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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 Pleasure in Presenting


THE NAVY CROSS
to

LAIN, BOBBY D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Bobby D. Lain (0-77695), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer, Company B, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Vietnam on 19 February 1967. During Operation STONE, the battalion encountered a main force Viet Cong battalion. Company B was assigned the key mission of closing the last route of escape available to the enemy. Although suffering from a wound in the foot from a punji stick, Captain Lain refused evacuation and gallantly led his company through 5,000 meters of heavily mined and booby-trapped terrain to completely surround and entrap the enemy battalion which suffered more than 250 casualties. While aggressively advancing against the enemy to establish final contact with a friendly company, Captain Lain was critically wounded by an enemy mine, causing the ultimate loss of both lower limbs. Although stunned by the severity of his wounds, he thoroughly briefed his executive officer as to the situation and only after insuring that the company's tactical integrity was maintained and the entrapment of the enemy force complete, did he relinquish command of his unit. By his indomitable courage, superb leadership and valiant fighting spirit, Captain Lain served to inspire his men to heroic endeavor in their successful elimination of the enemy battalion as a fighting force. His great personal valor reflected the highest credit upon himself and was 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: Round Top, Texas

LANKFORD, ALBERT J., III
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Albert J. Lankford, III (106303), First Lieutenant [then Second Lieutenant], U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company G, Second Battalion, Ninth 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 21 April 1969, while occupying a night observation position, Company G came under a ground attack by a large North Vietnamese Army force. During the initial moments of the assault, enemy sappers succeeded in penetrating the defensive perimeter and attempting to destroy the command post with satchel charges. By shouting to attract the attention of the enemy soldiers and thereby determine the area of their heaviest concentration, First Lieutenant Lankford became an excellent target for intense hostile fire. Heedless of the rounds impacting near him, he directed the suppressive fire of nearby Marines at the soldiers, then maneuvered across the hazardous terrain to the command post, where he mustered a group of men and launched an attack against the approaching sappers. As the North Vietnamese Army force swarmed against the defensive perimeter seeking a means of penetration, First Lieutenant Lankford saw an opportunity to seize the initiative and, rallying his exhausted men, led them in a counterattack. When the Marine beside him fell to the ground seriously wounded, First Lieutenant Lankford picked him up and, seemingly oblivious to the fire raking the area, carried him to a covered position. His heroic and determined actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in the defeat of a determined and numerically superior enemy force. By his courage, dynamic leadership, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, First Lieutenant Lankford 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: Montgomery, Alabama

LAPOINTE, ALVIN S.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Alvin S. LaPointe (2083443), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a rifleman in Company C, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 28 March 1966. While engaged in a search and destroy operation against communist insurgent forces, Private LaPointe's platoon came under an intense volume of well aimed automatic weapons fire. While engaged in vicious hand-to-hand combat, Private LaPointe observed an enemy antiaircraft weapon raking his squad with a murderous volume of accurate fire. Facing almost certain death, he heroically crawled across the fire swept slope toward the enemy bunker armed only with his bayonet and hand grenades. Within ten feet of the emplacement, he fearlessly and aggressively leaped into the position and, landing astride the gun, stabbed and killed the gunner. Seeing his comrade killed, the second Viet Cong fled into a tunnel within the position. Courageous and oblivious to the imminent danger, Private LaPointe unhesitatingly followed and killed him. Through his extraordinary initiative and inspiring valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved his comrades from injury and possible loss of life and enabled the platoon to seize and hold the vital enemy position. By his personal bravery, indomitable fighting spirit and devotion to duty, Private LaPointe 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: Sudbury, Massachusetts

LAPORTE, ALFRED P., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Alfred P. LaPorte, Jr. (2076173), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Weapons Platoon Sergeant with Company H, Second Battalion, Fourth 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 25 February 1969, while elements of the Second Battalion were occupying a defensive position at Fire Support Base Neville in Quang Tri Province, the Marines came under a vicious ground attack by a North Vietnamese Army sapper company supported by mortars, grenades, and satchel charges. Reacting instantly, Sergeant LaPorte commenced directing devastating counter-mortar fire and illumination on the assaulting force as it neared the battalion's perimeter wire, and as the Marines' supply of mortar rounds became depleted, he fearlessly moved about the fire-swept terrain to ensure the rapid re-supply of mortar ammunition. When an enemy round detonated in an 81-mm. mortar emplacement and ignited an uncontrollable fire, Sergeant LaPorte quickly directed the men of his mortar crew to evacuate the position and led them to a covered location, then returned and organized a firefighting crew to extinguish the blaze. Observing two wounded Marines lying in positions dangerously exposed to the North Vietnamese fire, he boldly maneuvered through the hazardous area and assisted his injured companions to a location of relative security. As he reached the command post, an 81-mm. mortar round impacted in the vicinity. He unhesitatingly seized the extremely hot projectile and, despite severely burning his hands, threw it over an embankment, thereby preventing injury or destruction to nearby personnel and equipment. His heroic actions and calm presence of mind during a prolonged critical situation inspired all who observed him and saved the lives of numerous Marines. By his courage, selfless concern for his fellowmen, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Sergeant LaPorte 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

*LARAWAY, WILLIAM DEAN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to William Dean Laraway (2210088), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a rifleman while serving with Combined Action Company H, Sub Unit Number 4 of Headquarters Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on the night of 11 April 1967. Lance Corporal Laraway was participating on a combined U. S. Marine and Republic of Vietnam Popular Forces patrol in Cau Hai Hamlet, Phu Loc District, when the main body of the patrol became separated from the point which included the patrol leader. As the point came under intense enemy fire, Lance Corporal Laraway quickly moved the main body to assist them. When they were taken under heavy fire at close range by an unknown number of Viet Cong from an ambush position, he quickly placed his M-60 machine gun in action and took the enemy under fire to cover the deployment of the other members of the patrol. The Medical Corpsman fell severely wounded in the initial burst of enemy fire. Disregarding the intense enemy fire, Lance Corporal Laraway unhesitatingly ran from his relatively sheltered position and carried the wounded Corpsman to a less exposed position. He returned to his machine gun and again delivered heavy fire on the enemy, only to have a deadly barrage of hand grenades hurled at his position by the Viet Cong. He again raced to the aid of the wounded Corpsman and shielded him from the grenades with his own body. He seized two of the incoming grenades and hurled them back at the enemy and kicked others from their position before they detonated. Oblivious of the continuing enemy fire and grenades, he again moved to his machine gun in a position between the wounded and the enemy. While attempting to place his machine gun in action he fell fatally wounded from an exploding enemy grenade. By his outstanding courage, valiant devotion to duty and selfless efforts in behalf of his wounded comrade, Lance Corporal Laraway upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Seymour, Indiana

*LAUER, CHARLES RUSSELL
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Charles Russell Lauer (2214200), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Crew Chief with Company A, Third Amphibian Tractor Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 18 June 1967. Following an assault by three amphibian tractors, Hill 11 continued to receive heavy, accurate, automatic fire from tree lines to the right and left and tunnels and bunkers on the hill itself. As a platoon of infantry endeavored to reach the hill, vicious enemy fire cut down the Platoon Commander, his radio operator and another Marine. Corporal Lauer was at this time manning a machine gun mounted atop his amphibian tractor. With complete disregard for his own safety, he nonetheless ordered his tractor forward and dropped its ramp to pull in the wounded. At this time the enemy concentrated its already intense fire on the medical evacuation in progress by his vehicle. Unhesitatingly and knowing the intimate danger involved, he elected to stay by the gun to deliver accurate counter fire into the surrounding tree lines. When the incoming fire became so intense that it began ripping into the interior of the tractor and endangering the wounded, he ordered his tractor to be turned stern to the fire, so that the engine could shield the casualties. At this time Corporal Lauer elected to remain atop the tractor to cover for another group of wounded, fully mindful of the intense danger. With enemy fire ripping across his tractor from two sides, he began to shift his position, and was mortally wounded. By his daring initiative, valiant fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty in the face of imminent danger, Corporal Lauer was responsible for saving many of his comrades and thereby upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Downey, California

LAZARO, LAWRENCE J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lawrence J. Lazaro (1950010), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company E, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 19 September 1966. While the second platoon of Company E was on a patrol in jungle terrain of Quang Tri Province, it came under heavy small-arms and automatic weapons fire from a large Viet Cong force. The squad leader was wounded during the initial exchange of fire and Corporal Lazaro immediately assumed command. Continually exposing himself to enemy fire, he moved from position to position inspiring the other men with his dynamic leadership and courageous fighting spirit. He redistributed ammunition and directed fire where it would be most effective against the enemy. Upon hearing that there were wounded comrades pinned down on the point, Corporal Lazaro and three volunteers fought their way under fire to the wounded. With complete disregard for his own safety, Corporal Lazaro calmly supervised the evacuation of the dead and wounded and then brought up rear security for the safe withdrawal of the patrol. By his daring initiative, inspiring leadership and outstanding courage, Corporal Lazaro served to inspire all who observed him 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: Boston, Massachusetts

LEBAS, CLAUDE G.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Claude G. Lebas (2141933), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Rifleman with Company B, First Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, at Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 2 April 1966. When his platoon came under heavy automatic-weapons and mortar fire, Corporal Lebas, sighting the enemy mortar position, withdrew to the rear and retrieved three assault weapons. Returning alone through an open area covered by heavy fire from two directions, he single-handedly destroyed the enemy mortar position just as it was adjusting fire on the company command group. Upon returning to his platoon, it was discovered that a machine gunner had been killed and that he and his weapon were one hundred meters forward of the secured position. Even though his platoon was assuming a reserve position, Corporal Lebas turned and, while shouting for covering fire, rushed out to retrieve the weapon. The enemy fire was so intense that his covering force was driven back to a more secure area. With complete disregard for his own safety, Corporal Lebas grabbed the gun and returned to safety amid a hail of bullets. It was later learned that two enemy rounds were imbedded in his haversack, stopped only by the rations he was carrying. Corporal Lebas' actions 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: Long Beach, California

