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Full Text Citations For Award of
 
The Navy Cross
US Marine Corps Awards - Vietnam 

To All Who Shall See These Presents Greeting:

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


THE NAVY CROSS
to

*ABRAMS, LEWIS HERBERT (MIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lewis Herbert Abrams (150222864), Colonel [then Lieutenant Colonel ], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of Marine All Weather Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED FORTY-TWO (VMA(AW)-242), First Marine Aircraft Wing, and as Pilot of an A6A Intruder aircraft in Vietnam. In the early morning hours of 25 October 1967, Colonel Abrams, in the first Marine aircraft to strike at the heart of North Vietnam's Air Force, exhibited outstanding courage and presence of mind in the midst of violent combat action as he successfully completed a high-priority mission by bombing the principal military airfield in North Vietnam. A highly effective integrated complex of hundreds of radar-controlled antiaircraft weapons, barrage weapons with steel cables extending hundreds of feet into the air, two enemy airfields with MIG interceptor aircraft, and many active surface-to-air missile sites protected every approach to his target. Acting on an urgent fragmentary order, Colonel Abrams personally took charge of the preparations for a multi-plane, multi-squadron attack against the formidably defended Phuc Yen airfield. Barely six hours before takeoff time another fragmentary order was received, modifying the previous plan and requiring Colonel Abrams to make extensive last-minute changes in navigation and attack procedures, which allowed no margin for error. With grim determination, he promptly made corrections in heading, altitude, and airspeed and accurately delivered his bombs on the runway at Phuc Yen. Under the most demanding conditions of degraded systems operation, low-level flight in mountainous terrain in darkness, and in the face of a vicious volume of antiaircraft and guided missile fire, Colonel Abrams courageously accomplished his mission of devastating the runway at Phuc Yen. His bravery and determination throughout the bitter action were an inspiration to all who were involved and were instrumental in accomplishing this crucial mission. By his intrepid fighting spirit, daring initiative, and unswerving devotion to duty, Colonel Abrams reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Montclair, New Jersey

ABSHIRE, BOBBY WAYNE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Bobby Wayne Abshire (1979928), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Crew Chief of a UH-1E helicopter while serving with Marine Observation Squadron TWO (VMO-2), First Marine Aircraft Wing, during operations against the enemy in the vicinity of DaNang, Vietnam on 21 May 1966. When a platoon from Company A, First Battalion, Ninth Marines was pinned down in an open rice paddy by heavily armed North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces, Corporal Abshire's medical evacuation helicopter was assigned the mission of recovering the casualties, which included over half of the men of the platoon. Despite vicious incoming fire which damaged the helicopter, a successful landing was made on the second attempt. Since remnants of the platoon were too heavily committed to assist in the evacuation, Corporal Abshire jumped from the helicopter and gallantly carried two wounded Marines into the aircraft while enemy rounds struck all around him. When it became necessary to return to the home field to replace the battle-damaged helicopter, he quickly transferred equipment to a new aircraft and volunteered to return. On each of the eight trips by his aircraft into the besieged zone, Corporal Abshire ignored enemy fire to assist in loading wounded and dead Marines. On one occasion, he swiftly silenced an enemy machine gun with accurate fire from a grenade launcher. His fearless and determined efforts contributed in large measure to the success of the mission, in which twenty-three casualties were evacuated. His courage in the face of hostile fire and his compassion for his wounded comrades were an inspiration to all who observed him. By his daring actions and devotion to duty in spite of great personal risk, Corporal Abshire reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Fort Worth, Texas

*ABSHIRE, RICHARD FRANKLIN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Richard Franklin Abshire (2125809), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Sergeant with Company G, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 2 May 1968. Sergeant Abshire's unit and a sister company were launched on a coordinated attack against a well-entrenched North Vietnamese Army force occupying the village of Dinh To, Quang Tri Province. As the Marines entered the village, they were taken under devastating enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire which inflicted numerous casualties and temporarily halted the lead platoon of each company. Directed to establish a defensive perimeter, Sergeant Abshire immediately deployed his men into advantageous firing positions and commenced directing a heavy volume of accurate fire into the enemy emplacements. As the enemy fire increased in volume and accuracy, it became apparent that the North Vietnamese force was preparing to launch a counterattack. Rapidly obtaining grenades from his fellow Marines, Sergeant Abshire boldly exposed himself to the full fury of the enemy fire and threw several grenades into the enemy's ranks, temporarily halting their assault. Returning to his unit, he moved from position to position, despite intense enemy fire, to pinpoint hostile targets and encourage his men. As their ammunition supply depleted, he ordered his men to withdraw across a river and resolutely provided covering fire, which enabled his men to reach positions of relative safety. After expending his ammunition, he was attempting to rejoin his unit when he was mortally wounded by enemy fire. By his superior leadership, intrepid fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty, Sergeant Abshire inspired all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Abbeville, Louisiana

*ADAMS, JOHN TERRY
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to John Terry Adams (2033889), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with Company C, First Platoon, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 16 June 1966. Corporal Adams was a member of a reconnaissance team occupying an observation post on Hill 488, Quang Tin Province, deep in enemy controlled territory. During the early morning hours the platoon of eighteen men was subjected to an intense assault by an estimated North Vietnamese unit of battalion size. As the members of his team were withdrawing to a pre-designated defensive perimeter, Corporal Adams braved the withering small-arms fire and returned accurate rifle fire which momentarily slowed the enemy assault force and enabled his companions to reach the relative safety of the defensive position. Firing all his ammunition, Corporal Adams fearlessly charged directly into the assaulting horde and, using his rifle as a club, killed two of the enemy soldiers before he was struck down by automatic weapons fire. Severely wounded, he once again engaged an enemy soldier in hand-to-hand combat and, in a final effort, killed his foe. As a result of his courageous action and fighting spirit, his comrades were able to rally and withstand the onslaught of the numerically superior enemy. Corporal Adams upheld the finest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Covington, Oklahoma

ADAMS, LAURENCE R., III
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Laurence R. Adams, III (0-92937), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 12 January 1969 as a Pilot in Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE (HMM-165), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. Assigned the emergency mission of extracting an eight- man reconnaissance team which had been engaged in combat with a numerically superior hostile force for twenty-four hours in a densely-jungled, mountainous area southwest of An Hoa, Captain Adams piloted his transport helicopter to the designated area and maintained his craft in a hover above tall trees while a cable ladder was lowered to the ground. Undaunted by the extremely heavy volume of enemy fire which caused extensive damage to his helicopter, he remained in this dangerously exposed position and then inadvertently lifted out of the hazardous area with only five of the eight members of the reconnaissance team on the ladder. Informed that three Marines still remained on the ground, Captain Adams resolutely elected to return to the perilous area after disembarking the five patrol members. Despite deteriorating weather conditions, approaching darkness, and a lack of adequate support from the helicopter gunships which had expended nearly all their ordnance, he established a hover on his third approach, after twice being driven back by the intense enemy fire, and succeeded in rescuing the three remaining Marines. A subsequent investigation revealed that his aircraft had sustained a total of twenty-three hits and over eighty grenade fragment holes from its extended exposure to the enemy fire. By his courage, superior airmanship, and dedication, captain Adams was directly instrumental in saving the lives of eight fellow Marines and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Seattle, Washington

ALFONSO, VINCENT
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Vincent Alfonso (1984618), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism with Company A, First Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam. On 20 July 1966 near the Dong Ha airstrip, during Operation HASTINGS, Private First Class Alfonso was serving as a machine gunner with a twelve man patrol when the squad was ambushed while taking on water at a small stream by a force of about sixty Viet Cong. In a matter of minutes enemy fire hit the group from three sides and the squad leader directed a move to key high ground in the right rear with Private First Class Alfonso designated to cover their move. Because his field of vision was extremely limited in the high grass and scrub, he courageously leaped to his feet and provided effective fire while his companions made their way to the new position. When the enemy augmented their fire with several mortar rounds, he again stood in full view of the enemy and displayed extraordinary aggressiveness and courage as he fired two hundred rounds from the hip directly into the hostile position. As armed helicopters arrived over the scene and forced the Viet Cong from cover, he continued to pour heavy and accurate fire at the enemy. When dangerously low ammunition supplies and a lack of communications forced the Marines to start withdrawing, he again displayed daring initiative and fearlessness as he exposed himself to the continuing hostile fire to cover the movement of his comrades. His valiant effort throughout was largely responsible for the toll of thirty Viet Cong killed, and enabled his unit to escape from the hazardous area without sustaining any casualties. By his extraordinary courage in the face of overwhelming odds, uncommon concern for others at great risk of his own life, and unwavering dedication to duty, Private First Class Alfonso reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Newcomb, Georgia

ALLEN, YALE G.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Yale G. Allen (2406509), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company C, First Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 5 March 1969, Corporal Alien's company initiated an assault against a North Vietnamese Army regiment occupying nine well-fortified bunkers on top of a hill near Ca Lu in Quang Tri Province. During the initial moments of the attack, the third platoon was pinned down by a heavy volume of machine-gun fire from one of the enemy fortifications. With complete disregard for his own safety, Corporal Alien unhesitatingly left his relatively secure position on the opposite side of the hill and maneuvered up the steep slope. Although singled out by the enemy for concentrated fire, he skillfully utilized the scant available natural cover, attained his objective, and as he was throwing a hand grenade into a bunker he was knocked to the ground and seriously wounded by a barrage of mortar fire. After quickly regaining his footing, he climbed to the top of the emplacement and hurled another hand grenade inside. Completely exposing himself to the intense North Vietnamese fire, he then raced to the front of the fortification and sprayed the inside with rifle fire, thereby ensuring the destruction of the position and the death of the hostile soldiers occupying it. Ignoring his painful injuries, he rejoined his squad, and after steadfastly refusing medical attention, led his men in the final assault on the enemy force. His heroic and decisive actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in the subsequent rout of the North Vietnamese Army unit. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Corporal Alien upheld the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Cincinnati, Ohio

*ALMEIDA, RUSSELL VIEVEIROS
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Russell Vieveiros Almeida (2083359), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with Company C, Third Engineer Battalion, THIRD Marine Division ( Reinforced ). Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 20 December 1965. Lance Corporal Almeida was part of a combat engineer element assigned to Company K, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines for anti-mine warfare and demolition support. While accompanying the Second Platoon, Company K through a hostile area in the vicinity of Duysen Son 2, Lance Corporal Almeida was called upon to neutralize an M-26 grenade booby trap device and to define a safe lane for passage of the infantry platoon. He fearlessly approached the booby trap device which was triggered when he was within a few feet of the grenade. Although Lance Corporal Almeida was aware that the grenade was armed and detonation was imminent, he, with total disregard for his own safety, turned toward the deadly device, stepping between it and his fellow Marines. As he reached for the grenade he was mortally wounded by its deadly explosion. His act of heroism and personal sacrifice saved several nearby Marines from certain injury and possible death. Lance Corporal Almeida's daring initiative, courageous actions and loyal devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: South Dartmouth, Massachusetts

AMBROSE, GERALD D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Gerald D. Ambrose (2458230), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader with Company M, Third Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the night of 8 January 1970, Lance Corporal Ambrose was leading a ten-man joint combat patrol consisting of four United States Marines and six Republic of Vietnam Regional Forces soldiers when the unit came under a heavy volume of fire from approximately twenty-five enemy soldiers near the village of Chau Son 1 in Quang Nam Province. Ignoring the hostile rounds and grenades impacting around him, Lance Corporal Ambrose quickly deployed his men and initiated an aggressive assault against the enemy positions. When a hand grenade exploded near him, he sustained several serious wounds but steadfastly refused medical attention. Shouting encouragement to his men, he relentlessly pressed the advance, personally accounting for five enemy killed. During the ensuing fierce fire fight, he repeatedly exposed himself to the hostile fusillade as he called directions to his companions and maintained the momentum of the attack until the enemy was forced to retreat, abandoning numerous weapons, documents containing information of intelligence value, and four troops who were captured. Although suffering intense pain and bleeding profusely, Lance Corporal Ambrose again refused medical assistance and, with his last remaining strength, led his unit and the four captured wounded enemy safely back over 1,200 meters of heavily booby-trapped enemy territory to a secure base. His heroic and resolute actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in defeating a determined numerically superior hostile force. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Lance Corporal Ambrose contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his unit's mission and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Iowa City, Iowa

*AMENDOLA, WILLET RANKIN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Willet Rankin Amendola (2303053), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Mortar Man with Second Platoon, Company M, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on the morning of 2 November 1967. The platoon-sized combat base, of which Corporal Amendola was part, was assaulted by an estimated 100 of the enemy. Maneuvering under the cover of darkness and a heavy mortar barrage, the insurgent forces were almost on the position before an effective defense could be established. Corporal Amendola, whose bunker was on the side of the perimeter which was being breached, fought with great tenacity and fearlessness, as he stoutly held his ground in the face of the oncoming enemy. He and the men in his bunker were holding their own, when Corporal Amendola left his position for scant seconds to give assistance at the 60-mm. mortar pit. In that brief time an undetected enemy threw a satchel charge, which demolished the bunker and Corporal Amendola's weapon. Finding, then, that the mortar tube was in enemy possession, he bravely attempted to recover it. Unarmed and fortified with only sheer courage, he ran into the midst of the enemy. Shouting in their own language, he jumped into the pit and engaged the enemy forces in hand to hand combat. Grappling for the mortar tube, he succeeded in recapturing it, when another Viet Cong appeared and mortally wounded him with a burst of automatic fire. By his dauntless courage, initiative and indomitable fighting spirit, Corporal Amendola served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Deposit, New York

ANDERSON, JOHN J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John J. Anderson (1646153), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Leader of a Rifle Squad in Company I, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in combat operations in support of the Republic of Vietnam on 27 October 1965. Sergeant Anderson led his reinforced squad on a patrol and during the ensuing action, by his personal leadership and professional skill, maneuvered his squad and effected a successful ambush upon the advance guard of a numerically superior enemy. By exercising complete control of his squad, he allowed his men to open fire only when maximum surprise and shock effect could be attained. The first volley of fire killed seven guerrillas, and three more were killed by grenades. Sergeant Anderson then directed the withdrawal of his squad and personally covered the move by firing his M79, killing five more enemy. While continuously exposing himself to heavy enemy fire, he then called in and adjusted mortar fire for maximum effect upon the enemy. Noticing that one of his men was seriously wounded, he, without regard for his own personal safety, once again exposed himself to heavy enemy fire to rescue the wounded man and carry him upon his back while leading his squad to friendly lines. Sergeant Anderson's heroic conduct, inspiring leadership, and fearless devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Broad Channel, New York

ARMSTRONG, RUSSELL PAUL
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Russell Paul Armstrong (1970190), Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company I, Third Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 7 and 8 September 1967. While moving toward the battalion perimeter near Con Thien, Company I came under a heavy volume of rocket, mortar and artillery fire supporting an attack by a reinforced North Vietnamese Army company which caused numerous casualties and separated the friendly unit into two groups. Rapidly assessing the situation, Staff Sergeant Armstrong fearlessly raced across the fire-swept terrain as he consolidated his position and organized a defensive perimeter. Shouting words of encouragement to his men and directing their suppressive fire against the enemy, he was supervising the movement of the more seriously wounded Marines to the center of the position when he was severely injured in both legs by a hostile mortar round impacting nearby. Unable to walk, he dragged himself across the hazardous area by the use of his arms alone and resolutely directed his platoon in successfully joining with the main body of the company. Although in great pain, Staff Sergeant Armstrong steadfastly refused medical evacuation and skillfully began coordinating artillery and mortar fire against the enemy soldiers, frequently adjusting the rounds to within 50 meters of friendly lines. Although periodically lapsing into unconsciousness, he continued his determined efforts throughout the night, crawling among his men to encourage them and ensure that every possible avenue of enemy approach was effectively covered by firepower. Upon the arrival of a relief force in the early hours of the following morning, he permitted himself to be evacuated only after ascertaining that all of his Marines were accounted for and the more seriously injured had been removed. His heroic and decisive actions were instrumental in his unit's accounting for over 60 of the enemy killed. By his courage, aggressive leadership and selfless devotion to duty, Staff Sergeant Armstrong upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: December 29, 1942 at Omaha, Nebraska
Home Town: Ft. Calhoun, Nebraska

*ARQUERO, ELPIDIO ALLEN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Elpidio Allen Arquero (1694536), Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Platoon Sergeant, First Platoon, Company B, Battalion Landing Team 1/3, Ninth Amphibious Brigade, in the Republic of Vietnam on 10 May 1967. While participating in Operation BEAVER CAGE in Tinh, Quang Nam Province, Staff Sergeant Arquero's platoon was lead unit in a company search and destroy operation, when heavy contact was made with two companies of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese regular forces. His flank security began receiving heavy automatic weapons fire and sustained several casualties. He immediately made his way to its position through the hail of enemy fire and courageously directed effective return fire. In order to provide much needed time for his platoon to deploy, he organized an assault element from the remaining members of his flank security. By this time the enemy fire power had increased in severity and effectiveness, yet he daringly continued to expose himself. Without concern for his own safety, he rallied his brave assault force and charged directly into the entrenched enemy positions. This action, which cost him his life, halted the advance of the enemy long enough to allow his platoon time to extract its wounded and withdraw to a defensible position. As a result of his heroic conduct and fearless devotion to duty, Staff Sergeant Arquero undoubtedly saved the lives of many comrades, upholding the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Honolulu, Hawaii

*ASTON, JAMES MICHAEL
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to James Michael Aston (2450092), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Mortar Ammunition Man in Company H, Second Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 19 March 1969. Private First Class Aston was participating in a company- sized operation through thick brush and chest high elephant grass in Quang Nam Province when he tripped a hidden enemy explosive device. Fully aware of the probable consequences of his daring action but thinking only of the welfare of several nearby companions, he unhesitatingly threw himself across the lethal object and was mortally wounded as he absorbed the concussion of the detonation. His heroic and timely actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of several Marines. By his courage, selfless concern for his fellow men and unwavering devotion to duty, Private First Class Aston upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Wichita Falls, Texas

