I was doing in Panama when the action was in Vietnam.
I called Mrs. Alexander and asked to be shipped to the 5th.
She told me that she could not send me from one overseas area to another as long as she had supply sergeants in CONUS.
I must have sounded very dejected to her because about a hour later, Sergeant Major George Paul Redgate came to see me. He had spoken with her and she must have asked him to cheer me up.
He knew that he was going to Vietnam and was waiting for his orders.
That night, I sat down and wrote to her and appealed to her maternal instincts. I told her that I was a bachelor and that if I was unfortunate enough to be killed in Vietnam, I would not leave a young family behind.
About five days later, SGM Redgate came into my office and said, "Coombs, I don't know what you did but OUR orders just arrived." It worked!!!
Bill Coombs
Art Hines 07 Nov 1999
Guys, when I called her in July of 68, she asked me what my MOS was.
I told her "anything you want it to be", and orders came down in Aug for a Sept reporting date at Ft.Lewis for transfer to the 5th as a 12B.
At least I didn't get sent as a medic, although my being a engineer/demo man was scary enough for most people.
I think there were about 225 SF guys who reported in at one time to Lewis.
I also pulled a "dirty" on a homesteading SFC.
This guy had NEVER been anywhere but Bragg, and damn near every other SFC I knew is SF had at least two tours in VN by that time.
I called Mrs. A and told her I was him, gave her his info, and told her I needed a VN tour in order to get promoted, since I had never been there.
He came down on the same levy as the rest of us.
I don't know if he managed to get out of it or not.
But it really burned my ass that a man could carry a 11F MOS and stay hidden at Bragg while everybody else was making multiple trips.
Art
Ken Houy 07 Nov 1999
If any of you have a pic of Mrs. A please post it on the LIST. I only talked
with Mrs. A once but I agree she was a definite part of SF.
Houy
Don "Val" Valentine 08 Nov 1999
Even guys that never called Mrs. A, like me, knew of her and her reputation.
I never called her because somehow, I could manage to keep myself in shit up to my nose without her help.
As Always, Don
Jüri Estam 08 Nov 1999
I never knew or met her. Didn't stay in the military long enough to have to ask for divine intervention in my orders and my records.
And yet, even though I didn't remember her name specifically and had only heard of her, I heard of her and her deeds so often while in SF that she was apparently legendary.
I know Aunty Nellie gets honked off whenever someone on here starts talking in a way having to do with secret decoder rings, but somehow I always pictured her in my mind a little bit like Miss Moneypenny.
Not from the covert angle but more from the point of view of a matron (just a mental image, may be right or wrong) taking a personal interest.
I'll bet no one else (jarheads, 82-nd Airborne, what have you) had an institution like her.
Jyri
Ken Houy 08 Nov 1999
Do any of you have a picture of Mrs. A that could be posted or could someone direct me to where one was posted?
Always wondered what she looked like.
Houy
Jim Stewart 08 Nov 1999
Billy Waugh probably has one somewhere.
If I remember correctly Billy & Billie were pretty tight back in the mid 60s.
Jim Stewart