LEDBETTER, WALTER R., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Walter R. Ledbetter, Jr. (0-63973), Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron TWO HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE (HMM-263), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, during operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 31 January 1970, Lieutenant Colonel Ledbetter launched as flight leader of three helicopters assigned to transport assault teams during a Marine heliborne assault mission in Quang Nam Province. While carrying out his mission, he received an urgent request to assist elements of a platoon which had inadvertently entered a minefield while attacking enemy positions, and had sustained several casualties. Realizing that the Marines stood little chance of survival in their helpless position, Lieutenant Colonel Ledbetter, ignoring sporadic sniper fire from a tree line, cautiously maneuvered his helicopter to a landing in a small crater created by the explosion of one of the mines and remained in his perilous position until the casualties in that area were embarked. He then air taxied fifty meters to the second group of Marines and, undaunted by the extreme danger of landing in a mined area with only his main mount touching the area cleared by the detonated mine, carefully executed a landing. As the injured were being placed aboard, another mine exploded close to his aircraft, damaging the rotor system and aft pylon area. With complete disregard for his own safety, Lieutenant Colonel Ledbetter remained in his precarious position until all of the remaining Marines were aboard his aircraft, then lifted out of the hazardous area and departed for the hospital at DaNang. By his courage, superb airmanship, and inspiring devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Lieutenant Colonel Ledbetter was instrumental in saving the lives of several of his fellow Marines, 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: Shreveport, Louisiana

LEFLER, ALAN C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Alan C. Lefler (2264470), Lance Corporal, 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, Lance Corporal Lefler launched as Crew Chief 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, Lance Corporal Lefler 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 Lance Corporal Lefler 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. On three additional occasions, the pilot landed to embark casualties and, each time, Lance Corporal Lefler braved the hostile fire to ensure the evacuation of the casualties. 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 selfless devotion to duty, Lance Corporal Lefler 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: Davenport, Iowa

LEFTWICH, WILLIAM GROOM, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William Groom Leftwich, Jr. (0-61154), Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as the Senior Task Force Advisor to Task Force ALFA, Vietnamese Marine Brigade, in the vicinity of Hoai An Village, Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 9 March 1965. Major Leftwich played a major part in all phases of the successful relief of the village of Hoai An, which was under heavy enemy attack by two Viet Cong battalions. Prior to the actual operation, he worked out a plan with the 22d Division Air Liaison Officer for supporting aircraft to deliver their ordnance in extra-close proximity to the front lines, and then to continue simulated attacks while the Vietnamese Marines assaulted the enemy positions. He participated in the planning of the approach march which, by using last-minute intelligence, avoided a massive ambush planned by the Viet Cong. As lead elements of the Task Force contacted the Viet Cong from an unexpected direction, he sensed the ideal opportunity to use the prearranged air support plan, and taking the radio, he moved under heavy fire to the forward-most elements of the Task Force. By his own personal example of shooting point-blank and shouting, he led the attack which overran the immediate Viet Cong positions and carried the assault to within forty meters of the crest of a hill overlooking Hoai An. Despite injuries by enemy machine-gun bullets in the back, cheek, and nose, he went to the aid of a mortally wounded comrade, and although bleeding profusely, he refused assistance and delayed his own evacuation until he could call for additional air strikes and brief the Task Force Commander of the situation. Through his heroic conduct and fearless devotion to duty in the face of personal risk, Major Leftwich upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Germantown, Tennessee

*LINEBERRY, JERRY EUGENE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Jerry Eugene Lineberry (239624713), Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Sergeant with Company B, 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 February 1970, during a platoon-sized patrol in the Que Son Mountains of Quang Nam Province, the Marines came under a heavy volume of small-arms and automatic-weapons fire from North Vietnamese Army soldiers occupying well-concealed emplacements in a hedgerow to the front of the friendly unit. During the initial moments of the assault, the platoon sustained several casualties. Realizing the need for decisive action, Staff Sergeant Lineberry directed one of his fire teams to execute a movement to the enemy's flank and initiate a counterattack. As the men moved across the open rice paddy, they were pinned down by a grenade launcher and automatic-weapons fire delivered from two different directions and sustained additional casualties. In a valiant effort to assist the beleaguered unit, Staff Sergeant Lineberry led a machine gun team across the fire-swept terrain. Although seriously wounded during this action, he shouted encouragement to the pinned-down men and directed other Marines as they evacuated the casualties. Despite his extreme pain, he refused to leave the hazardous area and, even after becoming a target for concentrated hostile fire, continued to direct his men and adjust supporting Marine artillery fire on enemy targets until he was mortally wounded. His heroic and determined efforts inspired all who observed him and contributed significantly to the defeat of the North Vietnamese Army force. By his courage, selfless actions, and unwavering devotion to duty, Staff Sergeant Lineberry 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: Wadesboro, North Carolina

LIVINGSTON, LAWRENCE H.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lawrence H. Livingston (107447), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism on 11 July 1972 while serving as Senior Advisor to the 1st Vietnamese Marine Corps Infantry Battalion during a heliborne assault into enemy-held territory northeast of Quang Tri City, Republic of Vietnam. When the battalion encountered unexpectedly heavy enemy fire while disembarking into the landing zone, and sustained numerous casualties, Captain Livingston moved throughout the hasty positions taken by the scattered and hesitant element and formed the Marines into an assault force. Despite the continuing heavy concentration of hostile fire, he began the assault on the initial objective - a treeline approximately 50 yards distant. Although blown from his feet by explosions and periodically delayed to reform and redirect his casualty-riddled force, he forged ahead, leading the Vietnamese Marines into the enemy-infested trench lines of the objective and a subsequent hand-to-hand battle. Upon seizure of the initial portion of the trench line, Captain Livingston shed his combat equipment, emerged from the trench line, and exposed himself to a hail of enemy fire to reach and carry his wounded naval gunfire spotter to a position of relative safety. Captain Livingston's repeated acts of heroism in the face of heavy enemy fire 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: Bonsall, California

LONG, MELVIN M.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Melvin M. Long (2226408), Sergeant [then Corporal], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Second Squad Leader, Third Platoon, Company F, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam, during Operation UNION II, on 2 June 1967. While advancing toward a designated objective, Company F came under an intense volume of enemy mortar, recoilless rifle, automatic weapons and small arms fire. Due to its exposed position, the Third Platoon was temporarily pinned down. Sergeant Long was ordered to seize a critical piece of high ground in the tree line on the left flank. He moved his squad under intense enemy fire, across 200 meters of open, fire swept terrain into the tree line. With complete disregard for his own safety, he maneuvered his squad in an enveloping movement and assaulted the well- entrenched enemy position from the rear resulting in six enemy killed. Though painfully wounded, he led his men in overrunning the position and organized a hasty defense. From his newly won position, he observed another enemy machine gun position which was delivering accurate fire on the platoon. With complete disregard for his wounds and the intense enemy fire, he led another assault which resulted in two more enemy killed. He then organized a defensive position and defended their key terrain feature for three hours until the enemy finally withdrew. Upon learning of the enemy's withdrawal, Sergeant Long led his men to a landing zone some 600 meters to the rear and supervised the evacuation of his wounded. By his outstanding courage, exceptional fortitude and valiant fighting spirit, Sergeant Long 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: Toledo, Ohio

LOPEZ, JOSE G.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Jose G. Lopez (2261270), Sergeant, 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 the Republic of Vietnam on 2 September 1967. Sergeant Lopez's patrol was inserted near Khe Sanh into enemy infested and controlled territory. After moving from the landing zone, he spotted several enemy attempting to encircle his position. The patrol was taken under devastating enemy automatic and semiautomatic rifle fire from a numerically superior enemy force. Quickly assessing the situation, he deployed his men and returned accurate fire upon the enemy positions and directed close air support on the enemy, destroying their position. He quickly moved his men from an exposed position and established a hasty defense. Spotting six enemy soldiers approaching his position, Sergeant Lopez and another Marine assaulted them with tear gas grenades and annihilated them with rifle fire. Shortly thereafter, two more enemy attempted to maneuver to his position, but once again, with complete disregard for his own safety, he and a comrade assaulted the enemy with hand grenades and killed them. He then called fixed wing and armed helicopter strikes, sealing off further enemy reinforcements and destroying numerous enemy positions. He then skillfully led his patrol out of the area as gunships and fixed wing aircraft bombarded the enemy positions. By his bold initiative, gallant fighting spirit and loyal devotion to duty, Sergeant Lopez was instrumental in defeating a numerically superior enemy force, 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: Fort Douglas, Utah

LOPEZ, STEVEN D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Steven D. Lopez (2312521), Corporal [then Private First Class], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Radio Operator with the First Platoon, Company A, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, near Khe Sanh, Republic of Vietnam, on 9 and 10 May 1967. Corporal Lopez was a member of a seven man reconnaissance patrol deep in enemy controlled territory. The patrol discovered numerous enemy bunkers and equipment and radioed the valuable intelligence information back. Towards evening they withdrew to high ground and established a night defense. Shortly after midnight, a North Vietnamese unit of approximately 50 men was heard moving toward their position. Several enemy troops walked into their position and started to unsling their weapons and Corporal Lopez quickly killed them with an accurate burst of automatic weapons fire. The enemy immediately began delivering a heavy volume of small arms fire into their perimeter. As the fire fight continued, numerous casualties were inflicted until only Corporal Lopez, who was wounded in the side, and another Marine were able to deliver fire on the enemy. Although wounded, he assumed the task of directing artillery on enemy positions around the patrol. Armed helicopters and flare ships arrived to add support to the besieged patrol. Wounded a second time, he still courageously directed supporting arms in dangerously close to his position as, on several occasions, the enemy was within 15 feet of his position. Two attempts to extract the patrol by helicopter failed, due to the intense enemy fire. Running low on ammunition, he moved among the bodies of his fallen comrades to retrieve ammunition and discovered one Marine seriously wounded. He moved him to a covered position and distributed the ammunition between himself and the other survivor. He once again called in air support so close that dirt from the exploding rockets and bombs showered them and was once again wounded when an enemy round grazed his head. A last desperate attempt was made for extraction by helicopter. Napalm, bombs, and rockets rocked the enemy's position as the three remaining members of the patrol were extracted. His steadfast determination and indomitable fighting spirit throughout the twelve hour ordeal were instrumental in inflicting numerous casualties on the enemy and saving the lives of several Marines. By his outstanding courage, bold initiative and selfless devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Corporal Lopez upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Silver Springs, Maryland

*LOWERANITIS, JOHN LEON
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to John Leon Loweranitis (2052170), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Company Messenger of Company I, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 30 March 1967. The company was engaged in establishing platoon night ambush sites against communist insurgent forces in the Quang Tri Province when the company command group and a small security element were attacked by a North Vietnamese reinforced company utilizing heavy automatic weapons and mortar fire. At the initiation of the action Corporal Loweranitis moved through intense fire to the 60-mm. mortar position, reorganized the crew and delivered effective fire on the machine gun positions that were raking the Marine positions. When the mortar ammunition was expended he again exposed himself to small-arms fire and grenades as he moved from position to position evacuating wounded to the reverse slope of the hill. When the North Vietnamese Army attempted to overrun the Marine positions, he moved to the most threatened point and personally accounted for five enemy kills. Although wounded by small-arms fire and grenade fragments on two separate occasions, he refused to leave his position and resolutely covered the withdrawal of the command group to a more tenable position until he fell, mortally wounded. His heroic action, with complete disregard for his own life, allowed the Marines to gain the new position and account for numerous enemy casualties. By his outstanding courage, exceptional fortitude and valiant fighting spirit, Corporal Loweranitis served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Du Bois, Pennsylvania