*AYERS, DARRELL EUGENE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Darrell Eugene Ayers (538341301), Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Sergeant with the First Force Reconnaissance Company, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 19 March 1970, Platoon Sergeant Ayers was leading a seven-man patrol on a mission to locate primary enemy infiltration routes in the western section of Quang Nam Province. Two days previously, the aircraft by which the team had been heli-lifted into the territory had come under intense hostile fire as the Marines were disembarking and, in the intervening period, Staff Sergeant Ayers had skillfully avoided any contact which would compromise his mission. As the Marines approached a small river which was spanned by a bamboo bridge, Staff Sergeant Ayers, realizing the danger of encountering the enemy at this position, moved ahead of the point man and accompanied by another Marine, reconnoitered the approach to the river. When the two men halted to analyze the surrounding terrain, they suddenly came under a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire from enemy soldiers concealed nearby. In an effort to shield his comrade, Staff Sergeant Ayers placed himself between the fusillade of hostile fire and his companion. Mortally wounded moments thereafter, Staff Sergeant Ayers, by his valiant and selfless efforts, was directly responsible for saving the life of a fellow Marine. His heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Alderwood Manor, Washington

B

BADNEK, SAMUEL J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Samuel J. Badnek (2102032), Private, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with Company H, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during Operation Starlite near Chu Lai, Vietnam on 18 August 1965. Private Badnek's platoon was temporarily pinned down by intense automatic weapons, mortar and grenade fire delivered by an insurgent communist (Viet Cong) assault force. In the early moments of the engagement, two enemy grenadiers were silenced, causing the Viet Cong to fall back and regroup, all the while keeping the Marines under intense fire. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, and with total disregard for his own safety, Private Badnek stripped all combat equipment from his body and boldly dashed forty-five yards through heavy fire to reach the enemy. Hurling several grenades into the enemy position, he personally killed eight of the guerrillas. Stunned by his one man assault, the remaining enemy forces rapidly became disorganized and were unable to conduct a counterattack on the Marines now advancing on them. Although he sustained a head wound during his heroic act, Private Badnek remained undeterred as he continued to ferociously engage the enemy, directing accurate and effective rifle fire into the enemy position. Later, after withdrawing to a helicopter evacuation site, he assisted in loading his wounded comrades aboard the aircraft, refusing evacuation himself until all other casualties had embarked. Private Badnek's courageous actions, inspiring combative spirit and loyal devotion to duty reflected great credit upon traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Youngstown, Ohio

*BAGGETT, CURTIS FRANKLIN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Curtis Franklin Baggett (1384825), Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Sergeant with Company K, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division ( Reinforced ), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the afternoon of 6 February 1968, Staff Sergeant Baggett's platoon was attached to Company G, Second Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), which was heavily engaged with a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army Force occupying fortified positions in the village of Phong Luc (1) in Quang Nam Province. As his unit assaulted the enemy, the Marines came under intense automatic weapons, mortar, and B-40 rocket fire. Although armed with only a .45 caliber pistol, Staff Sergeant Baggett quickly rallied his men and led them in a determined assault against the hostile emplacements, overrunning one position and seizing a light machine gun after annihilating two enemy soldiers. Ignoring the hostile fire around him, he unhesitatingly led his men in assaulting the enemy, who were firing from positions in a nearby tree line, utilizing the confiscated machine gun to deliver effective fire as he advanced. Observing that the enemy was located in a well prepared trench line, he disregarded his own safety and courageously maneuvered to a position approximately five meters from the rear of the North Vietnamese emplacements. He exposed himself to enemy hand grenades and .50-caliber machine-gun fire in order to bring effective fire to bear on the entrenched enemy. Subsequently moving to a partially destroyed Vietnamese hut, he delivered a heavy volume of fire against the enemy and repeatedly maneuvered into the fire-swept area to pinpoint the source of enemy fire and direct the actions of his men. Disregarding his personal safety, he steadfastly maintained his vulnerable position until he was killed by a North Vietnamese B-40 rocket round. By his intrepid fighting spirit, superior leadership, and unwavering devotion to duty at the risk of his own life, Staff Sergeant Baggett inspired all those who observed him, contributed significantly to the defeat of the enemy, and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Raleigh, North Carolina

BAILEY, WALTER F.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Walter F. Bailey, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Weapons Platoon Sergeant with Company E, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the night of 21 March 1970, Sergeant Bailey's unit was tasked with the security of Liberty Bridge in Quang Nam Province. While on watch, he observed a bamboo raft, laden with high explosives, floating downstream toward the bridge. Immediately alerting his fellow Marines, he directed them in delivering a heavy volume of fire at the floating object in an attempt to detonate the explosives before the raft reached the bridge. However, the Marines' fire failed to detonate the raft's cargo and it subsequently lodged among the bridge's pilings. Surveying the situation, Sergeant Bailey discovered that the raft contained a 250-pound bomb and numerous additional explosives, as well as a large number of connecting wires and cables which trailed off into the water. He then dived into the water and, with two other Marines, struggled for fifteen minutes to free it from the bridge's supports and push it back into the current. As it floated downstream, he observed the raft lodge on a sandbar approximately twenty-five meters away. Sergeant Bailey quickly swam to the sandbar, placed a small explosive charge around the bomb, shoved the raft back into the river current, and then detonated the charge. When the charge failed to detonate the bomb, he continued to follow the raft downstream until it again lodged on a sandbar, where he immediately secured it in place and subsequently directed an explosive ordnance team to the site to destroy the bomb. By his selfless courage, bold initiative, and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Sergeant Bailey prevented probable serious damage to a vital bridge and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

BARNES, ROBERT C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert C. Barnes (2083790), Corporal [then Lance Corporal], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a squad leader, with Company B, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 17 December 1966. Corporal Barnes was the assistant patrol leader of a nine-man reconnaissance patrol penetrating deep into enemy controlled territory. Sighting two Viet Cong on a hill during the course of an ambush which the patrol was conducting, Corporal Barnes fired on them, mortally wounding one Viet Cong. Receiving instructions from the patrol leader to check out the area, Corporal Barnes and three men advanced toward the hill. Before they were halfway to their objective the small team suddenly came under a hail of automatic weapons and machine gun fire. At the same time, the remainder of the patrol also came under fire from these same Viet Cong and an additional force of equal size. At this point, with the two teams separated and out of communications, the patrol was in imminent danger of destruction by the withering fire and advancing enemy. After surveying the situation, Corporal Barnes unhesitatingly led his small team into a fierce and direct assault on the enemy position. Shouting encouragement and directions, he bravely directed his men in an almost impossible advance across 200 meters of open terrain through heavy automatic weapons fire. Corporal Barnes personally accounted for two enemy killed and several wounded. In the face of this fiercely determined and unexpected assault, the enemy was forced to withdraw. By his courageous actions, inspiring leadership and loyal devotion to duty, Corporal Barnes reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Nashville, Tennessee

BARNETT, ROBERT L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert L. Barnett (2259704), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Machine Gun Squad Leader with Company A, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 9 May 1969, during a battalion-sized reconnaissance in force in Quang Nam Province, Corporal Barnett was moving with the point position across rice paddies bordered by tree lines when the Marines came under intense small-arms fire and were pinned down by a large North Vietnamese Army force. During the initial burst of enemy fire, four men in the lead platoon were wounded, including Corporal Barnett. Observing the wounded Corpsman and another Marine lying in a dangerously exposed position, Corporal Barnett completely disregarded his own safety as he rushed across the fire-swept terrain to reach his fallen comrades and administer first aid. Locating another casualty, he ignored his own painful injuries as he braved the enemy fire to run 100 meters across the open terrain to reach the wounded Marine. Although injured a second time, he managed to assist in moving the casualty to a covered position. He refused evacuation for himself and boldly delivered effective fire which killed four North Vietnamese soldiers and suppressed the hostile fire sufficiently to enable the aircraft to land. Although wounded again by enemy fire, he remained oblivious to the intense pain and valiantly continued to deliver a heavy volume of accurate and effective covering fire while the casualties were embarked and the helicopter lifted out of the hazardous area. Despite his weakened condition, he continued to aggressively engage the enemy until wounded a fourth time and medically evacuated. His heroic actions inspired all who observed him and contributed materially to the defeat of the enemy. By his courage, bold initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Corporal Barnett upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Minneapolis, Minnesota

BARRETT, JAMES J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James J. Barrett, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader with Company I, Third Battalion, Twenty-sixth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 19 September 1967. While positioned in an area southwest of Con Thien, Corporal Barrett's company came under heavy mortar, rocket and artillery fire followed by a supported infantry assault by a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force. In the initial attack, numerous casualties were taken and the company was forced to withdraw to a more advantageous position. Undaunted, Corporal Barrett courageously maintained his squad's position and directed accurate counter fire against the hordes of assaulting enemy. Assuming control of the platoon when his platoon commander became a casualty, he rallied his men, reorganized the platoon and led them in an effective counterattack against the enemy. With complete disregard for his own safety, he moved from position to position, encouraging his men and re-supplying them with ammunition. Unhesitatingly, he aided the wounded and directed their evacuation. During the six hour ordeal, he repositioned his men five times to thwart the enemy advance and inflicted numerous casualties on the enemy force. By his bold initiative, gallant fighting spirit and loyal devotion to duty, Corporal Barrett reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

BARRETT, JOHN J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John J. Barrett (0-85356), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in aerial flight while serving as a Pilot with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron TWO HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE (HMM-263), First Marine Aircraft Wing, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. After aborting two re-supply missions to a Marine company on the night of 26 February 1969 due to mechanical difficulties and extremely adverse weather conditions, Captain Barrett launched at midnight as Section Leader in a flight of two CH-46 transport helicopters assigned the emergency re-supply of ammunition to the beleaguered unit heavily engaged with a large hostile force two miles northwest of An Hoa. Realizing the seriousness of the situation when informed that the Marines had expended nearly all their small-arms ammunition, he resolutely elected to attempt the mission despite only a slight improvement in the weather. Acquiring his external load at An Hoa, he extinguished his aircraft's exterior lights and skillfully maneuvered his helicopter below the 800-foot ceiling in the designated area. Captain Barrett, guided only by a single strobe light and undaunted by the extremely heavy volume of hostile machine-gun fire directed against his CH-46, fearlessly maneuvered his aircraft in a tight spiral approach to a hover and boldly remained in his dangerously exposed position to stabilize his load before dropping the critically needed ammunition to the waiting Marines. Quickly lifting out of the fire-swept area, he maneuvered his helicopter up through the overcast and proceeded above the clouds to the Marble Mountain Air Facility. Captain Barrett's courage, superior airmanship, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger were instrumental in the accomplishment of the hazardous mission and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Minneapolis, Minnesota

BASKIN, RICHARD W.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Richard W. Baskin (2051026), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Squad Leader, First Squad while serving with Security Platoon, Sub Unit #1, Headquarters Company, Twenty-Sixth Marines, Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade near Khe Sanh, Republic of Vietnam on 6 June 1967. Sergeant Baskin with seventeen men was responsible for security of the vital radio relay position on Hill 950 near Khe Sanh, when in the early morning hours the position was suddenly attacked by a ninety man enemy company employing mortars, rocket launchers, machine guns and grenades. Six men were immediately killed and four others seriously wounded. Sergeant Baskin directed that artillery fire be called in and quickly organized his men, positioning them in the most advantageous positions to return a heavy volume of fire upon the enemy and effectively block enemy penetration. Throughout the night, although painfully wounded, Sergeant Baskin, with complete disregard for his personal safety exposed himself continuously to enemy machine gun fire located only fifteen yards from his position. Shouting encouragement to his men, he led them on several occasions to positions that blocked enemy attempts to outflank and overrun the position. After over seven hours of close and continuous combat, during which time he tended the wounded and assembled all available weapons, Sergeant Baskin led his remaining men in a fierce counterattack which overran an enemy machine gun emplacement, killing one enemy and capturing another. This last attack resulted in the enemy fleeing, carrying some of their dead and wounded. Sergeant Baskin, then consolidated the position and directed the evacuation of the dead and wounded before he himself was evacuated. As a result of his dauntless leadership, Sergeant Baskin and his men inflicted great damage on the enemy who left ten of their dead and one wounded. Sergeant Baskin's bold initiative, exceptional fortitude and valiant fighting spirit served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

BATCHELLER, GORDON D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Gordon D. Batcheller (0-80672), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer, Company A, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 31 January 1986. Elements of Company A were assigned the mission of reinforcing a unit of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam in the city of Hue. Joining a small armored column north of Phu Bai in Thua Thien Province, the unit proceeded along National Route One toward Hue. On the southern edge of the city the column was ambushed by a numerically superior enemy force using automatic weapons, mortars, recoilless rifles and B-40 rockets. Quickly organizing his outnumbered forces into a defensive perimeter and unmindful of the danger, Captain Batcheller boldly began directing his unit's return fire. Exhibiting sound tactical judgment and calm presence of mind under enemy fire, he formulated a plan of attack and courageously exposed himself to the intense enemy barrage as he began shifting his men to more advantageous positions from which they delivered accurate suppressive fire against the hostile emplacements. Although injured by fragments of an exploding enemy rocket round, he aggressively led his men in a fierce assault against the enemy blocking positions, steadfastly advancing until he reached a besieged Popular Force compound. As the enemy increased the intensity of their attack, one of the Marine tanks was hit by hostile automatic weapons fire and B-40 rockets which wounded several of the crew members. Ignoring the danger from enemy rounds exploding all around him, Captain Batcheller unhesitatingly moved to the damaged vehicle to assist in removing the casualties. Simultaneously, he reorganized his force and succeeded in routing the enemy from its fortified positions. As the intensity of enemy fire to the front lessened, the column began receiving heavy automatic weapons fire from both flanks, seriously wounding Captain Batcheller in both legs. Exhibiting great courage and physical stamina, he supported himself with his elbows and resolutely continued to direct his men in repulsing the enemy until, weakened by the loss of blood from his serious injuries, his voice fell to a whisper. Even then, he bravely encouraged those near him as he lay receiving medical treatment. As a result of his determined efforts, National Route One was reopened, enabling the reaction force to reach the embattled city of Hue. By his exceptional heroism, outstanding tactical ability and steadfast devotion to duty at great personal risk, Captain Batcheller upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Hingham, Massachusetts

BATEMAN, KENT C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Kent C. Bateman (0-73614), Major, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Pilot of an A6A Intruder Aircraft with Marine All Weather Attack Squadron FIVE HUNDRED THIRTY-THREE (VMA(AW)-533), First Marine Aircraft Wing, in the Republic of Vietnam on 25 October 1967. Assigned the mission of attacking a heavily defended airfield complex, Major Bateman launched his aircraft that night. Aware of the intense enemy surface-to-air missile fire, he formulated and executed a plan to penetrate the hostile defenses. Exposed to interception by enemy fighters at high level, he descended on instruments to minimum altitude. Maneuvering his aircraft over and around treacherous and uncertain terrain, he successfully pierced the enemy's outer missile ring and penetrated deep within his inner defenses. As he neared the initial attack point, Major Bateman was subjected to intense enemy tracking fire. Although losing radio contact with an electronic counter measure aircraft and realizing that it placed his aircraft and himself in serious danger, he nonetheless courageously continued his attack. Disregarding the intense enemy antiaircraft fire and surface-to-air missiles, he completed his daring attack. By his bold initiative, gallant fighting spirit and loyal devotion to duty, Major Bateman was instrumental in destroying an enemy airfield, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Salt Lake City, Utah

*BEAULIEU, LEO VERNON
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Leo Vernon Beaulieu (2162804), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a machine gunner serving with Company E, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in action near Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam, on 16 May 1966. Private Beaulieu's squad was engaged in search and destroy operations against Communist insurgent forces when it was ambushed by a Viet Cong force of sixty men. Heavy machine gun and automatic rifle fire from three sides pinned down the squad in an area offering little or no protection. Private Beaulieu was hit in the first volley of fire and knocked away from his machine gun. Although critically wounded in the chest, he crawled back to his gun and put it into action, delivering heavy, accurate fire on the enemy. He refused to take advantage of the limited cover available in order to bring punishing fire on the ambushing force, and as a result he was hit a second time as the machine gun malfunctioned. Still disregarding his own personal safety, he worked desperately to clear the weapon, and while doing so he received a third wound, which was fatal. Through his extraordinary initiative and inspiring valor in the face of almost certain death, he kept the enemy at a distance until reinforcements arrived, and enabled most of the members of his squad to be rescued. Private Beaulieu's calm and courageous actions under hostile fire upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Lengby, Minnesota

BELL, VAN D., JR.
(Second Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to Van D. Bell, Jr. (0-44563), Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 6 June 1966. Lieutenant Colonel Bell led a small complement consisting of himself, ten Marines and three Ontos deep into enemy controlled territory to personally take charge of one of his platoons that was heavily engaged in enemy fire. Arriving on the scene with the battle still in progress, he immediately employed the fire of the Ontos to suppress the enemy fire and called in artillery fire inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy and causing them to withdraw. He then proceeded through extremely hazardous terrain to visit Company B, which had recently established a patrol base well within the enemy stronghold. En route, one of the Ontos ran out of fuel, causing the small group to be stranded adjacent to the enemy-controlled village of Phong Ho (2). Realizing the seriousness of the situation, he immediately established a hasty defense and called for fuel re-supply by helicopter. The helicopter arrived with the fuel and as it began to depart, the landing zone was attacked with heavy enemy small-arms fire. Lieutenant Colonel Bell directed the fire of his small unit to suppress the enemy fire and protect the helicopter. Almost simultaneously, the small unit was brought under a withering hail of small arms and automatic weapons fire from three sides in an all out effort by the enemy to annihilate the small group. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, he moved from Ontos to Ontos pinpointing targets and encouraging his men. With full knowledge of the risk involved, he elected to keep the enemy engaged rather than withdraw while he maneuvered a platoon from more than a mile away to trap the enemy. This valiant and daring action was a resounding success and resulted in over thirty enemy killed and the capture of sixteen weapons. With darkness drawing near, Lieutenant Colonel Bell elected to return to his Command Post. At a point located two miles from friendly units, the lead Ontos hit an enemy mine, totally destroying it and causing severe injuries to Lieutenant Colonel Bell and three other Marines. Again the enemy brought the group under fire and although in considerable pain, he gallantly rallied his small remaining force of seven, and once more repelled an enemy attack. Upon sighting the relief column and realizing that the safety of the remainder of his group was assured, he calmly called in a helicopter and directed the evacuation of himself and the other wounded Marines. Through his dynamic leadership, inspiring valor and loyal devotion to duty, Lieutenant Colonel Bell reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: August 15, 1918 at Atlanta, Georgia
Home Town: Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Other Award: Navy Cross (Korea)

