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Full Text Citations For Award of
The Navy Cross 

To U.S. Army Personnel
World War II
(3 Awards)

To All Who Shall See These Presents Greeting:

This is to Certify that
The President of the United States of America
Takes Pleasure in Presenting



The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Russell G. Ayers, Colonel, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism and meritorious devotion to duty during the assault against Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands. Colonel Ayers, as Commanding Officer of the 106th Infantry Regiment, Reinforced, attached to a tactical group of the FIFTH Amphibious Corps, on 19 April 1944, led the assault against the island of Eniwetok, which, in spite of determined enemy resistance, resulted in the reduction and capture of that island. He, by his extraordinary heroism under fire, his constant disregard for his own safety, and his leadership set a distinguished example to his officers and men and contributed materially to the capture of Eniwetok Atoll. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Armed Forces of the United States.

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert (Robin) Kerr Hall (0-241961), Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while Commanding the 3d Battalion, 164th Infantry Regiment, Americal Division, U.S. Army, in action against the enemy on 24 and 25 October 1942, at Lunga Point, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. When a Marine battalion was under heavy attack by overwhelming Japanese forces, Lieutenant Colonel Hall ordered his troops to advance by forced march to their relief, succeeding by his skill and leadership in repulsing a Japanese regiment. The outstanding leadership and gallant actions of Lieutenant Colonel Hall during this action reflect highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.
Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 318 (September 1943)
Born: November 21, 1895 at Fargo, North Dakota
Home Town: Fargo, North Dakota

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Kenna M. Lester (35283249), Staff Sergeant [then Corporal], U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy while his company was attached to a Marine regiment in the Torokina River area, Bougainville, British Solomon Islands, on 18 December 1943. Sergeant Lester was the leader of a squad of a reconnaissance patrol, sent beyond our lines to determine the strength, dispositions and installations of Japanese positions. Due to dense jungle growth the patrol entered an enemy position entrenched in well-camouflaged bunkers and fox holes, in which it was exposed to fire from three sides. Although the patrol took cover before the enemy opened fire, it was evident that the Japanese had discovered its presence. Sergeant Lester requested and obtained permission from the patrol leader to make a diversion. He crept through the jungle to the rear of the enemy's position and when only eight feet from a Japanese bunker, signaled his comrades to begin their withdrawal, and then threw grenades into the position in front of him. Two survivors emerged from the bunker which he destroyed and then delivered rapid and accurate fire into the other enemy entrenchments, thus drawing attention from his comrades who withdrew without casualties. Sergeant Lester, although wounded three times, remained at his post until the patrol had reached safety, whereupon he broke off the action and rejoined his squad. His bravery, aggressiveness and heroic devotion to duty enabled his patrol to accomplish its mission successfully, and his actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Armed Forces.
Born: December 4, 1915 at Bud Mountain, West Virginia
Home Town: Bud Mountain, West Virginia



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