LOWERY, STEVEN M.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Steven M. Lowery (2198568), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a patrol leader with Company C, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. Early on the morning of 5 March 1969, Corporal Lowery's twelve-man reconnaissance patrol was occupying a defensive position at Fire Support Base Argonne south of the Demilitarized Zone. Suddenly, the Marines were assaulted by a North Vietnamese Army platoon employing mortars, hand grenades, and automatic weapons. In the initial moments of the fire fight, Corporal Lowery was seriously wounded in both legs by the intense enemy fire. Steadfastly remaining in his hazardous position, he boldly delivered accurate return fire and hurled grenades at the advancing enemy. When two hostile soldiers approached his position in an attempt to penetrate the Marine perimeter, Corporal Lowery calmly lobbed three hand grenades outside of his emplacement, killing several of the enemy and causing the others to retreat. Although suffering extensive pain and weakness from his wounds, he then commenced directing artillery fire upon the hostile force to within twenty meters of friendly lines and skillfully, readjusted his defenses. When helicopters arrived to extract his team, he skillfully directed supporting gunships against the North Vietnamese unit and ensured that all other wounded Marines were aboard the extraction aircraft before allowing himself to be carried to the helicopter. His bold initiative and resolute determination inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in his unit's accounting for twenty North Vietnamese soldiers killed. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Corporal Lowery upheld 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

LOWNDS, DAVID E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to David E. Lownds (0-15530), Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer of the Khe Sanh Combat Base in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam from August 1967 through March 1968. Upon assuming command of the vital combat base located in western Quang Tri Province and tasked with the responsibility of interdicting major North Vietnamese re-supply routes and blocking any enemy invasion attempt from the west into the northern provinces of South Vietnam, Colonel Lownds immediately established combat outposts on Hills 881 South, 861, and 950, and launched extensive and highly effective patrol activities throughout his area of responsibility. Despite the hazardous, mountainous terrain, thick jungle foliage, and adverse weather conditions, Colonel Lownds' valiant combat leadership and indomitable command ability were the central instrument in achieving and maintaining the superb combat posture of the base. On 28 January 1968, when North Vietnamese divisions launched a coordinated attack on the Khe Sanh Combat Base with rockets, artillery, mortar, and machine-gun and small-arms fire, and with their main attack directed at Hill 861-A, Colonel Lownds' superb knowledge of and appreciation for the terrain and his aggressive utilization of all supporting arms minimized the effectiveness of the enemy attack and resulted in a large number of enemy casualties. During daily enemy rocket and artillery attacks, and on 23 February when the firing reached its peak with more than 1300 rounds impacting on the combat base, his superior tactical judgment, calm leadership, brave demeanor, and resolute endurance were an inspiration to all around him and were a prime factor in maintaining a high level of morale among his men. Giving no thought to his own safety, while exhibiting a compassionate concern for the welfare of his Marines, he gallantly and repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire making daily visits to outlying units to observe tactical operations and to study conditions confronting his unit commanders. During the period 1 November 1967 to 31 March 1968, Colonel Lownds organized and directed Operation SCOTLAND, a highly effective search and destroy operation throughout the Khe Sanh tactical area of responsibility, which resulted in numerous enemy casualties, the capture of several enemy, and a large number of weapons confiscated. By his gallant leadership, distinguished personal bravery, and selfless devotion to duty throughout, Colonel Lownds upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Westerly, Rhode Island

LUCA, JOSEPH
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Joseph Luca (2239172), Sergeant [then Corporal], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Company Runner and Interpreter with Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, attached to the Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 5 March 1967. Company F was on a search and destroy mission when the lead elements crossed an open field and were taken under extremely heavy and accurate automatic weapons fire from cleverly concealed Viet Cong. Immediately, the point man was mortally wounded, and the remainder of the platoon drew up to a position on the secure side of a hedgerow that bordered the open area, to provide covering fire. Sergeant Luca led the command group to the sound of the firing and, when he reached the hedgerow, joined in the firing at the suspected enemy positions. Realizing that he could more effectively give suppressive fire from the open field, he dashed through the hedgerow into the clearing, and from his new position took the enemy under fire and maintained his barely tenable position, bravely drawing all the enemy fire to himself, so that the wounded could be carried to the landing zone behind him. Then, when enemy fire suddenly ceased, the company moved out in pursuit. As the unit moved forward once again, a vicious stream of enemy automatic weapons fire caught the lead elements. The landing zone was saturated with enemy fire as the helicopters came in; however, Sergeant Luca calmly assisted in carrying the wounded to the helicopters. His uncommon resourcefulness and daring actions were inspirational to all who observed him. With complete disregard for his own safety, Sergeant Luca saved his comrades from further injury and possibly loss of life, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Meriden, Connecticut

LUMBARD, DONALD W.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Donald W. Lumbard (2117497), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with Company B, First Amphibian Tractor Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during Operation MACON in the Republic of Vietnam on 4 July 1966. Lance Corporal Lumbard was serving as Vehicle Commander of an amphibian tractor supporting a Marine infantry company during a search and clear operation in known enemy infested terrain when the lead element of the company came under extremely heavy small-arms and recoilless rifle fire in the vicinity north of An Hoa. One of the supporting tractors sustained severe hits and was disabled. Reacting immediately, Lance Corporal Lumbard maneuvered his vehicle alongside and, braving the withering fire, climbed aboard in a gallant attempt to aid his comrades. Finding the crew had been killed, he exhibited exceptional presence of mind in unloading the stricken vehicle's mortars and ammunition and distributing them to other units engaged in the vicious action. Undaunted by the increasingly heavy fire, he returned to the disabled vehicle and manned its machine gun, directing a devastating volume of fire at enemy positions until the ammunition was exhausted. He then raced to another damaged vehicle and used its machine gun to battle the Viet Cong. Then, turning the machine gun over to another Marine, he valiantly exposed himself to the hail of fire to distribute water, assist in the evacuation of the wounded and deliver supplies to units who were in dire need. Observing an unmanned machine gun, he was attempting to put it in action when he was painfully wounded by fragments from a recoilless rifle round. Ignoring his pain, he administered first aid to two comrades wounded at the same time. Helping them aboard an amphibian tractor, he assisted the crew chief to maneuver the vehicle to a defilade position. When the vehicle carrying the wounded was hit, he reported the situation to the senior noncommissioned officer before being evacuated. Lance Corporal Lumbard's intrepid fighting spirit, inspiring courage and gallant concern for his comrades 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: Thomaston, Connecticut

*LUNSFORD, GLEN THOMAS
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Glen Thomas Lunsford (2101197), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Right Guide with Company D, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 3 February 1968. Upon the discovery of a large cave complex, at Phu Son (2), Sergeant Lunsford volunteered to accompany a reactionary force to destroy the tunnels. Locating several camouflaged underwater entrances to the cave, he placed a Marine near each of them to prevent the Viet Cong's escape. Unable to use explosives because of the necessity of obtaining prisoners, he supervised the excavation of an above ground entrance. Upon completing the new entrance, he threw a tear gas grenade into the opening, routing three Viet Cong who broke from the cave throwing grenades and were killed. Armed only with a pistol and a flashlight, he entered the tunnel and moved along a narrow passageway until he discovered a large room. Observing two Viet Cong trying to escape through an underwater passageway, he killed one and captured the other. Interrogation of the prisoner revealed that there were numerous enemy soldiers still in the cave complex. Realizing that the enemy was aware of the tunnel being searched and confined in a small area, Sergeant Lunsford nevertheless reentered the tunnel. As he neared a sharp bend in the tunnel, a Viet Cong, who was concealed around a corner, tossed a grenade which wounded him in both legs. Although painfully wounded, Sergeant Lunsford lunged forward and captured the Viet Cong as he attempted to escape. After bringing his prisoner to the top, he fearlessly reentered the tunnel with several comrades and searched the numerous small rooms and tunnels. His diligent efforts resulted in the capture of several weapons, supplies and valuable intelligence information. Sergeant Lunsford 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: Danville, Virginia

M

 

MacVANE, MATTHEW C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Matthew C. MacVane (2239397), Corporal [then Lance Corporal], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Rifleman with Combined Action Company F, Headquarters Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 14 August 1967. While deployed in its compound at Cam Hieu in Cam Lo District, Quang Tri Province, Corporal MacVane's platoon came under intense fire from an estimated company-sized North Vietnamese Army force. Utilizing satchel charges followed by small-arms fire, the determined enemy attempted for over an hour to penetrate the compound's defensive perimeter. Corporal MacVane constantly exposed himself to enemy fire to defend the perimeter and assist and encourage his companions. Fearlessly moving from one bunker to another, he ensured that all emplacements were manned while simultaneously delivering accurate fire against the enemy. When his ammunition was expended, he proceeded across the exposed compound to the ammunition bunker, armed himself with antitank assault weapons, and quickly returned to the perimeter and distributed them. Corporal MacVane again made his way to the ammunition bunker and, upon his return, with heavy enemy fire concentrating on him, commenced to distribute M-26 hand grenades to each position in the compound. Then, he resolutely continued to move along, encouraging the men and throwing hand grenades into the enemy positions. Subsequently, he obtained white phosphorous grenades from the ammunition supply and used these to protect the positions receiving the heaviest barrage of enemy fire. Until the enemy was forced to withdraw, he continued to move throughout the compound, throwing white phosphorous grenades into the midst of the enemy, encouraging his companions and aiding and comforting the wounded. His bravery and determination were instrumental in maintaining the security of the platoon's compound. By his fortitude, daring initiative, and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Corporal MacVane upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Tampa, Florida