*BENDORF, DAVID GLEN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to David Glen Bendorf (2247275), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Machine Gun Team Leader of the Second Platoon of Company L, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 20 May 1967. The company was moving to bring a relief force to an embattled sister company when it engaged a strong blocking force. Lance Corporal Bendorf and his gunner had volunteered to provide point for the platoon. When the enemy opened up in the darkness, he led his gunner to a foremost position and directed accurate fire into the enemy positions to support the assault. After a vicious exchange of fire and grenades, during which many Marines were wounded, the platoon was forced to withdraw and regroup. Lance Corporal Bendorf knew that without the firepower of his gun the platoon would be unable to recover the casualties and carry them back to safety. Calmly accepting whatever consequences their bravery might cost, he and his gunner held their position under heavy automatic fire and a barrage of grenades, allowing the others to pull out of the trap. Both men were aware that death was inevitable and they chose to face the enemy alone in the infested area. As a direct result of their heroic sacrifice, a successful assault was launched which relieved the pressure on the other company and saved an untold number of lives, if not the entire unit. His outstanding courage, valiant fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Livingston, Wisconsin

BENOIT, RONALD R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Ronald R. Benoit (0-96153), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 25 February 1967. Second Lieutenant Benoit and his platoon were inserted by helicopter deep into hostile territory on a reconnaissance mission. He and half of his platoon were in the first helicopter which landed in a heavily booby trapped and mined area, and immediately came under intense enemy small arms and .60 caliber machine gun fire. Quickly assessing the situation he exposed himself to the withering small arms fire to wave off the second helicopter. With extreme composure under fire, he immediately called for and directed artillery fire on the Viet Cong emplacements. Constantly exposed to enemy fire, he secured medical attention for his wounded, guided the second helicopter in and directed the evacuation of his wounded. While deploying the remainder of the platoon, a booby trap was detonated, killing one Marine, wounding others and rupturing Second Lieutenant Benoit's eardrums. At the same time his unit was hit again by intense enemy fire and although in extreme pain and almost totally deaf, he courageously and skillfully directed effective air strikes on the enemy. With the enemy fire suppressed, enabling the helicopters to land again, he expertly supervised the loading of the wounded and only after his entire platoon had been embarked aboard the aircraft did he allow his own retraction. By his extraordinary initiative, uncommon courage and complete disregard for his own safety, he undoubtedly saved numerous Marine lives, reflected great credit upon himself, the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Brunswick, Maine

BERGER, DONALD JOSEPH
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Donald Joseph Berger (0-64100), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as an Aircraft Commander with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE (HMM-163), First Marine Aircraft Wing, in operations in the Republic of Vietnam on 11 and 12 March 1966. Lieutenant Berger was assigned to participate in a mission to evacuate a large number of American and Vietnamese personnel from the besieged garrison at A Shau. Controlling his aircraft with exceptional skill, he hovered over the trees thirty to fifty feet tall while the stranded personnel were hoisted aboard. After discharging the passengers at Heu Phu Bai, Lieutenant Berger returned to A Shau and was directed to another clearing where two Special Forces personnel and six Vietnamese soldiers awaited rescue. Since jungle growth prevented landing, he was attempting to hoist the defenders aboard when hostile automatic weapons fire damaged the tail pylon of his aircraft, causing complete loss of tail rotor control. Exhibiting great presence of mind, Lieutenant Berger effected a controlled crash landing and promptly instructed the copilot and one of the crewmembers to board another rescue helicopter. Due to the darkness and inclement weather precluding further rescue attempts, he calmly guided the outpost defenders through difficult terrain where they encountered and successfully fought off an enemy patrol. After putting a defensive plan into action and maintaining a watch throughout the night, he moved the group to another location at first light, then signaled for help and succeeded in getting a rescue aircraft to hoist the exhausted men aboard. His stalwart effort was directly responsible for saving his crewmen, as well as the group of outpost survivors, from capture or death at the hands of the Viet Cong. By his intrepid fighting spirit, brilliant initiative and fortitude in the face of grave danger, and unfaltering dedication to duty, Lieutenant Berger upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Williamsville, New York

BINNS, RICARDO C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Ricardo C. Binns (2031505), Corporal [then Lance Corporal], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Scout Team Leader, Company C, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on the night of 15 - 16 June 1966. Corporal Binns' platoon established an observation post deep within communist controlled territory to observe enemy movement. At 0100 a massive assault was launched against the Marine position by a determined and well-trained North Vietnamese battalion. The murderous enemy fire was so intense that five of the eighteen-man platoon were killed and the remainder wounded. On two separate occasions, with complete disregard for his personal safety, Corporal Binns braved the withering enemy fire to forcibly pull to the ground severely wounded Marines who had unconsciously exposed themselves to almost certain death. Realizing that his Platoon Leader was wounded and unable to move, and preoccupied with the direction of close support aircraft, Corporal Binns took it upon himself to direct the fire of the remaining seven Marines, redistribute the ammunition of those who could not use it, and care for the wounded. Although painfully wounded in both legs, Corporal Binns displayed magnificent courage throughout the night and long into the following morning. His selfless devotion to duty, superb professional skill, deep concern for his fellow Marines, and extraordinary heroism inspired all who observed him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Bronx, New York

BIRD, WILLIAM C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William C. Bird (2449630), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Rifleman with Company E, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 15 May 1969. The First Platoon of Company E was assigned the mission of relieving a friendly unit heavily engaged in combat with a North Vietnamese Army battalion near An Hoa in Quang Nam Province. As the point squad of Company E crossed an open field, it came under a heavy volume of rocket and automatic weapons fire from a large hostile unit occupying well-camouflaged bunkers. Alertly observing two wounded Marines lying dangerously exposed to the enemy fire, Private First Class Bird, despite the intense volume of hostile rounds impacting near him, pulled his comrades to a position of relative safety. Reacting instantly, he fearlessly stood up and, effectively firing his M-16 rifle, provided enough covering fire to enable a Corpsman to reach the wounded Marines. Continuing to expose himself to the intense hostile fire, he delivered accurate covering fire for the Corpsman as he moved throughout the hazardous area and administered emergency medical treatment to all the wounded. At dusk, another reaction force and two supporting tanks were deployed from the company command post. Alertly observing that the tank commanders were having difficulty discerning the enemy targets because of the approaching darkness, Private First Class Bird unhesitatingly climbed aboard the lead tank, despite the intense volume of enemy fire directed at him and, skillfully pointing out the hostile positions to the tank commander, was instrumental in bringing devastating fire to bear upon the enemy. As the platoon withdrew to a night defensive position, Private First Class Bird personally carried two wounded Marines to the friendly perimeter and subsequently assisted in loading the remainder of the casualties aboard the tanks for rapid evacuation. When an enemy rocket impacted on one of the tanks, seriously wounding the driver, Private First Class Bird positioned himself between the tank and the nearby hostile emplacement and, accurately firing his rifle, suppressed the enemy fire while the tank crew reorganized and continued firing. Private First Class Bird was directly responsible for saving the lives of six Marines. His courage, aggressive fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Benton, Louisiana

*BLANN, STEPHEN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Stephen Blann (2391078), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Squad Leader with the Third Platoon, Company E, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, against North Vietnamese Army forces in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam. On 16 February 1969, Company E was attacking south along an enemy road with the Third Platoon providing rear security. Intermittent sniper fire had been received throughout the day. In the afternoon the company halted to conduct a reconnaissance of a large area and to secure a stream-crossing site before continuing its movement. As the lead elements resumed the attack, Lance Corporal Blann observed a number of enemy troops flanking the company in an attempt to attack from the rear. Without hesitation he deployed his squad to counter the enemy's movement as the sporadic sniper fire increased to a heavy volume of small-arms and automatic weapons fire. Lance Corporal Blann immediately evaluated the situation and maneuvered his squad with great professional skill into an assault position against the encircling enemy as one of his men was immediately wounded. Noticing the seriousness of the man's wounds and hearing his painful cry for help, Lance Corporal Blann, while under an intense volume of fire and disregarding his own personal safety, moved into the open area to the wounded man. Shouting encouragement to his squad and continuing to direct the attack upon the enemy, Lance Corporal Blann shielded the wounded man with his own body by kneeling in front of him in line with the enemy fire. While trying to administer first aid and move the man to a safer position, Lance Corporal Blann was mortally wounded. By his extraordinary heroism and selfless devotion to duty, Lance Corporal Blann saved the life of his fellow Marine and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Pompano Beach, Florida

*BLEVINS, THOMAS LEE, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Thomas Lee Blevins, Jr. (2255036), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader with Company C, First Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 31 May 1969, while Corporal Blevins maneuvered his squad as the point element of a company- sized search and destroy operation in Quang Nam Province, the Marines came under a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire from a large enemy force occupying well-concealed, fortified emplacements. Observing that three of his men had been wounded and had fallen in an unprotected area close to the hostile positions, Corporal Blevins unhesitatingly left his relatively secure position and ran across the fire-swept terrain to the side of his companions. After kneeling in a dangerously exposed position to administer first aid to one of his comrades, he removed the man to waiting medical attention behind the friendly line. He then again braved the hostile fire raking the area and, after administering brief emergency treatment to the second wounded Marine, moved him back to the company's defensive perimeter. When he raced to the aid of the third man, they both became pinned down by concentrated enemy fire. Corporal Blevins, in full view of the enemy troops, hurled a hand grenade which diverted their attention sufficiently to allow him time to move the injured Marine to safety, but before he could attain a covered position himself, he was mortally wounded by small-arms fire. His heroic efforts and selfless concern for his fellow men inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of three Marines. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Blevins upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Middletown, New Jersey

BOGAN, RICHARD E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Richard E. Bogan (2357980), Lance Corporal [then Private First Class], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company C, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 12 April 1968. While conducting a night ambush near the village of Thon Ha Vinh, Thua Thien Province, Lance Corporal Bogan alertly observed several North Vietnamese Army soldiers approaching his position. Reacting instantly, he directed a heavy volume of fire upon the hostile force, inflicting numerous casualties and forcing the enemy to disperse. Within a few moments, an enemy grenade landed among the Marines, and exploded harmlessly. Almost immediately, another grenade impacted extremely close to Corporal Bogan and a companion. Disregarding his own safety, he shouted a warning to his comrade and unhesitatingly jumped on top of the missile, absorbing the blast with his body. Although seriously wounded, he moved to his squad leader's position and informed him of the situation. By his dauntless courage, initiative and selfless efforts in behalf of another, Corporal Bogan saved his comrade from serious injury or possible death and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Lebanon, Indiana

BRADY, EUGENE R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Eugene R. Brady (0-51664), Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-FOUR (HMM-364), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN (MAG-16), First Marine Aircraft Wing, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 15 May 1969, Lieutenant Colonel Brady launched as Aircraft Commander of a transport helicopter assigned the mission of medically evacuating several seriously wounded Marines from an area northwest of An Hoa in Quang Nam Province. Arriving over the designated location, he was advised by the ground commander that the vastly outnumbered unit was surrounded by the enemy, some as close as thirty meters to the Marines' positions. Fully aware of the dangers involved, and despite rapidly approaching darkness and deteriorating weather conditions, Lieutenant Colonel Brady elected to complete his mission. As he commenced a high-speed, low-altitude approach to the confined zone, he came under a heavy volume of hostile automatic weapons fire which damaged his aircraft but did not deter him from landing. During the considerable period of time required to embark the casualties, the landing zone was subjected to intense enemy mortar fire, several rounds of which landed perilously close to the transport, rendering additional damage to the helicopter. However, Lieutenant Colonel Brady displayed exceptional composure as he calmly relayed hostile firing positions to fixed-wing aircraft overhead and steadfastly remained in his dangerously exposed position until all the wounded men were safely aboard. Demonstrating superb airmanship, he then executed a series of evasive maneuvers as he lifted from the fire-swept zone, and subsequently delivered the casualties to the nearest medical facility. His heroic and determined actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of eight fellow Marines. By his courage, superior aeronautical ability, and unfaltering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Lieutenant Colonel Brady upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: York, Pennsylvania

BRANDTNER, MARTIN L.
(First Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Martin L. Brandtner (0-80625), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer of Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 3 September 1968, while conducting a reconnaissance in force near the village of Lan Phouc in Quang Nam Province, the lead platoon of Company D became pinned down by intense automatic weapons fire from a large North Vietnamese Army force. As he moved forward to assess the situation, Captain Brandtner was wounded by grenade launcher fire from an enemy soldier standing in a nearby trench. With complete disregard for his own safety, Captain Brandtner boldly exposed himself to the hostile fire and hurling a hand grenade, killed the North Vietnamese soldier. Suddenly, the Marines came under an intense North Vietnamese hand grenade attack, and when one of the lethal objects landed at Captain Brandtner's feet, he unhesitatingly seized the grenade and threw it back at the enemy. On two more occasions he completely disregarded his own safety to seize hand grenades which were thrown near his position and hurl them toward the hostile force. When another grenade landed in the midst of four nearby Marines, Captain Brandtner fearlessly rushed to their position, picked up the lethal object and hurled it away from his companions. Then, concerned only for the welfare of his fellow Marines, he knocked two of the men to the ground and quickly placed himself on top of them, thereby absorbing the fragments from the exploding grenade in his protective armor and preventing possible death or serious injury to his companions. Realizing the numerical superiority of the enemy, he consolidated his company's position and skillfully adjusted effective supporting arms fire which caused the hostile force to flee and enabled his Marines to overrun the objective. By his courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and selfless devotion to duty at the risk of his life, Captain Brandtner sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Other Award: Navy Cross w/Gold Star (Vietnam)

BRANDTNER, MARTIN L.
(Second Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to Martin L. Brandtner (0-80625), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving as the Commanding Officer, Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 11 September 1968. Assigned a mission to conduct a search and destroy operation near the village of My Binh, Quang Dia Loc District, Quang Nam Province, Captain Brandtner selected his defensive position and began deploying his platoons for their assigned night activities. As the First Platoon departed, en route to their night ambush site, they began receiving intense small arms, automatic weapons and rocket fire from a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force. Simultaneously, the enemy, approximately the size of the two North Vietnamese Army companies, began an attack on the Command Group with 82-mm. mortars, intense automatic weapons fire and P40 rockets. Quickly analyzing the situation and immediately realizing the seriousness and the danger involved, Captain Brandtner disregarded his own personal safety and moved forward to an extremely exposed position in order that he could personally control the battle at hand. When the enemy began the first of a series of "human wave" sapper attacks against the company's position, he calmly and with outstanding presence of mind moved from position to position reorganizing, encouraging and rallying his outnumbered and dazed company into an inspired fighting unit which completely stopped the momentum of the enemy attack and forced them to withdraw. Realizing the enemy were regrouping for subsequent attacks, he calmly adjusted his supporting artillery fire to within 200 meters of his lines, again raising havoc and confusion within the enemy's ranks. When the North Vietnamese Army units began their second attack, the devastating fires of a well organized Marine Corps rifle company caught them off balance and inflicted heavy enemy casualties. Twice more, the determined enemy launched massive "human wave" assaults on the perimeter of Company D, but the steadfast efforts of the men of the company proved to be too much for the now overwhelmed and demoralized enemy. After more than two hours of persistent attempts to overrun the company, the enemy broke contact. Daylight revealed 67 North Vietnamese dead as mute testimony to the ferocious encounter that had taken place. The number of enemy dead and wounded evacuated could not be estimated. Company D suffered only one Marine killed and fourteen wounds serious enough to require evacuation. By his outstanding courage, superb leadership and unswerving devotion to duty, Captain Brandtner served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Other Award: Navy Cross (Vietnam)

*BRANTLEY, LEROY
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Leroy Brantley (2392215), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader with Company G, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 28 March 1969. During a search and clear operation in Quang Nam Province, Company G's lead platoon was entering the village of Phu Nhuan when it came under intense rocket and automatic weapons fire from a North Vietnamese Army company occupying well-fortified positions in the village and surrounding tree lines. Reacting instantly Corporal Brantley completely disregarded his own safety as he maneuvered his squad to defilade positions and skillfully directed the delivery of a heavy volume of return fire. Although seriously wounded while deploying his men, he ignored his own painful injury and repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire as he rallied his men and boldly led them in an assault against the enemy. Wounded a second time by North Vietnamese fire, Corporal Brantley refused medical attention as he valiantly remained with his men to sustain the momentum of the attack. Fearlessly directing the actions of his squad and exhorting them to greater efforts, he continued to brave the intense enemy fire while aggressively leading the advance toward the hostile emplacements until he was struck for the third time by hostile fire. Undaunted by the North Vietnamese rounds impacting near him and weakened by his serious injuries, Corporal Brantley resolutely continued to move his men and direct their actions and, as he boldly pushed through the tree line toward a suspected hostile emplacement, he was mortally wounded. His intrepid fighting spirit and daring initiative inspired all who observed him and contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his unit's mission. By his courage, superb leadership and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Brantley upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Charleston, South Carolina

*BRINDLEY, THOMAS DREW
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Thomas Drew Brindley (0-101761), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company I, Third Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 20 January 1968. Lieutenant Brindley's unit was maneuvering toward Hill 881, near Khe Sanh, when the lead elements suddenly came under intense small-arms and automatic weapons fire and sustained several casualties. Reacting instantly, he directed a heavy volume of fire against the enemy and moved his second squad to the point of heaviest contact. Despite the tall elephant grass which restricted movement, he effectively deployed and controlled his men, while suppressing the hostile fire sufficiently to enable the casualties to be taken from the area. Quickly shifting his unit to the base of the hill, under covering fire, Lieutenant Brindley lead an aggressive assault against the opposing force which was entrenched in well-fortified positions supported by .50 caliber machine gun emplacements. Ignoring the fire impacting around him, he continuously moved among his men, encouraging them, controlling the squads and directing his unit's return fire. As the Marines reached the crest of the hill and overran the North Vietnamese positions, they again came under intense fire and suffered additional casualties. In an attempt to pinpoint the source of enemy fire, Lieutenant Brindley, while freely moving throughout the fire-swept area, was struck by hostile fire and fell mortally wounded. By his inspiring leadership and unyielding devotion to duty in the face of overwhelming odds, he upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: St. Paul, Minnesota

BROWN, CHARLES EDWARD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Charles Edward Brown (2288651), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad leader with Combined Action Platoon H-8, Third Combined Action Group, Third Marine Amphibious Force in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. In the early morning hours on 31 January 1968, Corporal Brown's platoon, located in a compound at Loc Dien Village in Thua Thien Province, came under intense enemy mortar, rocket and small-arms fire. In the initial moments of the attack the enemy penetrated the perimeter and launched a vicious assault within the compound. Quickly moving to a critical bunker on the compound's perimeter, Corporal Brown rallied the three men who were defending the position and directed a heavy volume of accurate fire against the determined enemy. Despite repeated attempts by the hostile force to overrun the bunker, the Marines repulsed each assault, inflicting heavy losses on the attackers. On two occasions, the enemy utilized riot control agents in an attempt to dislodge the Marines. On each occasion, however, Corporal Brown and his companions refused to abandon their position, even though they were not wearing field protection masks. When the ammunition supply at his position became dangerously low, he fearlessly ran across an exposed area and returned through the hostile fire with the vital ammunition re- supply. Utilizing his vantage point to observe the enemy, he repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to adjust artillery fire on the enemy positions near and within the compound. Although his bunker received three direct hits from antitank rocket rounds and Corporal Brown and his three men were wounded, he resolutely continued to direct accurate supporting fires dangerously close to his position, which forced the hostile force to withdraw and abandon five enemy casualties within the compound and thirty-three in the surrounding area. His indomitable fighting spirit and unfaltering determination inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in repulsing the aggressive enemy attack. By his extraordinary courage, bold initiative and unswerving dedication to duty, Corporal Brown upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*BROWN, DAVID HAROLD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to David Harold Brown (2056298), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy while serving as a Platoon Sergeant with Company L, Third Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 10 September 1967. While moving in support of a sister company, southwest of Con Thien on Hill 48, Sergeant Brown's platoon came under devastating enemy rocket, mortar, automatic weapons, small arms, and grenade fire from a numerically superior enemy force. Quickly assessing the situation, he established a defensive position and brought fire to bear on the enemy. With complete disregard for his own safety, he charged the enemy positions, hurling grenades and temporarily disrupting an enemy assault. Upon depleting his grenade supply, he returned through the intense enemy fire and obtained an M-79 grenade launcher and again single-handedly assaulted the enemy positions, once again breaking up their assault and accounting for several enemy killed. Upon completion of this task, he moved among his men, directing their fire and encouraging them until he was mortally wounded. By his bold initiative, gallant fighting spirit and loyal devotion to duty, Sergeant Brown was instrumental in stopping an enemy attack, thereby saving numerous Marine casualties and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Saltillo, Tennessee

BROWNING, RANDALL A.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Randall A. Browning (2151453), Corporal [then Lance Corporal], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as an Ontos Commander with Company A, Third Antitank Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in support of the Third Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines in the Republic of Vietnam on 10 September 1967. While engaged in a search and destroy operation in the northern sector of Quang Tri Province near the Demilitarized Zone, the battalion came under a heavy enemy bombardment of artillery and mortar fire. Although painfully wounded by fragments from an artillery round, Corporal Browning quickly had his injury treated and immediately returned to his Ontos where he learned that his was the only tracked vehicle in operation. Rapidly assessing the situation, he maneuvered his vehicle through the intense hostile fire to a forward position and began delivering highly effective machine-gun and recoilless rifle fire against the enemy. Successfully repulsing the first of several human wave assaults, he remained undaunted by the vicious enemy fire and steadfastly continued to deliver a heavy volume of fire during ensuing fanatical attacks. His aggressive actions repelled the hostile force on each occasion and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy. When his recoilless rifle ammunition was expended and his machine gun became inoperable, Corporal Browning unhesitatingly manned a sub-machine gun and continued to deliver devastating fire on the enemy. Due largely to his fearless initiative during the four hour battle, he was undoubtedly instrumental in thwarting the enemy's attempt to overrun the battalion's position and prevented the capture, injury or possible death of many Marines. By his resolute determination, dauntless courage and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Corporal Browning inspired all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Cincinnati, Ohio

*BRYAN, CHARLES WILLIAM
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Charles William Bryan (2307311), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Patrol Leader with Company B, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam. On 20 January 1968, a seven man reconnaissance patrol led by Corporal Bryan was maneuvering with an infantry company toward Hill 881 North near the Khe Sanh Combat Base. The patrol was assigned to detach itself from the unit inconspicuously and reconnoiter the terrain surrounding Hill 881 North. In addition, Corporal Bryan was instructed to abort the mission and withdraw if the infantry unit became engaged with the enemy. As the unit approached the designated area, the Marines suddenly came under intense hostile small arms and automatic weapons fire, sustaining several casualties. Reacting instantly, Corporal Bryan deployed his men to establish an emergency helicopter landing zone to evacuate the wounded men. Subsequently, the infantry unit was directed to attack the hostile emplacements, and realizing the unit was greatly depleted by casualties, Corporal Bryan requested permission from his unit to reinforce the infantry company with his patrol. Quickly integrating his men with an infantry squad, he was assigned as Squad Leader and skillfully maneuvered his unit toward its assigned objective. Upon approaching the designated area, the Marines began receiving intense fire from an enemy machine gun position. Undaunted by the hostile fire, he maneuvered his men around the flank of the emplacement and launched an aggressive attack which silenced the position. Alertly observing one of his men fall wounded in an area dangerously exposed to enemy fire, he fearlessly ran across the fire-swept terrain to the side of his comrade. While skillfully administering first aid to the casualty, Corporal Bryan was mortally wounded. His heroic and timely actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in the subsequent defeat of the enemy force. By his courage, superb leadership and selfless devotion to duty, Corporal Bryan upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: September 27, 1947 at McKinney, Texas
Home Town: McKinney, Texas

BRYANT, JAROLD O.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Jarold O. Bryant (2061015), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader of the Third Squad, Third Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in action against communist insurgent forces in Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Vietnam, during Operation TEXAS on 21 March 1966. When the third platoon came under a vicious enemy cross fire, Corporal Bryant's squad was ordered to destroy an enemy stronghold on the right flank. While in the assault, his squad suffered numerous casualties including the squad leader. Unhesitatingly, Corporal Bryant moved from his position, coolly and courageously disregarding the intense fire, to assist four of the wounded to positions of safety. Displaying exceptional initiative and devotion to duty, he rallied to two remaining members and continued the assault by skillfully maneuvering through a barren rice paddy. Despite the predominant advantage of the enemy forces in numbers and prevailing positions, he single-handedly charged through the fury of hostile automatic weapons fire, overrunning the vital position by killing two of the enemy and causing the other to flee. Corporal Bryant's daring exploits were a determining factor in the rapid seizure of the company objective and the saving of many lives. By his courageous actions, initiative, and unswerving devotion to duty in the face of overwhelming odds, Corporal Bryant upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Columbus, Ohio

BUCHANAN, RICHARD W.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Richard W. Buchanan (2113260), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as an Automatic Rifleman with Company M, Third Battalion, Twenty-seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 24 May 1968. While participating in Operation ALLEN BROOK in Quang Nam Province, Corporal Buchanan's company was serving as battalion reserve, following in trace of Company K, as the unit moved against well-entrenched North Vietnamese Army forces in the village of Le Bac (1). Advancing into the objective area, Company K was ambushed by an enemy force in a tree line and two platoons were separated from the remainder of the company. As Corporal Buchanan's platoon quickly maneuvered toward the beleaguered Marines, it suddenly came under intense small-arms and automatic weapons fire from a North Vietnamese Army unit entrenched in a series of bunkers and spider holes. In the initial burst of fire, several Marines were killed or seriously wounded, including the platoon commander, platoon sergeant, all the squad leaders and the radio operator. Observing a well- hidden enemy bunker, he fearlessly assaulted the position and directed accurate rifle fire into the emplacement. Then, retrieving the platoon radio and shouting to his comrades to follow, he led the Marines to the relative safety of a nearby pagoda where he established a hasty defense. Unable to establish radio communication with his company and upon observing several medical evacuation helicopters in the vicinity, he relayed a request for armed helicopter support. As he directed numerous air strikes on the enemy positions, often within ten feet of his position, he courageously rushed into the fire-swept area to move the casualties to better protected positions. Upon discovering an adjacent bunker occupied by several North Vietnamese Army soldiers, Corporal Buchanan boldly assaulted it single-handedly, silencing the hostile fire. Throughout the intense three-hour battle, his superb command ability and calm presence of mind in hazardous situations undoubtedly saved numerous Marine lives and inspired all who observed him. By his outstanding leadership, intrepid fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty Corporal Buchanan upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Placerville, California

*BURKE, JOHN ROLAND
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to John Roland Burke (2200142), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Sniper Team Leader with Headquarters and Service Company, First Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 6 June 1967. Assigned the mission of defending an outpost on Hill 950 at Khe Sanh, Quang Tri Province, Corporal Burke's team was taken under attack by a numerically superior enemy force. During the initial assault, Corporal Burke was wounded by an enemy grenade. Ignoring his wound, he administered first aid to a severely wounded comrade and placed him in a relatively safe position, covering the wounded man with his own body to protect him from further injury. Heeding a call for help from outside the bunker, he unhesitatingly went to the aid of another Marine. While he and a companion were moving the man to the security of the bunker an enemy grenade exploded, knocking him and his comrade into the bunker. Although seriously wounded, he moved the wounded man to a tunnel to protect him from the devastating enemy fire. With all his team members casualties, Corporal Burke unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own safety armed himself with grenades, and shouting words of encouragement to his men, stormed from the bunker in a valiant one-man assault against the enemy positions. While firing his weapon and throwing grenades at the enemy positions, Corporal Burke was mortally wounded. By his dauntless courage, bold initiative and devotion to duty, he was instrumental in stopping the enemy attack and saving his men from possible further injury or death, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and the United States Marine Corps and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Clearwater, Florida

BURNHAM, THOMAS R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Thomas R. Burnham (1426163), Corporal [then Lance Corporal], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company F, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, at Nong Son, Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam on 1 October 1967. While in a defensive position, Corporal Burnham observed a trip flare burning outside the perimeter of his unit. He was directed to lead his fire team to search and secure the area. Assessing the situation, he cautiously deployed his men to carry out the assignment. While slowly maneuvering toward the position, an enemy hand grenade landed in the midst of the fire team. Unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own safety, he shoved a comrade to the ground and dived on the grenade. While lying on the deadly missile, he yelled instructions to his men to take cover. As the moments passed, it became evident that the grenade had malfunctioned, however, the slightest jar could still activate the grenade. Courageously remaining in this precarious position for approximately ten minutes, Corporal Burnham, after considering the consequences, hurled himself into a ditch approximately four feet away. The grenade failed to detonate; however, had it exploded, his fearless action could well have saved the lives of his fellow Marines. By his bold initiative and grave concern for others, Corporal Burnham reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: , Pennsylvania

BURNS, LEON R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Leon R. Burns (1487956), Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in connection with operations against the enemy while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company B, First Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 2 July 1967. Company B was engaged in a search and destroy operation when it was taken under intense small-arms, automatic weapons, mortar and rocket fire from an estimated two battalions of North Vietnamese troops. In the initial burst of enemy fire, the commanding officer and two platoon commanders became casualties. Immediately reacting to the situation, Staff Sergeant Burns moved his platoon forward only to be pinned down by a heavy volume of small-arms fire from both flanks and the front. He moved through the intense fire, with complete disregard for his own safety, to call in and adjust air strikes against the numerically superior enemy force. The air strikes erupted within fifty meters of his position, disrupting an enemy assault against his flanks. Exposing himself to the intense enemy fire, he organized the remnants of the company into a hasty defense and began treating and evacuating the wounded. Upon being joined by a relief column, he unhesitatingly volunteered to go forward to guide the column and assist in recovering the wounded and dead Marines. After the fulfillment of this mission, he led his men in a withdrawal along the highway. As the column moved along the highway, they were taken under devastating enemy mortar and artillery fire. Again exhibiting fearless leadership, he moved up and down the column encouraging his men and directing them into fighting holes to organize a defense position and personally carried two wounded Marines to the landing zone. By his bold initiative, dauntless courage and exceptional fortitude, Staff Sergeant Burns reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Portland, Maine

C

CAINE, LAWRENCE B., III
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lawrence B. Caine, III (2131757), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Weapons Squad Leader with Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 13 May 1967. During Operation UNION, Corporal Caine's squad was providing covering fire during a recovery operation of Marine dead and wounded, when he observed a large force of well entrenched enemy forces to his front. From their positions, the enemy was able to cover an area of over 2,000 meters in width with grazing and interlocking fire. He quickly took the enemy under fire and killed 20 North Vietnamese Army soldiers in front of his position. Observing a series of caves adjacent to his position he, with complete disregard for his own personal safety, entered them and while searching them accounted for two more enemy killed. Returning to his position, he continued to employ machine-gun, rocket, and small-arms fire with devastating effect upon the enemy. Upon gaining fire superiority, helicopters were able to successfully evacuate the dead and wounded. As the battle ensued, he moved his squad into a tree line maintaining accurate and devastating fire on the enemy. Although painfully wounded during a mortar attack, he refused medical evacuation and continued to defend his company's front until all helicopter evacuation of dead and wounded was completed. As the numerically superior enemy force advanced on the company position, Company I was ordered to withdraw 200 meters and call air strikes and artillery fire on their former position. He directed the fire of his squad covering the successful withdrawal of the company with automatic weapons and a 3.5 inch rocket fire from his tree line position. Corporal Caine was wounded the second time when he was struck by a bomb fragment. As his squad withdrew, 62 enemy bodies were counted in the intermittent stream bed to his front. By his intrepid fighting spirit, exceptional fortitude and gallant initiative, Corporal Caine served to inspire all who observed him and contributed in large measure to the success of his unit. His great personal valor reflected the highest credit upon himself and enhanced the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Salt Lake City, Utah

*CALHOUN, JOHN CALDWELL
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to John Caldwell Calhoun (2328321), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as an Automatic Rifleman with Combined Action Platoon H-6, Third Combined Action Group, III Marine Amphibious Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 7 January 1968. Corporal Calhoun's platoon, while defending an outpost in Nuoc Ngot Village, Thua Thien Province suddenly came under a heavy volume of mortar and rocket fire, followed by an aggressive assault by a numerically superior Viet Cong force. The enemy quickly seized the northern wall of the compound as the Marines and Popular Forces soldiers moved to the sandbagged southern wall. During the ensuing fire fight, the Marines became dangerously low of ammunition. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Corporal Calhoun unhesitatingly ran across 30 meters of fire-swept terrain to obtain the ammunition and deliver it to his comrades. Ignoring the danger around him, he repeatedly crossed the hazardous area, re-supplying the defenders, until he was mortally wounded. His heroic and timely actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in repelling the enemy force. By his conspicuous valor, strong initiative and complete dedication to duty, Corporal Calhoun upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: South Boston, Massachusetts

*CAMPBELL, JOSEPH TIMOTHY
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Joseph Timothy Campbell (0-101784), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as Executive Officer of Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations in the Republic of Vietnam. On 15 June 1968 during Operation MARMELUKE THRUST in Quang Nam Province, Company I became heavily engaged with a large enemy force and sustained several casualties. As the company prepared to evacuate its wounded, an artillery round impacted nearby, killing the company commander, a platoon commander, and the company gunnery sergeant. Although seriously wounded by fragments, Lieutenant Campbell realized that he was his unit's only remaining officer and refused medical aid in order to assume command of the company. Despite his weakened condition due to the loss of blood, he ensured that a landing zone was secured and selflessly directed the evacuation of the other casualties. When the medical evacuation helicopter arrived and immediately came under intense enemy ground fire, Lieutenant Campbell fearlessly moved among his men to direct suppressive fire on the hostile positions, enabling the helicopter to extract the casualties. Ignoring his weakened condition, he directed a second helicopter into the zone to complete the emergency medical evacuation. He subsequently succumbed to his wounds before he could be evacuated. By his courage, inspiring leadership, and selfless devotion to duty despite the severity of his wounds, Lieutenant Campbell undoubtedly saved the lives of numerous Marines and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Stoneham, Massachusetts

CANLEY, JAMES L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James L. Canley (1455946), Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Company Gunnery Sergeant of Company A, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam from 31 January to 6 February 1968. On 31 January, when his company came under a heavy volume of enemy fire near the city of Hue, Gunnery Sergeant Canley rushed across the fire-swept terrain and carried several wounded Marines to safety. Later, with the company commander seriously wounded, Gunnery Sergeant Canley assumed command and immediately reorganized his scattered Marines, moving from one group to another to advise and encourage his men. Although sustaining shrapnel wounds during this period, he nonetheless established a base of fire which subsequently allowed the company to break through the enemy strongpoint. Retaining command of the company for the following three days, Gunnery Sergeant Canley on 4 February led his men into an enemy-occupied building in Hue. Despite fierce enemy resistance, he succeeded in gaining a position immediately above the enemy strongpoint and dropped a large satchel charge into the position, personally accounting for numerous enemy killed, and forcing the others to vacate the building. On 6 February, when his unit sustained numerous casualties while attempting to capture a government building, Gunnery Sergeant Canley lent words of encouragement to his men and exhorted them to greater efforts as they drove the enemy from its fortified emplacement. Although wounded once again during this action, on two occasions he leaped a wall in full view of the enemy, picked up casualties, and carried them to covered positions. By his dynamic leadership, courage, and selfless dedication, Gunnery Sergeant Canley contributed greatly to the accomplishment of his company's mission and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Little Rock, Arkansas

*CARROLL, JAMES JOSEPH
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to James Joseph Carroll (0-79583), Major, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of Company K, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in action against North Vietnamese Army forces during Operation PRAIRIE in the Republic of Vietnam from 27 September to 5 October 1966. On 27 September as Company K moved through a thick jungle canopy toward Hill 400, the point platoon was hit hard by enemy automatic weapons fire, electrically detonated mines and booby traps, and the other platoons of the company came under an intense mortar attack. Captain Carroll quickly seized a piece of high ground, and utilizing it for a temporary landing zone was able to evacuate his wounded quickly and establish a company defensive position from which he could attack the determined and well-fortified enemy bunkers that defended Hill 400. On 28 September, he called in close air support to within fifty meters of his front lines in an attempt to destroy the enemy positions which had halted the Battalion for two days. Utilizing the shock action of bombs and napalm, Captain Carroll and seven of his Marines crawled to within hand-grenade range of the enemy. Aggressively and decisively launching the final assault and gaining a quick foothold on the hill, he employed the rest of his company to aid in securing the objective then under heavy counterattack from three sides. Despite a painful wound from an enemy mortar round, Captain Carroll continued to direct his men in the securing of the hill. On 5 October while directing supporting fire from Company M, he was mortally wounded by an exploding shell fragment. His courageous fighting spirit, great personal valor, and unswerving devotion to duty served to inspire all who observed him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Miami Beach, Florida