MALONE, GEORGE M., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to George M. Malone, Jr. (105740), 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, Second Lieutenant Malone's platoon was moving as the lead element in a company-sized patrol north of the A Shau Valley in Quang Tri Province when it came under intense fire from a large North Vietnamese Army force well concealed in a heavily fortified bunker complex, and was pinned down. Reacting instantly, Second Lieutenant Malone completely disregarded his own safety as he repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire while moving among his men to encourage them and maneuver them out of the fire-swept area. Seriously wounded by fragments from an enemy mortar round, he ignored his own painful injuries as he directed the fire of his machine gunners and grenadiers against the North Vietnamese emplacements. Retrieving the radio from his wounded radio operator, he then led a coordinated assault until his platoon was halted by intense enemy cross-fire of machine guns and mortar, rocket-propelled grenade, small-arms, and automatic weapons fire from bunkers and sniper positions in trees in the dense jungle canopy. With utter disregard for his own safety, he moved about the fire-swept area to transfer the casualties to covered positions and to reorganize his squads. Undaunted by the North Vietnamese rounds impacting around him, Second Lieutenant Malone boldly fired his light antitank assault weapon against an enemy bunker and hurled hand grenades as he fearlessly led four Marines on a daring charge against the hostile emplacement. Although he was again wounded and his four companions became casualties, he continued his attack and successfully destroyed the machine gun position, killing six North Vietnamese soldiers. Weakened by his serious injuries and rendered unable to move, he continued to urge his men forward to exploit their advantage and continue the attack. His heroic actions inspired the Marines to such aggressive action in a coordinated company attack that 105 North Vietnamese soldiers were killed and the large bunker complex was destroyed. By his courage, bold initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty, Second Lieutenant Malone upheld the highest traditions of the Marines Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Portland, Oregon

MANN, BENNIE H., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Bennie H. Mann, Jr. (0-60180), Major, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Helicopter Aircraft Commander and Division Flight Leader with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE, Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, in Quang Bin Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 31 March 1965. Participating in a seventeen-aircraft flight transporting assault troops of the Fifth Vietnamese Airborne Battalion, Major Mann, along with the entire mission, was scheduled to make three assault landings into an area defended by an estimated force of two companies of insurgent communist (Viet Cong) guerrillas. During the first landing, his aircraft was hit in the engine compartment by intense enemy automatic weapons fire. Although he was experiencing aircraft power and control malfunctions, he continued to lead the attack a second and third time into ever increasing hostile fire. When, after lifting off from the third assault landing, he saw a downed aircraft and wounded crewmen under enemy attack in the landing zone, he unhesitatingly turned his aircraft around and braved the intense enemy onslaught for a fourth time in order to rescue the crew of a stricken helicopter. Displaying exceptional leadership and courage, he directed the rescue efforts, and when his crewmen and copilot were taken under fire by the nearby enemy, he fearlessly hovered his helicopter between the enemy and the crewmen in order to shield their rescue efforts. As a result of his courageous actions, inspiring leadership, and extraordinary airmanship, Major Mann contributed significantly to the successful assault mission and to saving the lives of several of his fellow Marines. His heroic conduct and selfless 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
Born: May 31, 1928 at Yuma, Arizona
Home Town: Tempe, Arizona

MARLANTES, KARL A.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Karl A. Marlantes (0-103269), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as Executive Officer of 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. During the period 1 to 6 March 1969, Company C was engaged in a combat operation north of the Rockpile and sustained numerous casualties from North Vietnamese Army mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, small arms, and automatic weapons fire. While continuing to function effectively in his primary billet, First Lieutenant Marlantes skillfully combined and reorganized the remaining members of two platoons, and on 6 March initiated an aggressive assault up a hill, the top of which was controlled by a hostile unit occupying well-fortified bunkers. Under First Lieutenant Marlantes' dynamic leadership, the attack gained momentum which carried it up the slope and through several enemy emplacements before the surprised North Vietnamese force was able to muster determined resistance. Delivering a heavy volume of fire, the enemy temporarily pinned down the friendly unit. First Lieutenant Marlantes, completely disregarding his own safety, charged across the fire-swept terrain to storm four bunkers in succession, completely destroying them. While thus engaged, he was seriously wounded, but steadfastly refusing medical attention, continued to lead his men until the objective was secured, a perimeter defense established, and all other casualties medically evacuated. Then, aware that all experienced officers and noncommissioned officers had become casualties, he resolutely refused medical evacuation for himself. His heroic actions and resolute determination inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in a decisive rout of the North Vietnamese Army force with minimal friendly casualties. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, First Lieutenant Marlantes upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Seaside, Oregon

*MARTIN, RAYMOND CHARLES
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Raymond Charles Martin (1511600), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader with Company F, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 18 March 1966. Suddenly engulfed by intense and devastating fire from small arms, automatic weapons, mortars, and recoilless rifles by an estimated reinforced Viet Cong battalion, the entire Marine company was pinned down and unable to advance. Facing the enemy on a one hundred eighty degree perimeter, the company decided to break the attack by splitting the Viet Cong positions in two. Displaying firm leadership and composure under fire, Sergeant Martin charged with his men over open fire-swept rice paddies to reach an enemy machine gun which his squad was employed to eliminate. He was seriously wounded during the final few meters of the attack, but ignoring his wounds he fought desperately to cover the remaining distance needed to close with the enemy position. He silenced the deadly hostile machine gun by hurling a hand grenade, and continuing the assault, he observed a fellow squad leader who had been hit by the machine gun just silenced. Finding him seriously wounded, Sergeant Martin was administering first aid when the company received a mortar concentration. As fragments began falling in his vicinity he placed his body over that of his fallen comrade, shielding him from further injury. In this position he was struck by fragments inflicting a mortal chest wound to which he succumbed a few hours later. Sergeant Martin's exceptional fortitude and composure in the face of enemy fire, coupled with superior professional skill and unswerving dedication to duty throughout, were an inspiration to all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Pomona, California

McAFEE, CARLOS K.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Carlos K. McAfee (0-67830), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as Assistant Advisor to the Fifth Battalion, Vietnamese Marine Brigade in operations against the communist insurgents (Viet Cong) in the Republic of Vietnam on 12 June 1966. Captain McAfee was with the leading elements of the battalion when it became heavily engaged with a main force enemy unit. One rifle company and the Battalion Command Group were overwhelmed by an enemy assault, resulting in the deaths of the Battalion Commander, the Senior Battalion Advisor, the forward artillery observer, and many other Vietnamese officers and men. Captain McAfee, the only American remaining, was instrumental in reforming the shattered command and organizing the defense. He requested tactical air support, and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, stationed himself under the direct fire of the enemy in order to direct and adjust air strikes and artillery fire. Despite continued enemy fire of automatic weapons, machine guns, mortars and grenades, Captain McAfee directed the medical evacuation helicopters into his area to receive wounded. He moved continually between the helicopter landing area and the defense perimeter, directing the medical evacuation and adjusting air strikes and artillery support. After three hours of intense fighting, reinforcements arrived and were led by Captain McAfee on a counterattack. Through his valiant efforts, he prevented the possible annihilation of a Marine battalion by a numerically superior enemy force, and his courageous direction of the medical evacuation undoubtedly saved many lives. Captain McAfee's selfless devotion to duty, quick acceptance of responsibility, and great personal courage reflected 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: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

McCAULEY, BERTRAM W.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Bertram W. McCauley (0-58997), Major, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as an Aircraft Commander with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron TWO HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE (HMM-263), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Air Wing, during an emergency medical evacuation mission in the vicinity of Phu Tay, Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 5 September 1966. Disregarding the hail of automatic weapons fire from the enemy and the fact that he was unable to return the fire because of the proximity of friendly and Viet Cong forces in the area, Major McCauley was successful on two occasions in evacuating the critically wounded although his aircraft was so severely damaged that it was rendered unsafe for a return trip. To continue his mission, he obtained another helicopter. During his attempt to rescue more disabled Marines, the aircraft was damaged by an enemy hand grenade in the landing zone. He then elected to wave off and orbit until the Viet Cong fire could be neutralized. After being advised to lift off and depart, Major McCauley resolutely remained until the most critically wounded were loaded in his severely damaged and overloaded helicopter and proceeded to the nearest medical facility. Aware that approaching darkness would preclude a return trip before morning and that his aircraft was too badly crippled to risk a return trip, he volunteered to lead an additional section of aircraft into the rescue position. Through his skillful direction the remainder of the casualties were removed to safety. By his outstanding courage, superb leadership and selfless efforts in behalf of wounded men, Major McCauley 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 Albany, Indiana

*McCORMICK, MICHAEL P.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Michael P. McCormick (0-107462), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, First Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 20 March 1969. Second Lieutenant McCormick and a fire team from his platoon were heli-lifted into an area north of Khe Sanh as the assault element in an operation to secure Fire Support Base Argonne. Immediately upon disembarking from the aircraft, the entire team was pinned down by a heavy volume of fire from hostile soldiers occupying fortified bunkers overlooking the landing zone. Reacting fearlessly, Second Lieutenant McCormick moved across the fire-swept terrain from one man to another and, shouting words of encouragement, restored their confidence. Under cover of machine gun fire, he then initiated an aggressive assault upon the bunkers, and charging up the slope, he and his three-man team stormed and systematically destroyed three of the fortifications with hand grenades and close-range rifle fire, thereby providing security for the remaining Marines landing in the zone. Later that day, Second Lieutenant McCormick led one of his squads during a search and destroy operation in the surrounding area and encountered intense automatic weapons fire from a well-concealed emplacement. Repeated attempts by the Marines to recover their injured point man were thwarted by machine gun fire from concealed enemy soldiers. Unwilling to risk further Marine casualties, second Lieutenant McCormick directed his squad to provide protective fire and, with complete disregard for his own safety, maneuvered toward the casualty. He had almost attained his objective when he was mortally wounded by hostile fire. By his heroic actions, aggressive fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty, Second Lieutenant McCormick upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Wellston, Ohio

McDONALD, THOMAS C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Thomas C. McDonald (0-92570), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on the night of 28 March 1971 while serving as a pilot in Marine Light Helicopter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-SEVEN, Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, during operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Assigned the mission of supporting a company-sized defense force which was heavily engaged in combat with two enemy battalions in a village southwest of DaNang, Captain McDonald launched as helicopter aircraft commander and maneuvered beneath low cloud cover at search altitude until he located a large concentration of enemy soldiers. Unhesitatingly, he directed his spotlight upon the hostile force and immediately came under intense fire. Disregarding his own safety, he continued to illuminate the enemy position while simultaneously directing the fire of the supporting gunships. Following the destruction of the target, Captain McDonald once more orbited the area in search of enemy positions, skillfully darting into the clouds when hostile fire was concentrated on his helicopter. On two separate occasions he exposed himself to extremely heavy fire while illuminating targets and directing the fire of accompanying gunships. Throughout a period of approximately forty-five minutes, he directed the supporting aircraft in attacks which forced the enemy into a disorganized retreat. After refueling his helicopter, Captain McDonald returned to the scene of battle and trained his spotlight on enemy troops boarding six boats on a river shore. He then directed gunship attacks in destroying all six craft. By his superior airmanship, great personal courage, and inspiring leadership, Captain McDonald was instrumental in the decisive defeat of a sizeable enemy force. His performance was in keeping with the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Cincinnati, Ohio