CARTER, MARSHALL N.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Marshall N. Carter (0-85375), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer, Company C, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during a heliborne raid against insurgent Viet Cong forces in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam on 14 January 1967. Upon debarking in the landing zone the company encountered determined resistance from a reinforced company of Viet Cong who delivered heavy small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire in defense of the objective area. In a highly professional manner, Captain Carter deployed his company, suppressed the enemy fire, and after inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy, overran the objective. During the withdrawal to the landing zone for re-embarkation, one platoon was pinned down by rapidly increasing Viet Cong forces. Appreciating the significance of a delay on the success of the operation, Captain Carter moved immediately to the point of crisis. Efforts to evacuate the body of a fallen comrade under intense enemy fire prevented the platoon from being withdrawn. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Captain Carter exposed himself to the heavy volume of enemy fire by crawling forward and bringing the fallen Marine to a point where he could be further evacuated. Captain Carter then covered the withdrawal of the platoon to the re-embarkation site by single-handedly hurling grenades at the Viet Cong in close combat. Upon returning to the landing zone he supervised the loading of his entire company into helicopters before he himself would leave. Captain Carter's personal valor and professional excellence assured the success of the operation. By his conspicuous gallantry and heroic action in the face of great personal risk, Captain Carter reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Colorado Springs, Colorado

*CASEBOLT, HENRY CLAYTON
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Henry Clayton Casebolt (1933907), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Second Squad Leader, Third Rifle Platoon, Company F, Second Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Thua Thien Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 28 February 1966. While his company was engaged in a search and destroy operation it was taken under heavy machine gun and mortar fire by an entrenched Viet Cong battalion. Without hesitation, Corporal Casebolt maneuvered his squad through intense hostile fire in order to position them in a location where they could block the enemy's retreat. His skillful deployment of his squad enabled his men to kill approximately twenty-five Viet Cong and successfully stop the retreat of many others. When an enemy squad attempted to envelop his squad from the left, Corporal Casebolt and two other Marines assaulted the Viet Cong squad killing them all. Without stopping to catch his breath, he gave orders to his squad to cover him with fire while he crossed a seventy meter rice paddy in an attempt to destroy an enemy mortar position that he had detected. With complete disregard for his own safety he aggressively ran across the open rice paddy toward the enemy shouting instructions to his squad and directing their fire. When he was almost across the open area, the heavy enemy fire knocked him into the rice paddy. Although mortally wounded, he crawled to a mound of earth where he could observe the enemy. From this position, and still the object of intense enemy fire, Corporal Casebolt continued to direct his squad's fire by pinpointing the enemy positions for them and ordering them to deploy to positions where they could better block the Viet Cong retreat. By his tremendous devotion to duty, professional ability, and inspiring leadership, Corporal Casebolt upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: St. Joseph, Missouri

*CASEY, MICHAEL JAMES
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Michael James Casey (0-95659), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company C, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the afternoon of 18 March 1968, during Operation FORT, Lieutenant Casey's company was maneuvering across a large open area in Thua Thien Province. Suddenly, the Marines came under intense automatic weapons, mortar, recoilless rifle and antitank rocket fire from a well-concealed North Vietnamese Army force. Reacting instantly, Lieutenant Casey rapidly deployed his men, ably directing their fire and shouting words of encouragement to them. Realizing that the forward elements of his platoon was dangerously low on ammunition and that several wounded Marines were lying in an area exposed to the hostile fire, he unhesitatingly ran across seventy meters of fire-swept terrain, distributing weapons and ammunition. Picking up a wounded man, he ignored the enemy fire impacting around him and carried the casualty to the platoon's defensive perimeter. On two other occasions, he fearlessly exposed himself to distribute urgently needed ammunition and to move wounded Marines to covered positions. With complete disregard for his own safety, Lieutenant Casey stood in full view of the enemy, while skillfully directing supporting arms fire and air strikes against the enemy positions. When hostile snipers began firing from concealed emplacements to the rear of his platoon, he again rose to his feet, attracting the attention of the snipers and drawing their fire away from his men. While pinpointing the enemy's positions, he was mortally wounded by a burst of automatic weapons fire. His bold initiative and sincere concern for the welfare of his comrades were an inspiration to all who served with him, and contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his unit's mission. By his exceptional courage, aggressive fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty, Lieutenant Casey upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Dalton, Massachusetts

*CASEY, THOMAS MICHAEL, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Thomas Michael Casey, Jr. (2422191), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company D, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the afternoon of 16 February 1969, Company D was assaulting a large North Vietnamese Army force occupying a well-entrenched position in Quang Nam Province. Alertly observing an enemy fortification, Lance Corporal Casey launched a determined assault upon the hostile position, delivering accurate fire as he fearlessly maneuvered across fifty meters of fire-swept terrain. Upon reaching the hostile bunker, he boldly hurled grenades into it, destroying the North Vietnamese emplacements and killing an enemy soldier. Disregarding his own safety, he went to several casualties, and ignoring the hostile rounds impacting around him, skillfully administered first aid to his wounded comrades. Realizing the need for an M-79 grenade launcher, he again rushed across the hazardous area and, obtaining the weapon, returned to the position of heaviest contact. When two additional Marines were wounded, he unhesitatingly commenced maneuvering through a hail of fire to assist the injured men, but as he approached the casualties he was mortally wounded. His heroic actions and aggressive fighting spirit inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of several Marines. By his courage, sincere concern for the welfare of his comrades, and selfless devotion to duty, Lance Corporal Casey upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Milton, Massachusetts

CASTILLO, WILLIAM
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William Castillo (2404648), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as an Ammunition Man with Company E, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 25 February 1969, Company E was occupying a defensive position at Fire Support Base Russell, northwest of the Vandegrift Combat Base in Quang Tri Province. Suddenly, the Marines came under a vicious ground attack by a North Vietnamese Army sapper unit strongly supported by mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. During the initial moments of the attack, several men were trapped inside demolished bunkers and Private First Class Castillo worked feverishly to free the Marines. Then, diving into his gun pit, he commenced single-handedly firing his mortar at the invaders, and although blown from his emplacement on two occasions by the concussion of hostile rounds impacting nearby, resolutely continued his efforts until relieved by some of the men he had freed. Observing a bunker that was struck by enemy fire and was ejecting thick clouds of smoke, he investigated the interior, and discovering five men blinded by smoke and in a state of shock, led them all to safety. Maneuvering across the fire-swept terrain to the command post, he made repeated trips through the hazardous area to carry messages and directions from his commanding officer, then procured a machine gun and provided security for a landing zone until harassing hostile emplacements were destroyed. Steadfastly determined to be of assistance to his wounded comrades, he carried the casualties to waiting evacuation helicopters until he collapsed from exhaustion. By his courage, bold initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Private First Class Castillo contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his unit's mission and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*CAVANAUGH, THOMAS JAMES
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Thomas James Cavanaugh (2136906), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Sergeant with Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade in the Republic of Vietnam on 19 September 1968. Company F was conducting a reconnaissance in force in Quang Nam Province when the Marines encountered a large enemy force employing heavy automatic weapons and accurate sniper fire which pinned down elements of the company and caused numerous casualties. Rapidly assessing the situation, Corporal Cavanaugh skillfully deployed elements of his platoon to establish a strong base of fire which would enable the beleaguered Marines to extract injured personnel. Completely disregarding his own safety, he fearlessly exposed himself to the intense hostile fire, shouting words of encouragement to his men and directing their fire against the enemy emplacements while assisting the wounded to positions of relative safety. As the last of the casualties were withdrawn from the battle area, Corporal Cavanaugh rapidly redeployed his forces to provide covering fire for another hard pressed platoon. Alertly observing one of his men seriously wounded and lying in a dangerously exposed position, he unhesitatingly began maneuvering across the fire-swept terrain to his companion's side when he was seriously wounded. Ignoring his injury, he resolutely continued to crawl toward his wounded comrade until he was no longer able to advance. Steadfastly refusing medical attention, he calmly directed his men in assisting his injured companion to a covered position. Once assured that the last of the wounded Marines had been treated, Corporal Cavanaugh allowed himself to be evacuated to a protected area where he succumbed to his injuries. His bold initiative and heroic efforts inspired all who observed him and contributed immeasurably to the accomplishment of his unit's mission. By his courage, sincere concern for the welfare of his fellow Marines and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Cavanaugh upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Waterbury, Connecticut

CHEATHAM, ERNEST C., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Ernest C. Cheatham, Jr. (0-58120), Colonel [then Lieutenant Colonel], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam from 3 February to 3 March 1968. During Operation Hue City, Colonel Cheatham led his battalion in extremely heavy house-to-house fighting against a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force. Advancing through the city on 4 February to assault the well-fortified Treasury Building/Post Office complex, his unit came under intense fire from concealed enemy positions. The enemy resistance halted the Marines' advance during two days of bitter fighting. Nevertheless, Colonel Cheatham remained steadfast in his determination to secure the enemy stronghold. Skillfully deploying a 106-mm. recoilless rifle squad into advantageous firing positions, he personally pinpointed the targets with M-16 tracer rounds and directed accurate fire on the enemy, which significantly reduced the pressure on his assaulting force. Completely disregarding his own safety, he joined the assaulting unit and aggressively led his men in routing the North Vietnamese from their entrenched positions. While proceeding through the city on 6 February, he organized his battalion for an assault on the enemy-held Provincial Headquarters Building. Ignoring the hostile fire all around him, he directed his men to covered positions while he fearlessly advanced to an exposed position from which he could locate the sources of enemy fire. Calling an Ontos forward, he directed effective suppressive fire on the enemy and then courageously led his unit as it continued the assault. Colonel Cheatham's dynamic and heroic leadership and his unflagging example inspired all who observed him and contributed greatly to the defeat of the enemy and to their subsequent withdrawal from the city. His dauntless courage and unfaltering devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: July 27, 1929 at Long Beach, California
Home Town: Long Beach, California

CHEATWOOD, PAUL R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Paul R. Cheatwood (2345578), Corporal [then Lance Corporal], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Mortarman with Company B, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 16 February 1968, Corporal Cheatwood's company was attacking North Vietnamese Army forces occupying the city of Hue. Crossing an open area toward a building, the Marines suddenly came under enemy sniper fire, killing one man, wounding four others and pinning down the platoon. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Corporal Cheatwood unhesitatingly exposed himself to the hostile fire as he assumed a kneeling position and skillfully delivered suppressive fire at the enemy emplacement, enabling a Corpsman to move to the assistance of the casualties. After assisting the Corpsman in providing first aid for two casualties, his unit was again pinned down by automatic weapons fire. Reacting instantly, he rapidly directed a heavy volume of rifle fire at the hostile position and, crawling forward, assisted a wounded Marine. When the Corpsman arrived, Corporal Cheatwood maneuvered toward the sniper's position and hurled several hand grenades into the building, killing two North Vietnamese soldiers. Subsequently volunteering to lead a search for an enemy machine gun that had been firing at his company, Corporal Cheatwood became separated from his men as he moved through a building. Electing to continue his mission, he alertly observed eight enemy soldiers in a nearby structure. Reacting instantly, he threw numerous hand grenades and fired his pistol into the building. Although painfully wounded, he inflicted numerous casualties on the enemy soldiers and forced the remainder to flee in panic and confusion. His bold initiative and outstanding professionalism were an inspiration to all who observed him and contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his unit's mission. By his exceptional courage, aggressive fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Corporal Cheatwood upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Tallapoosa, Georgia

CHRISTENSEN, PAUL KARL
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Paul Karl Christensen (2105464), Corporal [then Lance Corporal], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Machine Gunner with the Third Combined Action Group, III Marine Amphibious Force in connection with operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 19 November 1967. Corporal Christensen was serving with a twelve-man combat patrol, along a known enemy route, when the patrol surprised and engaged a force of approximately fifty Viet Cong. He quickly placed his machine gun into action mortally wounding several Viet Cong and forced the remainder to withdraw. When the patrol leader and another Marine went forward to search the battle area to capture wounded enemy soldiers and weapons, they were taken under intense enemy automatic and rocket fire which wounded several Marines. With complete disregard for his own safety, Corporal Christensen moved through the hostile fire to deliver a heavy volume of fire on the enemy position. Rallying his men, he quickly established a base of fire and courageously advanced into the open area to assist the patrol leader to a covered position. Quickly assuming command of the patrol, he integrated a defensive perimeter and requested that a reactionary force be dispatched to reinforce his patrol. He called in illumination fire and a medical evacuation helicopter to evacuate the wounded. As the battle ensued he repeatedly exposed himself to the intense enemy fire to encourage his men and adjust their fire. When the relief force arrived, he directed them into position and led an assault into the enemy position, routing the enemy force. By his bold initiative, gallant fighting spirit and loyal devotion to duty, Corporal Christensen reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: April 1, 1948 at Brooklyn, New York
Home Town: New York, New York

*CHRISTMAN, WILLIAM J., III
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to William J. Christman, III (0-106531), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company A, First Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. Early on the afternoon of 22 February 1969, Company A was patrolling north of the A Shau Valley in Quang Tri Province when its lead element was pinned down by intense fire from a large North Vietnamese Army force, well concealed in a heavily fortified bunker complex. Reacting instantly, Second Lieutenant Christman deployed his platoon to the right flank of the lead platoon and skillfully maneuvered his men forward in a coordinated attack until halted and pinned down by the extremely heavy volume of cross fire from the North Vietnamese emplacements and numerous sniper positions in trees. He directed the fire of his machine guns and light antitank weapons against the North Vietnamese emplacements and mounted such an aggressive assault that his platoon moved through the forward enemy positions. Undaunted by the enemy rounds impacting around him, he fired his light antitank assault weapon, and fearlessly charging across the fire-swept terrain, hurled hand grenades into a hostile emplacement, killing seven North Vietnamese soldiers and silencing their machine guns. Coming under fire from an adjacent bunker, he was mortally wounded while attempting to fire his light antitank assault weapon against the emplacement. With his remaining strength, he resolutely propped himself up on one arm to direct his men in outflanking and destroying the enemy bunker. His heroic actions inspired his men to such aggressive action in a coordinated company attack that 105 North Vietnamese soldiers were killed and a large bunker complex was destroyed. By his courage, bold initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty, Second Lieutenant Christman upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Gaithersburg, Maryland

CHRISTMAS, GEORGE R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to George R. Christmas (0-85447), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as the Commanding Officer of Company H, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the afternoon of 5 February 1968 during Operation HUE CITY, Company H was attacking a complex of buildings known to be an enemy strong point consisting of mutually supporting bunkers, fighting holes, and trench lines. During the ensuing fire fight, two platoons seized the corner building of a city block, but intense hostile small-arms, automatic weapons, and B-40 rocket fire temporarily halted the advance. Realizing the seriousness of the situation and the urgent need to sustain the momentum of the attack, Captain Christmas, undaunted by the heavy volume of enemy fire, completely disregarded his own safety as he moved across thirty-five meters of open area to join the lead element and assess the situation. Returning across the fire-swept area, he rejoined the remaining platoon, issued an attack order, and then ran seventy meters across open terrain, ignoring automatic weapons fire, hand grenades, and satchel charges striking around him to reach a tank he had requested. Braving enemy fire and two B-40 rockets that hit the tank, he fearlessly stood atop the vehicle to direct accurate fire against the hostile positions until the intensity of enemy fire diminished. Immediately realizing the tactical advantage, he jumped from the tank, and directed his company in an aggressive assault on the hostile positions, personally leading his men in room-to-room fighting until the building complex was secured. In a large measure due to his bold initiative and courageous actions, he provided the impetus which inspired his men to aggressive action and enabled them to successfully accomplish the mission. By his dynamic leadership, unfaltering determination and selfless devotion to duty in the face of extreme personal danger, Captain Christmas upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Yeadon, Pennsylvania

CHRISTY, KENNETH
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Kenneth Christy (0-99991), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Platoon Commander, 3d Platoon, Company L, Third Battalion Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 18 January 1968. In the morning while conducting a search and destroy operation near the Demilitarized Zone, the Company came under a heavy volume of fire from a reinforced and well concealed North Vietnamese Army force. As a result of devastating enemy fire, the point platoon received heavy casualties and was in imminent danger of being surrounded and destroyed. Although wounded, Second Lieutenant Christy skillfully maneuvered his men forward through the fire-swept area to support the beleaguered platoon. Directed to recover the platoon's casualties, he unhesitatingly lead a squad forward across more than 100 meters of exposed terrain. Finding four seriously wounded Marines lying in an exposed position, Second Lieutenant Christy shielded one of the wounded Marines with his own body while rendering first aid and directing their evacuation. Assuming command after the company commander had been severely wounded he directed the medical evacuation of the most seriously wounded and reorganized the Company position defending it until reinforced by another company. By his outstanding leadership, unlimited courage, and utmost devotion to duty, Second Lieutenant Christy reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United Stated Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Lutz, Florida

*CISNEROS, ROY
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Roy Cisneros (2341534), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader with Company B, First Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 11 September 1968. While conducting a reconnaissance in force, Company B came under intense small arms and automatic weapons fire from a North Vietnamese Army company occupying fortified positions on Hill 461 in Quang Tri Province. During the ensuing fire fight, Corporal Cisneros skillfully maneuvered his squad across the hazardous terrain and, directing the fire of his men with devastating accuracy, was instrumental in the destruction of three enemy bunkers. When his men were pinned down by a heavy volume of fire from a fourth emplacement, he boldly advanced and single-handedly attempted to destroy the enemy position. After firing a light antitank assault weapon into the bunker, he fearlessly hurled hand grenades at the defenders as he aggressively continued his assault. Disregarding his own safety, he commenced firing his rifle and was delivering effective fire upon the North Vietnamese emplacements, when he was mortally wounded by enemy fire. His resolute determination and intrepid fighting spirit inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in his unit accounting for 45 North Vietnamese soldiers confirmed killed. By his courage, aggressive leadership and selfless devotion to duty, Corporal Cisneros upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: San Antonio, Texas

CLAYBIN, EDWARD A.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Edward A. Claybin (2127649), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Cannoneer with Battery D, Second Battalion, Eleventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 20 June 1966. When his battery came under a concentrated enemy mortar attack at 0010 on that date, Private First Class Claybin became a casualty almost immediately, receiving severe shrapnel wounds along the left side of his body. While he lay critically wounded, a hand grenade landed some distance from him in the gun pit. With complete disregard for his own personal safety he rolled and crawled until he covered the grenade with his own body in order to protect his fellow Marines from the expected blast. Although it failed to explode, Private First Class Claybin refused to move from the grenade until the other wounded were evacuated and the remaining members of his gun section were clear of danger. By his fearless action, he demonstrated his complete willingness to sacrifice his own life for his fellow Marines. Private First Class Claybin's outstanding courage, daring initiative and steadfast devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Los Angeles, California

*COBB, PAUL FREDERICK
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Paul Frederick Cobb (0-103410), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company A, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 16 May 1968. During Operation ALLEN BROOK in Quang Nam Province, Lieutenant Cobb's platoon was assigned the mission of reinforcing an adjacent unit which was heavily engaged with a well-entrenched enemy force and had sustained numerous casualties. Under intense fire, he led his men to a position behind the most heavily engaged element of the besieged company where he prepared to continue the attack against the enemy. In order that the pinned-down Marines could evacuate their casualties from the fire-swept area, he established a base of fire utilizing small arms and M-79 grenade launcher fire and began maneuvering his unit across the hazardous terrain. Forced to crawl forward toward the hostile emplacements due to a heavy volume of the enemy's automatic weapons, machine gun, B-40 rocket and mortar fire, he ignored the fire striking all round him, as he shouted directions and encouragement to his men. As he approached to within 20 meters of the enemy's positions, he was wounded by hostile fire, however, he aggressively led his men in hand-to-hand combat. While maneuvering forward with his men, he was mortally wounded by the enemy fire. His courageous leadership during the initial and ensuing assaults inspired his men to continue to advance and overwhelm the enemy to the point of defeat. By his bold determination and unwavering and selfless dedication to duty, Lieutenant Cobb upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Roanoke, Virginia

*COCHRAN, ROBERT FISHEL, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Robert Fishel Cochran, Jr. (0-89648), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in Company A, First Amphibian Tractor Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during Operation STARLITE near Chu Lai, Vietnam, on the morning of 18 August 1965. While leading an amphibian tractor supply column to the front lines, he had momentarily stopped the column in order to check his positions, when it came under intense enemy mortar, recoilless rifle and small-arms fire. Although he was exposed to enemy fire, he calmly and unhesitatingly directed his vehicles into defensive positions. The amphibian tractor on which Lieutenant Cochran was located was hit by recoilless rifle fire. Disregarding his own safety he ordered his crew to evacuate the vehicle and alertly pointed out a good position for them to occupy. Despite the imminent danger of the amphibian tractor exploding and the attempts of the enemy to enter the vehicle, he, in order to deprive the enemy of this source of supply, removed the machine gun ammunition before he left the tractor. With full knowledge of the situation and complete disregard for his own personal safety, Lieutenant Cochran moved through intense enemy cross fire to his disabled vehicle, directing the wounded and dazed personnel to the safety of two amphibian tractors which had gained hull defilade positions behind a rice paddy bank. When he was assured that all of his men were safe, he determined which vehicle would afford the best observation of the battle area. As he moved toward this tractor he was severely wounded. Knowing that to ask his men to open the main ramp of the tractor would endanger their lives, he unselfishly chose to mount the vehicle through the top hatch. As a result of his heroic action he succumbed on the top of the amphibian tractor. His personal bravery, and fearless devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Marine Corps and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Poplarville, Mississippi

COFFMAN, CLOVIS C., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Clovis C. Coffman, Jr. (1106891), Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in action against Communist Forces while serving as a Platoon Leader with Company C, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 10 October 1966. Sergeant Coffman was leading a thirteen man patrol assigned the mission of observing a valley near Long Bihn, Quang Ngai Province for enemy activity. Early in the afternoon, while leading his unit from their observation post to a helicopter landing zone, the patrol came under a heavy small arms and grenade attack from an estimated thirty-five to fifty man enemy force. Reacting immediately, Sergeant Coffman skillfully organized and directed the return fire of his out-numbered unit. Fearlessly disregarding his own safety, he repeatedly exposed himself in order to deploy his force and deliver maximum fire power against the attackers. On one occasion during the ensuing fierce action, he observed a wounded Marine lying helpless forward of his position. Courageously he went to his stricken comrade's aid. Although wounded himself, he killed three of the enemy at point blank range in order to reach the stricken Marine. Sergeant Coffman was successful in his effort to return his stricken comrade to friendly lines. When the patrol's medical Corpsman was disabled by wounds, he skillfully administered first aid to four seriously wounded Marines. Sergeant Coffman directed fixed wing and armed helicopter attacks against the enemy with devastating accuracy, with the result that helicopters were able to land and extract the force. Although wounded, he remained until all of his men were safely embarked, resolutely defending the landing zone. As the last rescue helicopter was loading, he and another Marine held the landing zone alone, killing four of the enemy in close combat. Only after all of his patrol were embarked, did he board the aircraft and depart the embattled area. By his courageous devotion to duty, and extraordinary leadership, Sergeant Coffman reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Jacksonville, North Carolina

COLLINS, BRYANT C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Bryant C. Collins (2009643), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a scout team leader in Company A, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Forward), Fleet Marine Force, on 12 July 1965. Deep in Viet Cong insurgent territory on a reconnaissance patrol, Corporal Collins, in the company of another Marine, was serving as point man when the patrol became heavily engaged with enemy forces firing machine guns and automatic weapons from concealed positions. In the opening moments he brought fire to bear and killed three enemy soldiers, then withdrew to the advance party, which consisted of the company commander and three men, two of whom were wounded. In an open field being swept by a hail of small arms fire, the company commander was struck and killed as he was attempting to aid one of the wounded men. Corporal Collins immediately took charge of the situation, and coolly exposing himself to extremely heavy fire, manned an M79 grenade launcher and silenced an enemy machine gun. He bandaged one wounded man and laid down covering fire to enable him to crawl out of range. After having recovered the commander's body, he again advanced to the fire-swept field and carried the remaining wounded man toward cover until met by assistance. He then organized the party and ordered their return to the main body located 100 yards to the rear. He personally carried his dead commander back to the main line through heavy fire received from the flanks. His heroic actions and brave demeanor served as an inspiration to all who observed him and contributed to the successful withdrawal of the other members of the patrol. By his superb leadership and valiant fighting spirit Corporal Collins reflected distinct credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Gloversville, New York

CONE, FRED J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Fred J. Cone (0-71439), Major, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy while serving as a Pilot of an A6A Intruder Aircraft with Marine All Weather Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED FORTY-TWO (VMA(AW)-242), in the Republic of Vietnam on 25 October 1967. Assigned the mission of attacking an airfield deep in enemy controlled territory, Major Cone coordinated and led the second flight of four aircraft in a coordinated three flight strike attack. He led his flight across rugged terrain with no navigational aids. Skillfully navigating to the exact letdown point, he began his descent to evade enemy radar. Undaunted by the intense enemy antiaircraft fire, he skillfully maneuvered his aircraft towards the objective. Major Cone's surface-to-air missile warning device indicated that a missile had been launched. He banked his Intruder into a head-on collision course and with split second timing, snapped the aircraft down and away from the missile so that it exploded harmlessly in the air. Observing a second missile being launched, he skillfully avoided it 300 feet above the ground. While nearing the target and engulfed in intense enemy ground fire, he encountered a third and fourth missile. Utilizing the same tactics, he skillfully avoided the third missile, however, the fourth missile exploded above his aircraft tossing it into a violent maneuver. Although his plane was damaged, Major Cone continued on his course. Quickly putting his aircraft into a steep climb so that safe separation from the blast of his bombs could be achieved, he dropped four and one-half tons of ordnance, devastating the target. While turning outboard, he encountered a fifth missile. Quickly assessing the situation, he jettisoned his drop tanks to gain speed and maneuverability, thus avoiding the missile. By his bold initiative, devotion to duty and superb aeronautical skill, Major Cone was instrumental in destroying an enemy airfield, reflecting great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Prescott, Arizona

CONKLIN, RICHARD F.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Richard F. Conklin (2251197), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Field Artillery Batteryman with Battery D, Second Battalion, Thirteenth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 10 May 1968, Corporal Conklin was a member of a detachment of two howitzers at the United States Army Special Forces camp at Ngok Tavak in Quang Tin Province. In the early morning hours, the camp was attacked by a reinforced North Vietnamese Army battalion which penetrated the camp's defensive wire in two places, and, utilizing grenades, mortars, B-40 rockets, and automatic weapons, attempted to overrun the hill-top position. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Corporal Conklin manned a .30-caliber machine gun and delivered a heavy volume of accurate fire against the enemy reaching the crest of the hill. Sustaining heavy casualties from the machine-gun fire, the enemy concentrated its automatic weapons fire on his position and attacked it with grenades. Although seriously wounded by grenade fragments, Corporal Conklin resolutely remained at his position and continued to deliver effective fire on the assaulting North Vietnamese. Observing numerous grenades land in his position, he quickly retrieved them and threw them back at the enemy. Wounded a second time by grenade fragments, he temporarily lapsed into unconsciousness and slumped over the weapon, severely burning himself on the hot barrel. Regaining consciousness, he continued to deliver fire for another fifteen minutes until he collapsed from his multiple wounds. When he was subsequently evacuated, three unexploded grenades were found in his emplacement. By his exemplary courage, unfaltering determination, and steadfast devotion to duty at great personal risk, Corporal Conklin was instrumental in repulsing the enemy assault and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Seattle, Washington

COOLICAN, JAMES JOSEPH
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James Joseph Coolican (0-79762), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action in the city of Hue, Thua Thien Province, Republic of Vietnam on 31 January 1968. In the early morning hours, without warning, the enemy assaulted simultaneously all positions of the Hue Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Compound perimeter with 122-mm. and B-40 rockets, mortar and intense small-arms fire. Captain Coolican, with disregard for his own safety, dashed 150 meters through the hail of exploding enemy rounds to a guard post where he moved four wounded personnel to the dispensary. Within a short time, the enemy scored a direct hit on a 20- foot tower, mortally wounding the guard. Quickly, Captain Coolican ran to the tower under heavy enemy fire, recovered the wounded man and carried him down the ladder to an awaiting stretcher. After this, he returned to the tower guard post where he silenced the enemy with a fierce blanket of M-79 grenade fire. At daybreak, because of the critical condition of two wounded men, an emergency air medical rescue was planned from a landing zone approximately 400 meters from the MACV compound. Captain Coolican organized a small force and, after two futile attempts at evacuation of the wounded, he finally succeeded on the third trip and carried critically needed ammunition back to the compound. When a relief force coming to the aid of the compound was ambushed and sustained numerous casualties, Captain Coolican assembled his men and sped to the scene of intense fighting. Under unrelenting hostile fire, he skillfully directed the collection of the injured and evacuation to the Hue MACV dispensary. Throughout the battle of Hue, he skillfully effected medical evacuations under enemy observation and fire. He succeeded in saving many lives with no loss to his own force. Captain Coolican's conspicuous gallantry, professionalism and extraordinary devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Carbondale, Pennsylvania

CORSETTI, HARRY J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Harry J. Corsetti (2350487), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving as a Team Leader with the Third Force Reconnaissance Company, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 15 August 1968, while conducting a long-range reconnaissance patrol southeast of the Con Thien Combat Outpost, Corporal Corsetti alertly observed a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force approaching his team's position. Rapidly deploying his men, he assigned them fields of fire, and upon learning that a wire on a command-detonated mine was defective, he fearlessly moved to within thirty meters of the advancing enemy soldiers to repair the faulty device. During the ensuing three-hour fight, he skillfully coordinated supporting arms fires with those of his men, successfully halting the advance of the enemy until a tank-infantry reaction force arrived. Mounting one of the armored vehicles to direct its fire, Corporal Corsetti assumed command when the tank commander was wounded, and ignoring the intense hostile fire, he directed highly effective fire against the North Vietnamese until they were forced to flee in panic and confusion. When his team came under intense fire from a numerically superior hostile force on 17 August, Corporal Corsetti immediately deployed his men and coordinated accurate artillery fire and gunship attacks against the enemy. On one occasion, he completely disregarded his own safety as he fearlessly exposed himself to draw hostile fire, enabling the supporting armed helicopter pilots to locate the North Vietnamese positions. Undaunted by the enemy rounds impacting near him, he moved across the fire-swept terrain to establish a landing zone and subsequently directed the embarkation of his men aboard an extraction aircraft. By his courage, bold initiative, and selfless devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Corporal Corsetti inspired all who served with him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Baltimore, Maryland

*COUSINS, MERRITT THOMAS
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Merritt Thomas Cousins (2295242), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Radio Operator with Battery B, First Battalion, Twelfth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, attached to Company F, Second Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced) in the Republic of Vietnam on 8 July 1967. Lance Corporal Cousins, serving with a Forward Observer Team, was engaged in a search and clear operation in Cam Lo District, southwest of Con Thien. En route to their objective, the second squad was taken under heavy small-arms and automatic weapons fire by a numerically superior enemy force. The third squad, to which Lance Corporal Cousins was attached, immediately proceeded to assist them. Before contact was made with the second squad, the third squad was taken under heavy automatic weapons fire and a devastating mortar attack by an estimated reinforced North Vietnamese Army unit. In the initial moments of the battle he was wounded by shrapnel, and he and four comrades were cut off forward of their unit and completely surrounded by the enemy. Despite his painful wounds. he called in artillery and advised the command post of their situation. He called artillery in so close that shrapnel was hitting their position. As the artillery fire rocked the enemy position, they made an assault toward the Marine perimeter. Hand-to-hand combat ensued and Lance Corporal Cousins was wounded a second time. Disregarding his painful wounds, and aware of the desperate need for artillery fire and the needs of his fellow Marines, he refused to leave his radio and continued to adjust artillery fire upon the enemy and relay their situation until he succumbed to his wounds with his radio handset in his hands. By his bold initiative, gallant fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty, he was instrumental in repulsing a large scale attack and saving the lives of the beleaguered Marines, reflecting great credit upon himself and the United States Marine Corps and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Clinton, Iowa

*COVELLA, JOSEPH FRANCIS
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Joseph Francis Covella (1001220), Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Light Weapons Infantry Advisor, Third Battalion, First Regiment, First Infantry Division, Army of the Republic of Vietnam, on 3 January 1966. Sergeant Covella was accompanying the First Company of his Battalion when that unit came under scorching fire from their front, pinning them in a ditch while the numerically superior enemy force continued to rain murderous fire upon them. When the order to withdraw was given, one platoon was instructed to remain in position to provide covering fire, and Sergeant Covella, with no regard for his personal safety, volunteered to remain with the platoon. The remainder of the company made an orderly withdrawal and the platoon was told to evacuate. As soon as the order was implemented, three Vietnamese soldiers and one American advisor were wounded. Realizing that without covering fire his platoon would be destroyed, Sergeant Covella stayed with the wounded to aid them and cover the retreat in the face of a merciless enemy advance. He was able to halt the enemy long enough for his platoon to escape from the trap. His battalion found him later with the men he had tried to protect. By his personal bravery, consummate courage and willing self-sacrifice for his comrades, Sergeant Covella reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: October 17, 1928 at Brooklyn, New York
Home Town: Brooklyn, New York

COVER, ROBERT L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert L. Cover (1101469), Master Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with Marine Light Helicopter Observation Squadron TWO (HMO(L)-2), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 17 March 1969, Master Sergeant Cover, then a Gunnery Sergeant, launched as Aerial Gunner aboard an armed helicopter assigned the mission of supporting a Marine company which was heavily engaged in combat with a large North Vietnamese Army force near An Hoa in Quang Nam Province. Arriving over the designated location, he was informed that the unit on the ground had sustained several casualties and had been pinned down in an open rice paddy by a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire. Throughout the ensuing four-hour period, while his pilot maneuvered the helicopter close to hostile emplacements, Master Sergeant Cover delivered intense machine gun fire at the enemy. Despite his vigorous efforts, the withering fire of the hostile troops still prevented the Marines from recovering their casualties from exposed locations. The pilot of the helicopter subsequently elected to land his craft in the contested area to evacuate the wounded men. During the landing, the aircraft became a vulnerable target for intensified hostile fire. Although Master Sergeant Cover attempted to suppress the enemy fire and to destroy the nearby enemy positions with his machine gun, he observed that the hostile fusillade raking the friendly lines prevented the Marines from reaching the casualties. Quickly dismounting his machine gun and providing his own covering fire, he ran thirty meters across the hazardous terrain to the side of one of the wounded and, assisted by a companion, carried the critically wounded Marine back toward the helicopter. Before he could reach the aircraft, he was seriously wounded by enemy small-arms fire, but steadfastly continued his mission and embarked the casualty. On three additional occasions, the pilot landed to embark casualties and each time, concealing his painful wound from his comrades, Master Sergeant Cover braved the hostile fire to set up his machine gun and provide covering fire for the Marines carrying wounded to the aircraft. His heroic and selfless actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of four fellow Marines. By his courage, initiative, and devotion to duty, Master Sergeant Cover upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Pickerington, Ohio

CROCKETT, JOSEPH R., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Joseph R. Crockett, Jr., Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Team Leader with First Force Reconnaissance Company, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 23 April 1969, Sergeant Crockett's team was clandestinely observing a major North Vietnamese Army supply route west of An Hoa in Quang Nam Province when the Marines came under a ground assault by an estimated hostile platoon supported by a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire, and in the initial moments of the attack sustained several casualties. Sergeant Crockett seized a grenade launcher from one of his wounded men and moved across 50 meters of exposed terrain to deliver fire upon the enemy. As a group of North Vietnamese soldiers approached his team's defensive perimeter, he quickly killed one and wounded four others; then, having exhausted his ammunition, utilized a radio to adjust supporting artillery fire to within 50 meters of his men. He then ran from one Marine position to another gathering grenades, which he hurled at the hostile soldiers, forcing them to regroup and withdraw. As the enemy soldiers retreated they lighted several brush fires that rapidly spread toward the team's emplacement. Unable to extinguish the flames with his jacket, Sergeant Crockett repeatedly assisted in moving his injured Marines to safety, stopping only to render first aid and deliver suppressive fire upon the North Vietnamese force. In order to expedite evacuation of his critically injured men, he tied an air panel to his back and boldly moved into an open clearing where he stood in full view of the enemy to mark the landing zone for the helicopters and gunships as they arrived on station. Although nearly exhausted, Sergeant Crockett refused to be extracted, and assisted in a search of the vicinity. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit, and selfless devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Sergeant Crockett upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*CUMMINGS, ROGER WAYNE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Roger Wayne Cummings (2470680), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Rifleman with Company K, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 20 April 1968. Private First Class Cummings' platoon was directed to assault heavily fortified North Vietnamese Army emplacements located in the mountainous Thoung Duc area of Quang Nam Province. As the platoon commenced the attack, the Marines came under vicious automatic weapons fire from concealed machine gun positions, pinning down the unit and inflicting several casualties. Realizing the need for immediate action to prevent further Marine injuries, Private First Class Cummings unhesitatingly left his relatively secure rear position and charged across the fire-swept terrain to assault the hostile bunker complex. With enemy rounds impacting about him, he raced from one emplacement to another, firing his rifle and throwing hand grenades in a splendid display of valor, which enabled his companions to resume the attack. Demoralized by the impetus of the attack, the North Vietnamese soldiers began a retreat from the area and, as they withdrew, one of the men hurled an explosive device at Private First Class Cummings, which injured him extensively and rendered him unable to walk. Although suffering great pain, he resolutely determined to prevent the escape of the hostile unit, and struggling desperately, he dragged himself on his elbows and hands to a vantage point from which he continued to fire upon the enemy soldiers until he succumbed to his wounds. His heroic efforts and selfless concern for his fellowmen were instrumental in his unit's securing the objective. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty, Private First Class Cummings upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Bloomington, Indiana