McHENRY, WILLIAM D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William D. McHenry (2253419), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with Headquarters and Service Company, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 1 February 1968. Corporal McHenry volunteered to accompany a thirty-man reaction force dispatched to aid a Marine unit which had been ambushed while attempting to reinforce the besieged Phu Loc District Headquarters. While en route to the Marine unit the reaction force was ambushed by a numerically superior enemy force, utilizing small-arms and automatic weapons fire. During the initial bursts of fire numerous casualties were sustained, including all the officers. Quickly assessing the situation, Corporal McHenry assumed command and began reorganizing the beleaguered reaction force. Undaunted by the intense enemy fire, he moved from position to position encouraging his men and directing their fire. Observing a wounded Corpsman, he quickly rushed to the wounded man's aid and moved him to a position of relative safety. Ignoring the enemy rounds erupting around him, he administered first aid to other casualties and moved them to covered positions. Corporal McHenry, while attempting to rescue a wounded comrade in an open rice paddy, was wounded in the arm. Despite his wound and in great pain, he obtained a radio and requested artillery fire support. Directed to withdraw to allow artillery fire to be brought to bear on the enemy positions, he ordered his men to withdraw with the casualties and delivered accurate suppressive fire on the enemy to cover the movement of the Marines. Ignoring Corporal McHenry's orders to leave him behind, two fellow Marines physically placed him aboard a vehicle and moved to a position of relative safety. By his bold initiative, intrepid fighting spirit, and loyal devotion to duty, Corporal McHenry 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: Cincinnati, Ohio

McRAE, ARTHUR G.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Arthur G. McRae (2204285), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader in the Second Platoon, Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, attached to the Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 16 March 1967. Company F was conducting a search and destroy mission when suddenly the Second Platoon came under intense automatic-weapons and .50 caliber machine-gun fire from Viet Cong insurgents who were well concealed. Two Marines were instantly killed and four were seriously wounded in the initial eruption of fire. For over an hour, all attempts to relieve the beleaguered Marines proved futile as the enemy's vicious fire continued with devastating effect. Corporal McRae had, for over an hour, expertly supervised the fire of his squad when suddenly, fully realizing the personal risks involved, he left his firing position and boldly raced 150 meters across the rice paddy to the aid of his fallen comrades. As he reached them, he immediately began to give them the sustaining support they so desperately needed. Courageously exhibiting outstanding professional skill, Corporal McRae aided a Corpsman in the treatment of the wounded and simultaneously formulated his plan to lead the men to friendly lines. When preparations were made, he aggressively began to lead the men to safety. Air strikes and artillery barrages attempted to silence the enemy but they continued to fire, vainly trying to destroy the Marines that Corporal McRae was deliberately and fearlessly leading. Displaying exceptional leadership, resourcefulness and great professional skill, he succeeded in leading all the Marines to safety. Realizing that some weapons and equipment had been left in the open, he again exposed himself to the enemy's fire and returned into the rice paddy to gather equipment and weapons. By his outstanding courage, exceptional fortitude and valiant fighting spirit, in the face of almost certain death, Corporal McRae saved the lives of his comrades 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: Newark, New Jersey

*McWHORTER, JAMES ELMER
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to James Elmer McWhorter (452760963), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader with Company L, Third Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 22 August 1969, the Third Platoon of Company L was conducting a patrol in the northern sector of I Corps Tactical Zone. As the Marines proceeded toward their objective, they came under a heavy volume of small-arms and automatic-weapons fire from a large enemy force occupying a well-concealed bunker complex. Although painfully wounded during the initial moments of the fire fight, Lance Corporal McWhorter resolutely refused medical attention and skillfully deployed his squad into a more tactically advantageous location. Moving throughout the fire-swept terrain, he shouted instructions and encouraged his men as he ably directed their fire, enabling the more seriously-wounded Marines to be evacuated to a position of relative safety. When he observed three of his wounded companions lying dangerously exposed to the intense hostile fire, Lance Corporal McWhorter rushed across the hazardous area to the casualties. After evacuating two of the wounded Marines to a covered position, he attempted to rescue the third casualty but was mortally wounded by a burst of hostile rifle fire. His heroic and timely actions and sincere concern for the welfare of his fellowman inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of several Marines. By his courage, determination and selfless devotion to duty, Lance Corporal McWhorter contributed significantly to the subsequent defeat of the hostile force 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: Beaverton, Oregon

*MEIER, TERRANCE LEO
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Terrance Leo Meier (1999759), Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Platoon Sergeant of the Second Platoon, Company M, Third Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the vicinity of Ca Lu, Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 21 July 1967. The Second Platoon was moving along Vietnamese National Route 9, investigating a suspected enemy ambush site, when it was ambushed four miles west of Ca Lu. As the enemy fire increased, the point squad became separated from the remainder of the platoon by 150 meters. The platoon commander was wounded during the early stages of the encounter leaving Staff Sergeant Meier, who was with the rear elements, in command. While awaiting reinforcements and calling in artillery support he tried to lead the rear elements forward to the separated lead squad and the wounded commander, but was unsuccessful. Completely exposed to enemy fire, he courageously continued his efforts. Repeatedly he was driven back because of insufficient fire power and the numerically superior enemy. When the reinforcements with mounted weapons arrived, Staff Sergeant Meier organized and led them to evacuate the wounded and supply ammunition to the fighting Marines. While covering the evacuation of the casualties, he was mortally wounded by enemy fire and taken from the battle area. By his dauntless courage, initiative and selfless efforts in behalf of his fellow Marines, Staff Sergeant Meier served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Portland, Oregon

*MENDEZ, ANGEL
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Angel Mendez (2030367), Sergeant [then Corporal], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as the Platoon Guide of the Third Platoon, Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 16 March 1967. During Operation DE SOTO in Quang Ngai Province, Company F was conducting a search and destroy mission when the rear elements of the company were taken under intense 50-caliber machine gun and automatic weapons fire from an estimated hard-core Viet Cong battalion. One half of the Second Platoon was pinned-down in an open rice paddy and all attempts to relieve the pressure on the beleaguered Marines had proven futile. Sergeant Mendez, unhesitatingly volunteered to lead a squad into the face of the devastating and extremely accurate machine gun fire to assist the pinned-down Marines in returning to friendly lines with their two dead and two seriously wounded. The Viet Cong fire increased to a fever pitch as Sergeant Mendez calmly and courageously moved out onto a paddy dike, completely exposed to the intense fire, and commenced firing his M-79 at the enemy positions with deadly accuracy. He fired round after round as he stood, bravely defying the enemy, to give covering fire to his comrades. Sixty meters across the rice paddy from Sergeant Mendez, his Platoon Commander was seriously wounded and he fell, unable to move. Immediately Sergeant Mendez raced through the hail of bullets to his Platoon Commander's side. Shielding him with his body as he applied a dressing to the wound, he picked up the Lieutenant and started to carry him to friendly lines, which were more than seventy-five meters away. Exhibiting exceptional courage he moved toward the lines as the Viet Cong attempted to hit this double target. Twenty meters short of his goal, he was hit in the shoulder and two of his comrades ran out to assist him. Even though painfully wounded, Sergeant Mendez chose to be the rear man, refusing to relinquish his hold on his Lieutenant's legs as they carried him toward the hedgerow. He was shielding his Lieutenant with his own body when he was mortally wounded. By his dauntless courage, initiative and selfless efforts in behalf of another, Sergeant Mendez saved his platoon commander's life and upheld the highest traditions of the 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: New York, New York

*MEUSE, JOHN RICHARD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to John Richard Meuse (2249495), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Radio Operator with the First Squad, Second Platoon, Company E, Second Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, near Khe Sanh, Republic of Vietnam, on 3 May 1967. During the early morning hours Company E came under a heavy mortar barrage followed by an assault by a determined and well armed North Vietnamese force, overrunning their position and wounding Private First Class Meuse. When asked by his platoon commander for the situation, his radio transmissions indicated that he was severely wounded. With complete disregard for his own safety, he continued to report the situation for more than an hour. This accurate information on the disposition and nature of the enemy forces enabled the company commander to make essential decisions on the employment of his maneuvering elements and the coordination of supporting arms necessary to repulse the enemy attack and to inflict heavy casualties on the enemy. At about noon, when the area was recaptured, the body of Private First Class Meuse was found, his handset still in his hand and five enemy dead in front of his position. By his selfless refusal to leave his position when medical aid might have saved him, and by his skillful appraisal of the situation, he contributed materially to the success of the battle and upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Malden, Massachusetts

MILLER, CLEATUS A., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Cleatus A. Miller, Jr. (2530192), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as an Assistant Machine Gunner 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 25 October 1969, while Private First Class Miller's machine-gun team was moving as the point element down a narrow valley during a search and destroy operation in the Que Son District of Quang Nam Province, all members of the team were seriously wounded by a heavy volume of automatic weapons and sniper fire from enemy soldiers occupying well-concealed positions in the dense vegetation. Realizing the need for immediate action to prevent casualties among the men following the lead element, Private First Class Miller, whose right leg was immobile, resolutely dragged himself forward, grasped the machine gun, and, painfully crawling across the fire-swept terrain to an advantageous position, commenced delivering rapid bursts against the hostile emplacements. His valiant move placed him in full view of the enemy soldiers who immediately concentrated all their fire on him. Nevertheless, he steadfastly remained in his hazardous position and continued his determined efforts until, weakened by extreme pain and loss of blood, he lapsed into unconsciousness. His heroic and resolute actions inspired all who observed him and provided the time vitally necessary for the first squad to regroup and assault through the North Vietnamese Army emplacements. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit, and unfaltering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Private First Class Miller 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: Raleigh, North Carolina

MITCHELL, ROBERT G.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert G. Mitchell (0-70988), Major, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Pilot with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE, Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 29 November 1968, during Operation MEADE RIVER, Major Mitchell launched as Flight Leader of a section of four CH-46 transport helicopters assigned the emergency extraction of a reconnaissance team which was heavily engaged with a large hostile force south of DaNang. Despite a heavy volume of enemy fire, he executed a successful landing, awaited the embarkation of the team and its dog, then, in a superb display of airmanship, skillfully executed maneuvers to avoid damage to his aircraft and passengers, and safely lifted from the zone. Shortly thereafter, he received a request to medically evacuate a severely wounded Marine from another reconnaissance team located in the vicinity. When he reached the fire-swept zone he boldly landed, awaited the embarkation of the injured Marine, and returned to DaNang to deposit his passengers and pick up a relief unit. As he and other aircraft inserted the Marines in the dangerous zone, one helicopter was severely damaged and forced to execute an emergency landing. Major Mitchell landed his transport and embarked the crew of the downed helicopter. After unloading his passengers at DaNang, he immediately flew a re-supply of ammunition to a Marine unit which was in close contact with enemy soldiers. His heroic actions and determined efforts inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of numerous Marines. By his courage, superior aeronautical ability, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave danger, Major Mitchell 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
Home Town: Gering, Nebraska

MOE, ROBERT F.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert F. Moe (1096741), Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Platoon Commander, Third Platoon, Company L, Third Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 9 December 1965. The company was engaged in an operation to rescue the remnants of an Army of the Republic of Vietnam regiment which was overrun by the Viet Cong in Quang Tin Province. As it came under heavy small arms, automatic weapons, and accurate mortar fire on three sides from a numerically superior Viet Cong force of battalion size, Sergeant Moe, without hesitation, assaulted the objective, which contained approximately 100 Viet Cong. With full knowledge of the hazards involved and with complete disregard for his own safety, he repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire while directing his platoon to a favorable position for the assault on the hill. Sergeant Moe secured the objective within thirty minutes of the battle, which lasted one hour and thirty-five minutes. In the face of continuing heavy enemy fire he led his platoon to a position where it could bring fire to bear on the enemy's flank. As a result of his professional abilities and stirring leadership, he penetrated and eliminated the enemy, who were in a position to attack the remaining forty or forty-five Vietnamese troops on Hill No. 43 approximately 300 meters north. By his daring actions and loyal devotion to duty in the face of personal risk, Sergeant Moe reflected great 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: Mobile, Alabama

MOFFIT, RICHARD E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Richard E. Moffit (2127413), Sergeant [then Corporal], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company G, Second Battalion, Twenty-sixth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 16 and 17 May 1967. Company G was conducting a search and destroy operation during Operation HICKORY, south of the Demilitarized Zone, when it came under devastating enemy mortar and automatic weapons fire from a deeply entrenched and heavily defended North Vietnamese Army force. Sergeant Moffit's squad was assigned the mission of clearing the enemy from cleverly concealed positions in the outlying hedgerows. As he diligently maneuvered his squad toward the objective, they were pinned down by a heavy volume of machine-gun fire. Quickly assessing the situation and with complete disregard for his own safety, he courageously jumped to his feet and charged directly at the enemy position, firing as he went. Upon reaching the position, he fearlessly jumped into the fighting hole, and single-handedly killed its two occupants. As the operation continued on 17 May 1967, the company again came under a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire which halted the forward elements. Once again he gallantly withstood the intense enemy fire as he single-handedly charged toward the enemy position, throwing grenades to overwhelm and kill the enemy gun crew. By his intrepid fighting spirit, exceptional fortitude and gallant initiative, Sergeant Moffit 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 upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: at Tucumcari, New Mexico
Home Town: Boystown, Nebraska

MONAHAN, FREDERICK G.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Frederick G. Monahan (2195404), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as an Intelligence Scout with Company E, Second Battalion, Third Marines, Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 3 May 1967. During Operation BEACON STAR, while deployed on a hill complex south of Hill 881 in the vicinity of Khe Sanh, Lance Corporal Monahan's company came under intense mortar and automatic weapons fire and hand grenade attack from an estimated battalion of North Vietnamese Army forces. Lance Corporal Monahan positioned himself between the command post and the attacking enemy. After repeated vicious attacks, the enemy penetrated the perimeter and had advanced to within twenty meters of the command post when he boldly launched a fierce single-handed assault with rifle fire and hand grenades. With complete disregard for his own safety, he fearlessly exposed himself to hostile fire to direct accurate rifle fire on the enemy. Although painfully wounded by grenade fragments, he repulsed repeated enemy assaults, killing the determined enemy soldiers in hand to hand combat as they attempted to overrun his position. With exceptional courage and fortitude, he kept the numerically superior North Vietnamese pinned down for more than two hours until reinforcements arrived at daylight. Steadfastly maintaining his position, he guided the relief force into position and skillfully directed their fire against the retreating enemy. By his intrepid fighting spirit, exceptional fortitude and gallant initiative, Lance Corporal Monahan served to inspire all who observed him and contributed in large measure to the success of his unit in repelling the attackers. His great personal valor reflected the highest 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: Holland, Pennsylvania

*MONAHON, ROBERT EDWARD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Robert Edward Monahon (2121721), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company D, First Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 28 May 1967. During Operation PRAIRIE IV in Quang Tri Province, Lance Corporal Monahon's platoon was dispatched to reinforce a platoon heavily engaged with an estimated company size unit of North Vietnamese Army Regulars. Approaching to within 100 meters of the besieged platoon, his unit came under heavy automatic, small arms and mortar fire which seriously wounded the point man. Unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own safety, he ran more than thirty meters to the side of the wounded Marine and assisted him to safety. Upon returning to his position, he observed two wounded Marines lying in a path approximately seventy-five meters away. Although the enemy, in entrenched positions to the right of the path, was throwing satchel charges and grenades and delivering machine gun fire directly over the wounded men, Lance Corporal Monahon and a comrade volunteered to go to the aid of the men. Courageously moving forward, he dived for cover as he was hit by machine gun fire. Disregarding his painful wound, he continued forward, and upon reaching the wounded Marines' position found that one man had succumbed to his wounds. After quickly rendering first aid to the other Marine, he, exhibiting exceptional courage and fortitude, picked up a machine gun, rose to one knee and accurately fired a heavy volume of concentrated fire on the enemy bunker, killing three North Vietnamese and silencing their machine gun. During the vicious exchange of fire, Lance Corporal Monahon was mortally wounded. By his dauntless courage, bold initiative and selfless efforts in behalf of his fellow Marines, Lance Corporal Monahon served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Swedesboro, New Jersey

MONTGOMERY, ROBIN L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robin L. Montgomery (107468), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as Platoon Commander of the 81-mm. Mortar Platoon, 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 8 June 1969, while Second Lieutenant Montgomery was leading the advance party to a previously selected battalion command post site, the Marines were pinned down in an open rice paddy by a heavy volume of mortar, antitank rocket, and automatic weapons fire from enemy troops occupying well-fortified emplacements. Realizing the need for immediate action, Second Lieutenant Montgomery crawled close to the enemy lines and, pinpointing several principal sources of hostile fire, stood in full view of the enemy soldiers as he initiated an aggressive assault against the nearest machine-gun position, destroying it and silencing the fire from that sector. Although seriously wounded during this action, and suffering intense pain, he again braved the enemy fusillade to single-handedly destroy a machine-gun position occupied by several of the enemy. Weakened by loss of blood and the severity of his wounds, he was unable to continue his combat efforts. However, his heroic and determined actions so inspired his vastly outnumbered men that they surged forward and fought through the enemy lines. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and unfaltering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Second Lieutenant Montgomery contributed significantly to the defeat of the enemy force 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: Brookfield, Connecticut

MOORE, FREDDIE L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Freddie L. Moore (2494568), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism on the early morning of 12 August 1969 as a squad leader with Company B, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during operations against an armed enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. When several members of his platoon were pinned down by intense hostile fire following the initiation of an ambush against a large enemy force, Lance Corporal Moore, as leader of the remainder of the platoon members, deployed forward of the company position in an effort to reach the pinned-down platoon members. When his own unit was confronted with a heavy volume of hostile fire emanating from a tree line and throughout a rice paddy, Lance Corporal Moore observed two of his companions fall wounded in a position dangerously exposed to enemy fire. Quick to act, he rushed across the fire-swept area, carried his wounded companions to a place of relative safety, and administered medical aid until a Corpsman arrived. Lance Corporal Moore then decided to initiate an aggressive assault against the entrenched enemy unit and, shouting instructions and encouragement to his men, succeeded in forcing the enemy troops to withdraw sufficiently to enable the remainder of the platoon to reach their trapped comrades. When the platoon sergeant was wounded, Lance Corporal Moore took charge of the platoon and continued to press the attack until the enemy force was in full retreat. By his courage, aggressive leadership, and inspiring devotion to duty, he contributed significantly to the defeat of the enemy 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: Chicago, Illinois

*MOORE, RONALD ALLAN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Ronald Allan Moore (2241747), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Reconnaissance Patrol Leader with Company I, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Dai Loc District, Republic of Vietnam, on 19 July 1967. While on patrol, Lance Corporal Moore's Fire Team suddenly came under intense, point-blank enemy automatic weapons fire from a large force of well-concealed Viet Cong. The initial burst of fire killed the radioman, destroyed the radio and wounded three other members of his team, including Lance Corporal Moore. Despite his painful wound, he quickly returned fire and deployed his only effective rifleman. As the Viet Cong assaulted the decimated fire team, he quickly anticipated their tactics, shouted commands and encouragement to his rifleman, and together they repelled the assault. As the enemy regrouped, he ordered his rifleman to help their wounded comrades while he provided security on their vulnerable right flank. Compelled to drag himself across several yards of exposed ground being raked by unrelenting enemy fire and grenade explosions, Lance Corporal Moore established himself as a conspicuous target, delivered burst after burst of suppressive fire, and cut down four approaching enemy before he himself was mortally wounded. By his daring initiative, valiant fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty in the face of insurmountable odds, Lance Corporal Moore was responsible in a great measure for saving the lives of his comrades and thereby upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Manhattan Beach, California

MOSHER, CHRISTOPHER K.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Christopher K. Mosher (2130200), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Forward Air Controller attached to 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 morning of 13 May 1967, while moving to the support of another unit, Company K became pinned down by the concentrated machine gun and mortar fire from an estimated battalion of the North Vietnamese Army. Realizing the urgent need for supporting fire to relieve the pressure on the beleaguered unit, Lance Corporal Mosher unhesitatingly moved forward through the intense hostile fire in order to direct air strikes on the enemy positions. For five hours, he remained exposed to the enemy fire with complete disregard for his own safety while adjusting the air strikes and offering words of encouragement to wounded Marines. Utilizing his precise directions, the Marine aircraft delivered their ordnance with pinpoint accuracy. When Company M relieved his unit, Lance Corporal Mosher volunteered to remain at his positions to continue directing the air support and relay information on the enemy's location and strength to the air controllers attached to Company M. While briefing his counterparts, he was severely wounded in the back by enemy mortar fragments and was evacuated. His heroic efforts and superior skill contributed significantly to the accomplishments of his unit's mission. By his intrepid fighting spirit, uncommon courage, and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Lance Corporal Mosher 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: Dowigac, Michigan