CURLEY, RONALD T.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Ronald T. Curley (2168667), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Squad Leader of the First Squad, First Platoon, Company F, Second Battalion, Twenty-sixth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam on 16 May 1967. During Operation PRAIRIE IV, the platoon in front of Sergeant Curley's platoon came under heavy small-arms and automatic weapons fire from a North Vietnamese Army battalion entrenched in fortified bunkers. As the platoon moved to envelop the enemy, the platoon commander and numerous other Marines were wounded, and the platoon was pinned down by a heavy volume of enemy fire coming from all sides. Sergeant Curley immediately took charge of the platoon and moved to an exposed position from which he could better direct the fire fight. Fully aware of the personal risk involved, he repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire during the three hour battle while directing his platoon. On two occasions he single-handedly assaulted enemy bunkers, silencing the automatic weapons inside. Moving from place to place on the battlefield, he distributed ammunition to men in exposed positions and personally visited each of the wounded men. When the major battle had subsided, he continued to set an example of courage by making three trips to the landing zone with wounded men, a distance of 400 meters, under enemy sniper fire. By his daring initiative, gallant fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty in the face of insurmountable odds, Sergeant Curley saved the lives of many of his comrades and contributed materially to the success of his company's mission. His outstanding courage and valiant leadership were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Las Vegas, Nevada

CURTIS, RUSSELL W.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Russell W. Curtis (1428625), Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with Supply Battalion, First Force Service Regiment, Force Logistics Command, in the Republic of Vietnam on 21 August 1967. Upon discovery of a large mine, Gunnery Sergeant Curtis was called upon to aid in its removal since it was located on a vital trail network. After assessing the situation, it was determined that the only feasible method to remove the mine was by hand. When the small force at the scene came under vicious sniper fire from a nearby tree line, he immediately dispersed his men to give covering fire and proceeded to remove the mine. Estimating that it was a twenty-five pound tetronal, he and a comrade proceeded to remove the fuse and check the mine for additional booby traps. While the mine was being removed Gunnery Sergeant Curtis noticed an M-26A1 hand grenade fixed to the mine. With complete disregard for his own safety, he shoved his comrade aside and shouted a warning. Unable to throw the grenade because of the close proximity of the friendly troops, Gunnery Sergeant Curtis elected to absorb the impact of the explosion with his own body thereby saving his comrades from death or injury. By his bold initiative, dauntless courage, and unselfish concern for his fellow Marines, Gunnery Sergeant Curtis reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Zanesville, Ohio

D

DABNEY, WILLIAM H.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William H. Dabney (0-80399), Colonel [then Captain], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer of two heavily reinforced rifle companies of the Third Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam from 21 January to 14 April 1968. During the entire period, Colonel Dabney's force stubbornly defended Hill 881S, a regional outpost vital to the defense of the Khe Sanh Combat Base. Following his bold spoiling attack on 20 January 1968, shattering a much larger North Vietnamese Army (NVA) force deploying to attack Hill 881S, Colonel Dabney's force was surrounded and cut off from all outside ground supply for the entire 77 day Siege of Khe Sanh. Enemy snipers, machine guns, artillery, and 120-millimeter mortars responded to any daylight movement on his position. In spite of deep entrenchments, his total casualties during the siege were close to 100 percent. Helicopters were his only source of re-supply, and each such mission brought down a cauldron of fire on his landing zones. On numerous occasions Colonel Dabney raced into the landing zone under heavy hostile fire to direct debarkation of personnel and to carry wounded Marines to evacuation helicopters. The extreme difficulty of re-supply resulted in conditions of hardship and deprivation seldom experienced by American forces. Nevertheless, Colonel Dabney's indomitable spirit was truly an inspiration to his troops. He organized his defenses with masterful skill and his preplanned fires shattered every enemy probe on his positions. He also devised an early warning system whereby NVA artillery and rocket firings from the west were immediately reported by lookouts to the Khe Sanh Combat Base, giving exposed personnel a few life saving seconds to take cover, saving countless lives, and facilitating the targeting of enemy firing positions. Colonel Dabney repeatedly set an incredible example of calm courage under fire, gallantly exposing himself at the center of every action without concern for his own safety. Colonel Dabney contributed decisively to ultimate victory in the Battle of Khe Sanh, and ranks among the most heroic stands of any American force in history. By his valiant combat leadership, exceptional bravery, and selfless devotion to duty, Colonel Dabney reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Gloucester, Virginia

DALTON, ROBERT G.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert G. Dalton (2298765), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader with Company K, Third Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 25 May 1969. While Company K was participating in Operation VIRGINIA RIDGE near the Demilitarized Zone, the lead platoon came under a heavy volume of machine gun and automatic weapons fire supported by rocket-propelled grenades, directional mines and mortars. In the initial burst of fire, the platoon commander and point squad leader were seriously wounded. Realizing the need for immediate action, Corporal Dalton rallied his companions, then, seizing the machine gun of an injured Marine, dauntlessly moved forward to a vantage point on the crest of a hill and, although this made him a vulnerable target for hostile gunners, resolutely maintained his dangerously exposed position as he relentlessly delivered rapid fire at enemy emplacements, thus enabling other Marines to treat the casualties behind him. Aware that the hilltop had to be taken before medical evacuation helicopters could land and embark the wounded, Corporal Dalton picked up the machine gun and two cans of ammunition and, wrapping his shirt around the red-hot barrel of the weapon, initiated an aggressive assault up the slope. As he led his comrades in the attack, the North Vietnamese Army soldiers retreated from their entrenched positions. Having expended his ammunition and armed only with a pistol and a hand grenade, Corporal Dalton observed an enemy bunker 30 meters to his front and, boldly charging the remaining emplacement, routed the enemy. His heroic actions and determined efforts were instrumental in the defeat of the North Vietnamese Army force. By his aggressive fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Dalton upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: New York, New York

DANNER, DAVID J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to David J. Danner (2113629), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Tank Maintenance Man and Crewman with Company A, Third Tank Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 8 May 1967. While operating in support of the First Battalion, Fourth Marines, Sergeant Danner's tank was hit and heavily damaged by enemy fire during a savage mortar and infantry attack on the battalion's positions at Gio Linh by a 400-man North Vietnamese Army force. Although wounded himself, Sergeant Danner helped his dazed and wounded fellow crewmen from the wreckage to the medical aid station. Realizing that enemy soldiers were in the Command Post area, having penetrated the defensive perimeter during their initial assault, he refused first aid and resolutely returned to his disabled tank to retrieve a .30-caliber machine gun. Mounting the weapon on the ground, he commenced delivering a heavy volume of fire on the attackers. With complete disregard for his own safety, he repeatedly left his position to deliver badly needed ammunition to the infantrymen in the fighting holes and to assist in moving casualties to safer positions. On one occasion, observing a seriously wounded Marine in need of immediate medical treatment, Sergeant Danner carried the man through intense enemy fire to the Corpsman's bunker where he could receive life-saving first aid, which prevented him from bleeding to death. Demonstrating uncommon courage and tenacity, he then returned to his machine gun where he continued to provide covering fire for his comrades, moving his weapon to alternate positions in order to deliver maximum fire on the enemy. Although in extreme pain from fragment wounds in his arms and back and suffering severe burns and a loss of hearing as a result of an explosion, he selflessly disregarded his own welfare throughout the vicious fire fight in order to assist his comrades in repulsing the North Vietnamese attack. By his exceptional professional skill and bold initiative, he personally killed fifteen enemy soldiers and undoubtedly wounded many more. Sergeant Danner's daring and heroic actions at great personal risk, inspiring leadership, and unwavering devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Sioux City, Iowa

*DARNELL, DANA CORNELL
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Dana Cornell Darnell (2208738), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a 60-mm. Mortar Ammunition Carrier attached to Company B, First Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 24 April 1967. Company B was engaged in a search and destroy operation against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces in Quang Tri Province. Lance Corporal Darnell's platoon was entering a clearing, when it was ambushed by North Vietnamese Army Forces, using heavy small arms and automatic weapons fire. As the ambush was sprung, the mortar gunner was knocked unconscious while seeking cover. Exhibiting sound judgment and extraordinary calmness in the face of intense enemy fire, Lance Corporal Darnell retrieved the mortar. Due to the urgency of the situation, he was unable to set the mortar up properly. Holding it between his legs and steadying it with his hands, he began firing the mortar from a position exposed to the enemy fire and delivered accurate fire into the enemy positions. When he had exhausted all of his ammunition, he moved from man to man, collecting mortar ammunition to keep his mortar in action. He repeated this selfless performance many times, until the enemy fire was silenced. At this time, the platoon was ordered to withdraw from the clearing. Lance Corporal Darnell was dragging two wounded Marines from the clearing when he was temporarily blinded by enemy fire, which knocked dirt and rock fragments into his eyes. He refused to be evacuated and within an hour was again assisting in the care of the wounded. By his outstanding courage, exceptional fortitude and valiant fighting spirit he served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Greenville, South Carolina

*DAVIS, DENNIS DEAN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Dennis Dean Davis (578667690), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Rifleman with Company K, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 28 August 1969, while Company K was conducting a search and destroy operation in Quang Nam Province, the lead platoon was pinned down by enemy small arms, automatic weapons, and antiaircraft fire. Crawling toward a vantage point from which to better observe enemy activities when he saw a hostile soldier moving into a bunker, Private First Class Davis raced across ten meters of open terrain and, leaping to the top of the fortification, hurled a grenade into the rear aperture. When a hostile grenade landed beside him, he quickly retrieved it and heaved it toward the opening of the bunker. However, the grenade detonated prematurely and the resultant explosion knocked Private First Class Davis to the ground, seriously wounding him and rendered his weapon useless. Undaunted, he crawled under the enemy fire, to the front of the fortifications and pushed another grenade through the firing aperture, fatally wounding the hostile occupant. Quickly entering the smoking bunker, he captured an enemy machine gun and utilized it to deliver devastating fire at other nearby hostile positions until the weapon malfunctioned. When he saw a companion fall in a position dangerously exposed to the enemy fire, he dashed through the hostile fusillade to the side of casualty, picked him up, and moved across twenty meters of fire-swept terrain to a relatively covered location. Despite the pain of his own wounds, he then armed himself with the casualty's rifle and charged forward to attack another enemy fortification, but was mortally wounded before he could reach it. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Private First Class Davis contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his unit's mission and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Capitol Heights, Maryland

*DAWSON, JOHN ROBERT
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to John Robert Dawson (0-100987), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Forward Observer with Battery G, Third Battalion, Twelfth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in action against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 27 October 1967. During Operation GRANITE, Second Lieutenant Dawson was attached to Company B, First Battalion, Fourth Marines during a search and destroy operation in Thua Thien Province. As the company was moving down a narrow jungle trail, it suddenly came under intense enemy fire from well-concealed North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong forces on three sides, sustaining immediate casualties, and was temporarily pinned down by the heavy volume of automatic weapons and small-arms fire and grenade attack. Although the enemy ambush continued with relentless intensity, Second Lieutenant Dawson completely disregarded his own safety as he dauntlessly moved from his position at the rear of the platoon to the side of the company commander in the foreground of the attack. After the two officers conferred to determine how artillery could best be deployed against the enemy, Second Lieutenant Dawson quickly called for and accurately adjusted supporting arms fire on the enemy positions. While he continued to direct artillery fire, the commanding officer was struck by an enemy round and fell to the ground, exposed to further injury or possible death on the open trail. Quickly obtaining a rifle, Second Lieutenant Dawson unhesitatingly positioned himself by the side of his wounded comrade, using his own body as a shield in an effort to protect him from the hostile fire. Exhibiting a sincere concern for the welfare of his companion and a determined fighting spirit, he courageously returned fire upon the enemy until he was mortally wounded. His heroic action at the risk of his own life was instrumental in saving the life of his fellow Marine and contributed significantly in repulsing the enemy force. By his intrepid fighting spirit, daring initiative and selfless devotion to duty, Second Lieutenant Dawson upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Adrian, Michigan

*DAY, EDWARD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Edward Day (2283719), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Rifleman with Company L, Third Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 26 August 1968. Company L was occupying a defensive position near The Rockpile in Quang Tri Province when the Marines came under intense mortar fire. Following the attack, a listening post alertly observed a reinforced North Vietnamese Army platoon advancing toward the company's position. Realizing the importance of denying the enemy access to the avenue of approach to the Marine perimeter, which was blocked by his position forward of the company lines, Lance Corporal Day fearlessly moved to a dangerously exposed location and began delivering an accurate volume of fire upon the North Vietnamese soldiers. Disregarding his own safety, he steadfastly remained in the hazardous area as he effectively employed his weapon, successfully destroying an enemy machine gun and killing all members of its crew. Alertly observing an injured Marine who was pinned down by the intense enemy fire he unhesitatingly moved from his firing position, and as he was maneuvering to the aid of his comrade, Lance Corporal Day was mortally wounded. His daring initiative and heroic efforts were inspiring to all who observed him and contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his unit's mission. By his courage, sincere concern for the welfare of his comrades and steadfast devotion to duty, Lance Corporal Day upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

DEBONA, ANDREW D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Andrew D. DeBona (0-83217), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer Company M, Third Battalion, Twenty- Sixth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 10 September 1967. During a search and destroy operation in the vicinity of Con Thien, Company M was providing flank security for the battalion, when the enemy commenced a heavy and accurate artillery, rocket, and mortar barrage, followed by an assault by an estimated North Vietnamese Army Regiment. The second and third platoons absorbed the brunt of the preliminary attack with their commanders and platoon sergeants becoming casualties during the action. Quickly grasping the situation, Captain DeBona unhesitatingly, and with full knowledge of the risks involved, moved in among his men, rallying them to drive off the enemy assault. After supervising the evacuation of his wounded to a secure area to await medivac helicopters, he conducted an orderly withdrawal of his troops and casualties toward prepared positions on the ridge line. Constantly exposing himself to the enemy while repulsing another enemy assault and concurrently organizing a defensive perimeter, he displayed a tremendous degree of composure and calm, inspiring his Marines by his presence of mind and outstanding courage. Shortly after dusk approximately 20 Marines became pinned down in a bomb crater 25 meters in front of the lines. Moving swiftly, Captain DeBona gathered a small reaction force and led it, under intense fire, to the bomb crater. Upon reaching the crater, he effectively organized his men into casualty bearers and a covering party. The volume of fire laid down by the covering party allowed the removal of all of the casualties. Captain DeBona ordered his men to withdraw, remaining behind to cover the withdrawal. His bravery and determination throughout the bitter action were instrumental in driving back three waves of enemy assault and inspired all who observed him. By his intrepid fighting spirit, daring initiative and unwavering devotion to duty, Captain DeBona reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Ebensburg, Pennsylvania

DEPLANCHE, MARK B.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Mark B. DePlanche (2042758), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a fire team leader while serving with Company G, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam on the night of 13 - 14 January 1966. Assigned to lead a patrol set up to help defend his platoon's position, Corporal DePlanche established an ambush in one position, and when ordered to move to a second site, he detected a Viet Cong moving on the ground to his left front. Seconds later he saw 30 to 40 Viet Cong moving into a skirmish line in the same area. Shouting for his fire team to launch the attack, he opened fire, and as they followed his command the four Marines, undaunted by numerical odds, assaulted the Viet Cong force and drove them in retreat to high ground. As the foe fell back they began to deliver heavy automatic weapons fire and a shower of grenades at the patrol, and although Corporal DePlanche was wounded he continued in pursuit and secured the area. Calling by radio, he notified his platoon commander of the situation and requested a reserve squad to be sent. After having repulsed three Viet Cong counter-attacks, he then took part in the assault which drove the insurgents from the hill. His exceptional initiative and aggressive action in assailing a force much larger than his own resulted in the capture of four 60-mm. mortars, 81 rounds of 60-mm. mortar ammunition, 15 rifles, and the death of four Viet Cong. His courageous and daring actions reflected distinct credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Flint, Michigan

DEVRIES, MARVIN H.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Marvin H. Devries (107350), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company E, Second Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. During the early morning hours of 10 August 1969, while occupying a night defensive position near the Demilitarized Zone in Quang Tri Province, First Lieutenant Devries' platoon came under a ground attack by a North Vietnamese Army company reinforced by sappers utilizing automatic weapons fire, rocket-propelled grenades, and satchel charges. During the initial moments of the assault, the momentum of the enemy movement enabled the hostile soldiers to penetrate a portion of the Marines' defensive perimeter. Reacting instantly to this threat, First Lieutenant Devries ran across the fire-swept terrain to the point of heaviest contact and, shouting directions to the Marines there, skillfully realigned the defensive perimeter in such a way that the North Vietnamese Army soldiers were again outside the friendly lines. Completely disregarding his own safety, First Lieutenant Devries then moved from one Marine position to another to encourage his men and to insure that every possible avenue of enemy approach was adequately covered with firepower. While rushing across the hazardous area to counter a new threat, First Lieutenant Devries was severely wounded by fragments from a rocket-propelled grenade which impacted hear him. Refusing medical attention, he directed a vigorous defense of the perimeter, personally accounting for five enemy casualties. He then moved to a dangerously exposed vantage point and, heedless of the rounds impacting around him, skillfully adjusted supporting Marine artillery fire with such accuracy that the North Vietnamese Army force lost the advantage of its numerical superiority and retreated. His heroic and determined actions over a prolonged period of time were instrumental in minimizing Marine casualties and turning a potential disaster into a resounding victory. By his courage, dynamic leadership, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, First Lieutenant Devries upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Detroit, Michigan