*MUIR, JOSEPH EUGENE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Joseph Eugene Muir (0-49816), Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer, Third Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during Operation STARLITE in Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam, from 18 to 24 August 1965. With utter disregard for his own safety, Colonel Muir fearlessly exposed himself to intense enemy fire while leading his battalion in assault against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces. Though fully cognizant of the danger, he repeatedly positioned himself in the midst of the violent action. Upon encountering strong enemy resistance, he joined the assault companies in front line positions to personally direct their advance, and succeeded in conquering two of the more strongly defended hostile areas, resulting in 215 confirmed enemy dead. Despite an almost complete lack of sleep for three days, his tireless application of professional principles provided a major contribution to the success of the Operation. Colonel Muir's valiant conduct, inspiring leadership, and courageous fighting spirit 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: Meadow Bridge, West Virginia

MULLOY, JAMES E., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James E. Mulloy, Jr. (1288230), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with Headquarters and Service Company, Third Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during Operation STARLITE near Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam, on 18 August 1965. While participating in a combat re-supply mission in support of assault units of Regimental Landing Team Seven, Sergeant Mulloy was aboard an amphibious tractor when his armored column came under intense mortar, automatic weapons, small arms, and recoilless rifle fire from determined and well fortified insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces. As he attempted to maneuver through the enemy fire his tractor became bogged down in a rice paddy. Quickly comprehending the gravity of the situation, he immediately responded to the challenge by providing the leadership and personal example of exceptional courage which helped to rally the Marines present to the defense of the stricken vehicle. He administered first aid to the wounded and inspired them with his calmness. Realizing that the armored tractor was especially vulnerable to attack due to limited observation from within, he left the tractor and assumed a position in the rice paddy. For twenty hours he conducted a virtual one-man defense. On several occasions Viet Cong guerrillas attempted to penetrate his position to get to the vehicle, but he repeatedly drove them back and inflicted extremely heavy casualties. When aid arrived the following morning he insured that all of the wounded were evacuated before seeking relief for himself. His courageous actions, inspiring leadership, and loyal devotion to duty without regard for his personal safety undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his fellow Marines. Sergeant Mulloy's heroic conduct throughout was in keeping with highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Jeffersontown, Kentucky

MURPHY, JAMES E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James E. Murphy (0-91159), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as Air Liaison Officer of the Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 26 October 1967. During a search and destroy operation near Con Thien, Captain Murphy was calling in close air support on a fanatical assault by North Vietnamese Army forces when he observed a helicopter shot down 150 meters in front of his position. As the helicopter burst into flames, the enemy troops surrounded the aircraft, and engaged the Marines in a fierce fire fight. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, he dashed alone from the Marine lines, through the enemy positions, to the burning aircraft. While under intense enemy fire, he dragged the two injured survivors to a defilade position. Armed only with a .45 caliber pistol, he shielded the wounded men with his body and attempted to hold off the onrushing enemy, calling in air strikes within 75 meters of his position. Although a rescue mission was attempted, it was beaten back with heavy casualties. For over an hour, Captain Murphy held off the frenzied enemy from his position with air strikes and his pistol. Through combined smoke and interlocking machine-gun fire, a helicopter succeeded in landing to extract the besieged men. After destroying his radio which was left behind he carried the two men aboard the aircraft. By his bold initiative, gallant fighting spirit and loyal devotion to duty, Captain Murphy was instrumental in saving two men from serious injury or possible death, 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: Midland, Michigan

MURRAY, JOHN D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John D. Murray (0-91848), Captain [then First Lieutenant], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as the Commanding Officer, Company M, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam. On 4 September 1967 during Operation SWIFT, Captain Murray's company was moving to reinforce elements of the First Battalion when the lead platoon suddenly came under heavy small-arms and automatic weapons fire and mortar attack from a numerically superior and well-entrenched North Vietnamese Army force. Immediately assessing the situation, he deployed a reinforcing platoon forward, exposing himself so as to observe and control the fire and movement of all elements of his company. When the commander and key noncommissioned officers of the lead platoon became casualties, he quickly reorganized the unit, establishing strong defensive positions. Skillfully calling in close air support and accurate mortar and artillery fire, he forced the North Vietnamese to withdraw and launched an aggressive attack which took their positions. After recovering all the casualties, he arranged for their evacuation and consolidated his company position into a night defensive perimeter. On the nights of 6 and 10 September 1967, when companies of his battalion were surrounded and heavily engaged with the North Vietnamese, Captain Murray skillfully led his company to relieve the beleaguered companies. As a result of his bold initiative and aggressive fighting spirit, he undoubtedly saved many Marines from further injury, capture or possible death. By his superior professional skill, courageous leadership and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Captain Murray was instrumental in the accomplishment of the hazardous missions 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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

*MYERS, WILLIAM HENRY
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to William Henry Myers (2315999), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action against elements of the North Vietnamese Army while serving as Assistant Gunner for the first machine-gun team of the Third Squad, Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam during Operation UNION on 12 May 1967. While moving with an aggressive attack by his unit in the vicinity of Que Son, the lead elements came under heavy automatic and semi-automatic small arms, grenade, and mortar fire. The platoon to which Private First Class Myers' gun team was attached maneuvered into position to provide flanking fire against the entrenched enemy soldiers. As his platoon was moving into position it came under intense small-arms fire from a range of about 200 meters. The gunner of the machine-gun team of which Private First Class Myers was a member was instantly killed. Unhesitatingly, Private First Class Myers picked up the gun and boldly advanced through withering fire across 150 meters of open rice paddy in order to place himself in a position to deliver enfilade fire upon the trench works. He skillfully placed his gun into action while bullets and grenades were tearing up the earth on all sides. His deadly fire and accurate aim caused numerous casualties and created untold confusion in the ranks of the enemy. When his ammunition was expended, he fearlessly returned across the open paddy to the body of his fallen gunner and recovered the machine-gun ammunition which the gunner had been carrying. In the face of almost certain death he again crossed the open paddy, returned to his position, and for the second time placed his gun into action. By this time his position had been pinpointed by enemy snipers to his right. With no regard for his own personal safety he continued to pour forth his endless stream of fire into the enemy positions. After approximately three minutes of steady firing, Private First Class Myers was hit by enemy fire and mortally wounded. His steadfast devotion to duty served as an inspiration to the entire company, which then rallied and drove the enemy from its almost impregnable position. Private First Class Myers' extraordinary courage and selfless devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Salem, Indiana

N

 

NEIL, MICHAEL I.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Michael I. Neil (101333), First Lieutenant [then Second Lieutenant], U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 20 December 1967. Informed by a squad size ambush patrol that an estimated one hundred Viet Cong were moving toward its position at Phouc Ninh (2), in Quang Nam Province, First Lieutenant Neil quickly organized a twelve-man reaction force and led his small unit to the assistance of the patrol. Disregarding the intense enemy fire, he led his men across 1,300 meters of thickly forested terrain to the Marine patrol which was heavily engaged with the enemy force. When the advance was halted by intense small-arms, automatic weapons and rifle grenade fire from the hostile positions, he, with complete disregard for his own safety, exposed himself to the devastating fire to hurl hand grenades and direct his men's fire which momentarily silenced the enemy weapons. Suddenly, the Marines came under mortar fire. Shouting words of encouragement to his men, he boldly moved through the hail of enemy fire, leading an assault against the enemy positions. Observing a wounded comrade in an exposed position he removed his armored vest and placed it over the casualty to protect him from further injury. Picking up the wounded man's M-79 Grenade Launcher, he delivered intense and accurate fire against the enemy. When the momentum of the attack decreased, he rallied his men and led a determined assault into the face of the enemy fire. Throwing hand grenades as he advanced, he destroyed a machine-gun emplacement and mortally wounded several enemy with his pistol. By his bold initiative, gallant fighting spirit and loyal devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Neil 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: San Diego, California

NOEL, THOMAS E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Thomas E. Noel (106151), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company C, First Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 1 March 1969, Second Lieutenant Noel was directed to seize a hill near Ca Lu in Quang Tri Province, which was controlled by a North Vietnamese Army regiment occupying a well-fortified bunker complex. He quickly led his Marines up a slope, and as they neared the top the men came under hostile fire from small arms and automatic weapons. The unit became a lucrative target for sniper and mortar fire and was pinned down in a dangerously exposed position. Second Lieutenant Noel pinpointed major sources of enemy fire, then pulled the pins on two grenades which he clutched in his hands, and boldly raced toward the North Vietnamese Army bunkers. While charging the emplacements, he was repeatedly thrown to the ground by the concussion of mortars detonating nearby, but he steadfastly continued toward the enemy force. In a last desperate struggle, he reached his objective and threw his grenades through the apertures of two of the bunkers, killing all occupants. He fearlessly led his men in an aggressive attack on the remaining hostile positions, and during the ensuing fierce engagement he personally carried casualties to places of relative safety. Only after he had consolidated his position and ensured that all wounded Marines had been evacuated would he accept treatment for his injuries. His heroic efforts and selfless concern for his fellow men inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in his platoon accounting for twenty enemy soldiers killed. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Second Lieutenant Noel 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
Home Town: Tulsa, Oklahoma

NOON, PATRICK J., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Patrick J. Noon, Jr. (2016255), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Platoon Guide while serving with Company F, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Thon Son Lam area, Republic of Vietnam, on 24 August 1966. At approximately 0200, Sergeant Noon volunteered, with other members of the Third Platoon, Company F, to relieve a platoon of Company B, which was trapped by enemy fire. Disregarding his own personal safety, he was one of the volunteers who descended into a natural bowl, three sides of which were controlled by the enemy, in a valiant effort to evacuate wounded Marines. Despite a barrage of enemy grenades, two wounded men were rescued. At 0600 the enemy attacked the Third Platoon from the front and left flank. The Platoon Commander was mortally wounded and the Platoon Sergeant was evacuated with severe wounds. Sergeant Noon took charge of the platoon and skillfully maneuvered it until the initiative was regained and the enemy beaten off. While going forward to recover the body of his Platoon Commander, he was hit by enemy fire, but disregarding his wound, he single-handedly brought the body back, then continued to direct supporting arms and encourage his men. Wounded a second time, he refused to be moved to the rear, and continued to direct the platoon until, weak from loss of blood, he was forced to turn the platoon over to the senior squad leader. By his inspiring leadership, aggressive fighting spirit and courageous initiative, Sergeant Noon contributed materially to breaking the enemy attack 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: Cheverly, Maryland