*DICKSON, GROVER LEE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Grover Lee Dickson (1508294), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as squad leader of the Second Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Republic of Vietnam during Operation PRAIRIE on 11 November 1966. When the Second Platoon came under heavy enemy automatic weapons fire during a search and destroy mission which seriously wounded his platoon commander and two other Marines, Corporal Dickson quickly formed his squad into an effective fighting force. Seeing a wounded Marine in front of his position, he charged forward, with complete disregard for himself, and succeeded in carrying his wounded comrade to safety. Then, realizing that his platoon commander lay seriously wounded beneath the aperture of an enemy bunker, Corporal Dickson seized a grenade launcher and tried to quell the automatic rifle fire coming from the enemy emplacement. Aware that this action was not successful, he returned to his squad's position, picked up a fragmentation hand grenade and, without regard to the unrelenting fury of automatic weapons fire, charged the bunker. He threw the grenade through the aperture and momentarily neutralized the position, enabling the removal of his platoon commander to a safe location and subsequent evacuation. Automatic weapons fire again erupted from the same bunker. Ignoring the personal dangers involved, Corporal Dickson seized two hand grenades and charged the bunker again, but before he could reach his objective, he was mortally wounded. His daring initiative, valor and selfless efforts on behalf of his comrades were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: March 15, 1938 at Fort Worth, Texas
Home Town: New Orleans, Louisiana

DILLARD, HENRY C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Henry C. Dillard (2276285), Corporal [then Private First Class], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a 3.5 inch Rocket Gunner with Company M, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 29 May 1967. During Operation PRAIRIE IV, in Quang Tri Province, Company M was assigned the mission of attacking a well camouflaged and heavily fortified enemy bunker complex defending Hill 174. The unseen enemy opened devastating automatic weapons fire on the advancing Marines, inflicting numerous casualties. As rifle fire was virtually ineffective against the enemy fortification, Corporal Dillard, with complete disregard for his own safety, moved his rocket launcher, through the devastating enemy fire, to the main point of the ensuing battle and although completely exposed to the intense fire, he single-handedly assaulted the enemy stronghold. Stopping momentarily, only ten meters in front of the enemy stronghold, he fired his rockets with deadly accuracy at the position. As the exploding rockets threw him to the ground, he quickly rallied and regained his position. Expending all his rocket rounds, he continued his daring one-man assault with hand grenades and rifle fire, silencing the enemy position and killing six enemy soldiers. By his aggressive fighting spirit and initiative, Corporal Dillard served to inspire all who observed him and contributed directly to the security of his company. His great personal valor reflected the highest credit upon himself and enhanced the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Cadiz, Kentucky

DITTMAN, CARL R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Carl R. Dittman (2344874), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a scout with the Intelligence Section of the Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 14 November 1968, Corporal Dittman was accompanying Company A during a reconnaissance in force in the vicinity of Hill 461 in Quang Tri Province when the lead elements came under intense fire and were pinned down. In a forward position, Corporal Dittman alertly observed a North Vietnamese soldier throw a hand grenade toward him and, shouting a warning to his companions, reached cover as the grenade exploded. Then circling around the hill to where Marines were pinned down so close to the hostile bunker that the enemy could be heard talking, he gathered all the grenades he could carry and, advancing under fire, launched a single-handed assault against the entrenched North Vietnamese solders. Forced back by intense mortar and automatic weapons fire, Corporal Dittman waited until the attack subsided and advanced again in full view of the enemy and threw the remainder of his grenades against the stronghold in a fierce attempt to rout the hostile soldiers. Rejoining his companions, he aided the wounded until the unit was directed to withdraw to more advantageous positions. Although painfully wounded in the face and right arm, Corporal Dittman was attempting to carry a seriously injured Marine down the hill when the enemy concentrated a heavy volume of fire on him. Disregarding his own safety, he quickly placed his fallen comrade in a fighting hole and shielded him with his own body as mortar fire began impacting all around him. Refusing to seek cover and ignoring his own weakened condition, Corporal Dittman aided and comforted the injured man throughout the night. At daybreak, he skillfully attracted the attention of an aerial observer who directed a medical evacuation helicopter to the isolated hillside position to evacuate the two men. His heroic action and resolute determination in saving the life of a fellow Marine were an inspiration to all who served with him. By his courage, bold initiative, and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Corporal Dittman upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Houston, Texas

DONALDSON, BILLY M.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Billy M. Donaldson (1461338), Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Team Leader with the First Force Reconnaissance Company, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during operations against the enemy sixteen miles west of Dong Ha, Vietnam, on 8 August 1966. Deep in enemy controlled territory, Staff Sergeant Donaldson was leading a four-man reconnaissance team when he observed fifteen Viet Cong. Realizing the valuable opportunity to capture a prisoner, he suggested that a platoon reaction force be landed in the area. The platoon landed, made a fruitless search and commenced heli-lifting the force and the reconnaissance team out of the area. Staff Sergeant Donaldson declined to be withdrawn with the initial heli-lift, as he felt he could assist the Platoon Commander in the evacuation of the remainder of the force. All but twenty-four of the Marines had been flown out when an estimated two companies of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong launched a vicious rocket, machine gun fire and grenade attack. The attacks continued late into the night, killing four Marines and wounding numerous others. The casualties were moved to foxholes within the defensive perimeter. Subsequently, while under heavy grenade attack from thirty or forty North Vietnamese and Viet Cong, Staff Sergeant Donaldson saw a grenade land in a foxhole containing a wounded man. With complete disregard for his own safety, he leaped into the foxhole, picked up the grenade, and threw it back toward the Viet Cong. As the grenade left his hand, it exploded, wounding him severely in the arm and head. By his heroic actions, initiative, and loyal devotion to duty at great personal risk, Staff Sergeant Donaldson undoubtedly saved the wounded Marine's life, reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Valliant, Oklahoma

DONOVAN, JOSEPH P.
(First Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Joseph P. Donovan (101008), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Pilot with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-FOUR (HMM-364), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, in the Republic of Vietnam on 22 February 1969. First Lieutenant Donovan launched as Wingman in a flight of two CH-46 transport helicopters assigned the emergency medical evacuation of a seriously wounded Marine from an area north of the Nam O Bridge in Quang Nam Province. When the section leader's aircraft experienced mechanical difficulties and returned to its base, First Lieutenant Donovan resolutely elected to continue the mission. Approaching the designated area, he observed a hostile rocket launching site and dispatched his gunships to destroy the emplacement. When informed that the injured Marine was in a critical condition, First Lieutenant Donovan, undaunted by the extremely heavy volume of enemy fire and lacking gunship support, fearlessly maneuvered to a landing on the fire-swept area and embarked the casualty. Wounded by fragments from hostile grenades and mortar rounds which also severely damaged his helicopter and caused it to vibrate violently as it lifted out of the zone, he ignored his painful injuries as he fought to regain control of the CH-46 and then skillfully maneuvered it to the nearest medical facility. After receiving medical attention and ascertaining that his aircraft was operable, he boldly launched on a second emergency medical evacuation mission and again entered an extremely hazardous area, without gunship support, to take the wounded to a medical facility. Informed that eight seriously injured Marines in another area required immediate evacuation, First Lieutenant Donovan unhesitatingly proceeded to the site, coordinated his approach with gunship fire, and landed in the perilous zone. He resolutely remained in his dangerously exposed position until all the casualties were embarked, and then lifted out of the area. As he began to depart, he learned that additional casualties had been brought to the landing zone, two of whom were in critical condition. With complete disregard for his own safety, he again braved the heavy volume of enemy fire and landed in the fire-swept area, embarked the wounded Marines, and departed to the nearest medical facility. By his courage, superior airmanship and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, First Lieutenant Donovan was instrumental in the accomplishment of the hazardous mission and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Waxahachie, Texas
Other Award: Navy Cross w/Gold Star (Vietnam)

DONOVAN, JOSEPH P.
(Second Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to Joseph P. Donovan (101008), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-FOUR (HMM-364), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing during combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 21 April 1969, First Lieutenant Donovan, launched as pilot of a transport helicopter assigned the mission of medically evacuating seriously wounded Marines from an open rice paddy northwest of Liberty Bridge in Quang Nam Province. Arriving over the designated area, he commenced a high-speed, low-altitude approach toward a tree line north of the site, and immediately came under machine-gun fire which damaged the forward section of his transport. Undaunted by the hostile fire, he maneuvered the helicopter to the area where the casualties lay, maintaining his helicopter in a hover while the wounded men were embarked. Still taking a heavy volume of enemy fire, First Lieutenant Donovan departed the area and delivered his patients to the hospital at DaNang. After an inspection of the battle damage revealed that the helicopter was no longer airworthy, he took command of a second aircraft and immediately received a request for another medical evacuation mission from the same area. Proceeding at once to the site, he commenced his second approach into the hazardous zone, again flying through intense enemy fire. As he awaited the embarkation of the casualties, additional enemy fire erupted which prevented the Marines on the ground from embarking the remainder of the casualties. When informed that his starboard gunner had been wounded, First Lieutenant Donovan lifted from the zone to evaluate the man's wound and to appraise the damage to his aircraft. Determining that the aircraft was still capable of accomplishing the evacuation and that his gunner was not seriously wounded, he advised the ground unit that he was again ready to enter the hazardous zone, but was informed that another helicopter had been designated to complete the mission. By his courage, superior aeronautical ability, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, First Lieutenant Donovan was directly instrumental in saving the lives of several fellow Marines and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Waxahachie, Texas
Other Award: Navy Cross (Vietnam)

*DORRIS, CLAUDE HESSON
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Claude Hesson Dorris (1547450), Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as the Marine Squad Leader/Advisor of Combined Action Platoon H-6, Third Combined Action Group, III Marine Amphibious Force, in the Republic of Vietnam. During the early morning hours of 7 January 1968, Sergeant Dorris' platoon was defending an outpost in Nuoc Ngot Village, Thua Thien Province. Suddenly, the compound came under a heavy volume of mortar and rocket fire, followed by an aggressive assault by a numerically superior Viet Cong force. The enemy quickly seized the northern wall of the compound as the Marines and Popular Forces soldiers moved to the sandbagged southern wall. Realizing that several Marines had been in their living quarters when the attack commenced, Sergeant Dorris unhesitatingly exposed himself to the hostile fire to ensure that the Marines were manning their fighting positions. Although painfully wounded in both legs soon after the attack commenced, he resolutely crawled from one burning hut to another, ensuring that none of his men had been trapped in the structures. Observing a wounded Vietnamese boy run into the compound, Sergeant Dorris skillfully administered first aid to the child. Despite the enemy fire impacting around him, he fearlessly remained in his dangerously exposed position in an attempt to halt the advancing enemy force until he was mortally wounded by an enemy rocket round. His heroic and timely actions inspired his men and prevented the enemy from overrunning the compound. By his courage, bold initiative, and selfless devotion to duty, Sergeant Dorris upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps, and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Louisville, Kentucky

*DOWD, JOHN ALOYSIUS
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to John Aloysius Dowd (157224808), Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer of the First Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 12 - 13 August 1969. During this two-day period, Lieutenant Colonel Dowd aggressively led his battalion against North Vietnamese Army forces attempting to infiltrate the vital An Hoa and DaNang areas. In the early morning hours of 12 August, Company B was preparing to depart its defensive position when the Marines came under coordinated mortar, rocket-propelled grenade, and small arms fire. Unhesitatingly leaving his relatively secure position, Lieutenant Colonel Dowd fearlessly traveled over 400 meters of enemy territory to the beleaguered unit's position and, after a rapid assessment of the tactical situation, boldly moved to a forward position from which he directed preparations for an aggressive attack against the enemy. Personally leading the subsequent assault, he simultaneously coordinated the movement of adjacent units along three fronts, causing the hostile force to attempt to withdraw. Aware of the enemy plan, Lieutenant Colonel Dowd deployed his men along all possible routes of egress, thereby denying the North Vietnamese Army force the opportunity to escape. As the battalion continued its search and destroy efforts, Company D was heavily engaged in combat by a large North Vietnamese Army force. When Company B was similarly engaged while en route to assist the beleaguered Marines, Lieutenant Colonel Dowd, completely disregarding his own safety, boldly moved to the point of heaviest contact and, calling for reinforcements, effected the encirclement of the hostile soldiers. Displaying outstanding tactical ability, he then adeptly maneuvered his units in an aggressive assault against the trapped enemy, the impetus of which completely demoralized the hostile unit and caused its defeat. On the following day, the battalion was advancing along a four company front when the Marines came under a heavy volume of small arms, automatic weapons, and machine gun fire from North Vietnamese Army soldiers occupying well-fortified emplacements in a tree line. After adjusting fixed wing air strikes and artillery fire on the enemy positions, Lieutenant Colonel Dowd, seeming to be completely without fear, was moving to an advantageous location from which to control the movement of his forces when he was mortally wounded by hostile machine gun fire. His resolute determination and bold initiative inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in his battalion accounting for 140 hostile soldiers killed, the apprehension of six prisoners, and the seizure of vast quantities of enemy weaponry. By his courage, dynamic leadership and unwavering devotion to duty, Lieutenant Colonel Dowd upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Elizabeth, New Jersey

DOWNING, TALMADGE R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Talmadge R. Downing (1176720), Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Weapons Platoon Sergeant with Company M, Third Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 5 March 1966. During Operation UTAH in Quang Ngai Province, Sergeant Downing was serving with an assault element which was engaged in seizing the battalion objective held by units of a North Vietnamese regiment. As the battle progressed, one of the Marine machine gun squads and a rifle squad were pinned down by intense automatic weapons fire and hand grenades originating from concealed, fortified positions. When fire from maneuvering friendly forces endangered a group of Marine casualties, Sergeant Downing exhibited exceptional presence of mind, gallantly exposing himself, shouting and giving hand signals until the errant fire was corrected. In his daring effort, he sustained a painful shoulder wound from an enemy grenade. Undaunted, he directed and helped the wounded men to a relatively safe position. With forceful leadership, he organized an assault unit which attacked and destroyed a position which was manned by a numerically superior enemy force. He single-handedly destroyed another enemy position with his pistol and a hand grenade. Running low on ammunition, he calmly picked up an automatic weapon from a destroyed enemy position and courageously directed the final assault on the Viet Cong strongpoint, personally hurling the grenade which completely silenced the position. His gallant effort contributed in large measure to the success of Operation UTAH. By his extraordinary leadership, resolute fighting spirit and selfless dedication to duty throughout, Sergeant Downing upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Middletown, Ohio

DRISCOLL, THOMAS B.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Thomas B. Driscoll (2135382), Corporal [then Lance Corporal], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Forward Air Controller for Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 4 and 6 September 1967. On 4 September, Company D came under devastating enemy automatic weapons, mortar and grenade fire from an estimated regiment of North Vietnamese Regulars, wounding several Marines and the forward observer. Corporal Driscoll immediately assumed the duties of the forward observer, calling in and adjusting artillery with uncanny accuracy and breaking up the enemy attack. During darkness, it was necessary to mark the landing zone for the emergency medical evacuation of casualties. Undaunted by the heavy sniper fire, he unhesitatingly procured a strobe light and held it over his head to guide in the helicopters. On 6 September, the company was again taken under heavy enemy fire. Observing two Marines wounded and lying in an open area approximately 100 meters from his position, he courageously and with complete disregard for his own safety, moved forward and retrieved one man. Being assured the man was in a safe position, he returned to the second wounded Marine and carried him back to safety. When fifteen to twenty Viet Cong attempted to penetrate the perimeter, he boldly exposed himself to the withering small-arms fire and gallantly led a one-man assault on the enemy, hurling grenades and breaking up the enemy attack. Upon returning to his position, he supervised the establishment of a defensive perimeter. By his bold initiative, gallant fighting spirit and loyal devotion to duty, Corporal Driscoll reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Richmond, Virginia

*DUFF, BARRY WILLIAM
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Barry William Duff (2098848), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company C, First Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 21 May 1966. While on a patrol, Corporal Duff's squad came under intense rifle, machine-gun, mortar, and recoilless rifle fire from a reinforced Viet Cong company. The initial burst of enemy fire caused several casualties. Realizing that the casualties were lying fully exposed to the enemy fire, Corporal Duff immediately moved to a small knoll overlooking the enemy and his wounded comrades. During the next half hour the enemy launched three assaults in an effort to annihilate the wounded Marines and capture their weapons. With complete disregard for his own safety, he repeatedly exposed himself to turn back the enemy's attacks with accurate rifle fire. Although wounded during the second attack when he was shot in the leg and knocked from the knoll, he gathered more ammunition and hand grenades and gallantly regained his position to protect his wounded comrades. He courageously held his position until mortally wounded while exposing himself to throw a hand grenade. By his bold initiative, indomitable fighting spirit and loyal devotion to duty, Corporal Duff was instrumental in saving his comrades from further injury or possible death, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Baltimore, Maryland

*DUNCAN, RICHARD WINERFRED
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Richard Winerfred Duncan (2327745), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Machine Gun Squad Leader with Company M, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on the afternoon of 8 November 1967. During Operation ESSEX, Corporal Duncan's company was attempting to seize a small but heavily fortified village in Quang Nam Province when it suddenly came under intense mortar and automatic weapons fire which killed the acting platoon commander and seven other Marines, and temporarily pinned down the lead platoon in a rice paddy. Quickly assessing the situation, Corporal Duncan displayed unusual courage, leadership and composure under fire, as he maneuvered his machine gun team across the open area to a position behind a dike. He directed a heavy volume of fire against the North Vietnamese Army force, suppressing its fire sufficiently to enable the Marines lying in the open field to move to relatively safe positions. As he was moving his team back to rejoin the platoon, he was painfully wounded. When a defensive perimeter was established and his squad was assigned to provide cover for the left flank, he ignored his own injury as he deployed his men and moved along the perimeter to insure their firing positions provided maximum security for their sector against hostile attacks. As darkness fell, the enemy force launched an assault but was repulsed by the extremely heavy volume of fire from Corporal Duncan's team. The enemy then commenced a grenade attack to destroy the Marines' firing positions. Observing one of his men completely exposed to the incoming grenades, Corporal Duncan, completely disregarding his own safety and the intense pain of his wound, moved to aid his fellow Marine. When a grenade landed nearby, he fearlessly used his own body to shield the man. He repeatedly exposed himself to the enemy's fire, as he moved into the open to deliver covering fire while the squad reached more secure positions. After all members of his team had reached safety, Corporal Duncan was mortally wounded as he advanced to join his men at the new position. His bravery and daring actions throughout the engagement inspired his men to steadfastly maintain their position and repulse the fanatical enemy assault. By his courageous fighting spirit, bold initiative and unswerving devotion to duty at great personal risk, he upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Livermore, California

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