*NORRIS, JAMES ALAN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to James Alan Norris (478640914), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 13 August 1969, while participating in a search and clear operation in Quang Nam Province, Lance Corporal Norris sighted four enemy soldiers in a camouflaged machine-gun emplacement. Reacting instantly, he shot one of the enemy and simultaneously shouted a warning to the Marines behind him to seek cover. Machine-gun fire immediately erupted from the hostile position, knocking Lance Corporal Norris to the ground and seriously wounding him. Undaunted by the intense enemy fire concentrated upon him, Lance Corporal Norris, despite his painful wounds, managed to get to his feet and wound two more of the enemy as he single-handedly assaulted the enemy emplacement. Struck to the ground a second time by the hostile machine-gun fire, he again regained his feet, advanced in the face of the hostile fire and succeeded in accounting for still another enemy casualty before he fell mortally wounded within ten meters of the enemy position. His resolute and heroic actions in drawing the hostile fire upon himself inspired his men to such aggressive action that his company proceeded to attack and capture the enemy machine-gun position and account for eight additional enemy casualties during the ensuing fire fight. By his indomitable courage, inspiring valor, and unswerving devotion to duty, Lance Corporal Norris 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
Home Town: Des Moines, Iowa

NORTON, JOHN JEROME
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John Jerome Norton (0-77989), Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer of Company E, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations in the Republic of Vietnam. On the night of 21 April 1968 during Operation BAXTER GARDEN, the battalion commander was conducting a command and staff conference to review the day's actions and make plans for the resumption of the attack the following morning. The meeting was held in the semidarkness of a small open area serving as the temporary battalion command post. As the meeting concluded, a trip wire attached to a hand grenade buried in the ground was accidentally pulled, activating the grenade. Instantly realizing the peril to the closely assembled group in the confined area, Captain Norton, completely ignoring the danger to his own life, unhesitatingly clutched the grenade to his chest, fell to the ground, and rolled on top of the grenade to shield other members of the command group from the expected blast. Lying motionless on the grenade, he calmly warned everyone to clear the area. When the device failed to detonate and engineers summoned to examine the grenade could not determine the exact condition of the firing device because of the position of Captain Norton's body on the grenade, he cleared the area of all personnel and courageously rolled away from the grenade. When the grenade failed to detonate, it was determined to have a faulty mechanism and was subsequently destroyed in place. By his courage, bold initiative, and selfless devotion to duty at the risk of his own life, Captain Norton upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: February 8, 1937 at San Francisco, California
Home Town: San Francisco, California

NORWOOD, GEORGE O.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to George O. Norwood (2060343), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company G, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 4 March 1966. During Operation Utah, Corporal Norwood's unit was subjected to devastating fire from a hedgerow that concealed fortified machine gun bunkers and a trench line from which the Viet Cong were firing automatic weapons. Observing that his squad leader had been wounded, Corporal Norwood immediately assumed command of the squad and continued the assault on the enemy positions. Although two of his fellow Marines already had been killed attempting to destroy the machine gun position, he twice assaulted the bunker, firing his automatic weapon and throwing grenades. Each time he was forced to withdraw due to the withering fire from the trench line and nearby concealed automatic weapons. Undaunted, he made a third attempt and accurately hurled a grenade which neutralized the fire and enabled his squad to move forward and destroy the bunker. Although he was painfully wounded in the arm and face by enemy grenade fragments, he shunned evacuation and proceeded to position his men and direct fire which minimized the enemy counterattack which followed. By his uncommon courage in the face of almost certain death, intrepid fighting spirit and unfaltering dedication to duty throughout, Corporal Norwood upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Holy Grove, Arkansas

O

OAKLEY, JOHN L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John L. Oakley (2197948), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader with Company G, Second Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 22 August 1966. During Operation ALLEGHENY, Corporal Oakley's platoon was assigned the mission of relieving a platoon that had become temporarily pinned down by a numerically superior communist force. As the point element of the platoon, his squad was brought under intense hostile fire from an estimated sixty Viet Cong, well hidden in the underbrush and trees. As the platoon advanced, enemy fire increased in intensity and was reinforced by volleys of grenades from the front and both flanks, all of which were concentrated on Corporal Oakley's squad in the center of the formation. Suddenly, an automatic weapon opened up at point-blank range directly to his front, killing two Marines at his side. He nevertheless continued to advance in front of the platoon and assaulted the enemy position, firing his rifle at a dead run. Wounded and knocked down once by the heavy fire that was now converging on him, Corporal Oakley continued the assault, only to be wounded again by a hand grenade. Completely disregarding his wounds, he selflessly and heroically continued his single-handed effort until he had overrun the position and killed the defenders. As a result of his gallant conduct and disregard for his own safety, the momentum of the assault was maintained and the platoon was able successfully to relieve the pinned-down unit. By his initiative, inspiring leadership, and heroic devotion to duty, Corporal Oakley 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: Ridgecrest, California

O'BRIEN, JOSEPH J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Joseph J. O'Brien (1427514), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Operations Officer, Second Battalion, Third Marines, Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade, in operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam from 17 to 23 September 1967. When an amphibious assault was delayed due to the grounding of all transport helicopters and monsoon weather, Captain Charles O'Brien skillfully revised plans to engage enemy units infiltrating across the Demilitarized Zone. He quickly developed a surface landing to link the battalion with tracked assets on the beach and advanced the armored task unit north through enemy territory. When three amphibious tractors were hit by enemy artillery fire, Captain O'Brien exposed himself to a hail of enemy fire as he made repeated trips to move the wounded to a position of relative safety. Despite sustaining multiple burns to his hands and face, he refused to be evacuated. As a result of his exceptional tactical ability, the unit seized all D-Day objectives. On 23 September 1967, he launched a predawn assault with a reinforced rifle company and the Alpha Command Post mounted in amphibious assault vehicles. As the unit dismounted, close combat ensued with the well-concealed enemy battalion. Noticing enemy soldiers dragging wounded Marines away, he led a group forward taking the enemy under fire. He engaged and killed numerous enemy soldiers with his pistol and an enemy rifle while he protected the wounded Marines until they could be moved to safety. Although painfully wounded by enemy hand grenades, he shunned medical treatment and urged the Marines on with their relentless actions against the disorganized enemy forces. When enemy automatic fire from a concealed position stalled the advance, he spearheaded an assault on the position with hand grenades. After overpowering and eliminating the enemy, he collapsed from his wounds and was medically evacuated. Captain O'Brien's exceptional tactical ability, imitative, and total dedication to duty reflected great credit upon him 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
Born: at Bronx, New York
Home Town: Bronx, New York

O'CONNOR, MARTIN E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Martin E. O'Connor (0-72430), Major, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as Senior Marine Advisor to Brigade B, Republic of Vietnam Marine Corps in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 5 November 1969, while Major O'Connor was aboard the command and control helicopter which was supporting Amphibious Task Force 211 during a combat operation in the U Minh Forest, a United States Army light observation aircraft was severely damaged by enemy fire and crash-landed in a rice paddy. When the helicopter in which Major O'Connor was riding landed in an adjacent rice paddy, it sustained damage from hostile fire. Nevertheless, Major O'Connor exited the aircraft and, making his way with a companion toward the downed helicopter, met the two occupants and assisted them back to the command and control helicopter. At that moment, another observation aircraft was downed approximately forty meters distant and again Major O'Connor left the relative security of his helicopter. Heedless of the enemy rounds impacting all around him, he waded across the rice paddy as hostile rockets set the stricken aircraft afire and caused secondary explosions. Although grenades were detonating within, Major O'Connor boarded and lowered the temporarily dazed and blinded observer to the ground and then dragged him through the enemy fusillade to the command and control helicopter. Subsequently, before the helicopter took off, he rescued one of the crewmen who was seriously wounded. Major O'Connor's heroic and determined actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of several United States Army personnel. By his courage, selfless concern for his fellowmen, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, he 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: Rahway, New Jersey

P

 

PANIAN, THOMAS C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Thomas C. Panian (2098929), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Platoon Sergeant, First Platoon, Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 6 September 1967. During Operation SWIFT the company was engaged in search and destroy operations against the communist insurgent forces in Quang Tin Province. When the company came under heavy small-arms fire, automatic weapons and accurate mortar fire from a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force of battalion size, the first platoon position on the left flank was hit by a devastating impact of eight automatic weapons, resulting in the death of the platoon commander; and half of the platoon were dead or wounded within the first five minutes of contact. Displaying outstanding professional ability, Sergeant Panian unhesitatingly deployed his platoon, organized a defense, and directed effective and accurate fire upon the enemy. Under his inspiring leadership, his platoon, during the subsequent eight hours of heavy contact, repulsed three more attacks on his position by an aggressive enemy, determined to overrun his defensive flank position. During this period, although wounded three times by enemy fire, he was able to evacuate his dead and wounded and reorganize his platoon with the rest of the company. After the company reconsolidated, Sergeant Panian was again successful in defending his flank position against another attack by an enemy of overwhelming odds. The following morning, despite his own wounds, he personally accounted for every man of his platoon, insured that the wounded were cared for, and then allowed himself to be evacuated. Sergeant Panian's bold initiative, valiant fighting spirit, and selfless devotion to duty were an inspiration to 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
Born: September 7, 1946 at Somerset, Pennsylvania
Home Town: Essex, Maryland

PARROTT, LEE R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lee R. Parrott (1533280), Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commander of the 81-mm. Mortar Platoon, Second Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam on the early morning of 10 August 1969. When his platoon was subjected to a heavy ground attack by enemy troops who penetrated a section of the platoon's defensive position and wounded several Marines, Gunnery Sergeant Parrott rushed to the beleaguered sector and, opening fire with his rifle, succeeded in accounting for several enemy casualties. Despite the fierceness of the enemy fire attack, he reached the forward fighting positions, directed his men to secondary defensive positions, and then aided the wounded Marines to rear locations. All the while he continued firing at the invaders with his free arm while assisting the casualties with his other arm. As a result of his valiant and inspiring leadership in a potentially chaotic situation, the Marines effected a vigorous defense and repelled several ground attacks. Following the retreat of the defeated attackers, Gunnery Sergeant Parrott led his men outside the defensive perimeter to secure the area and to evacuate all casualties. While he was thus engaged, the area came under hostile mortar fire. Although wounded by one of the first mortars to explode in the area, Gunnery Sergeant Parrott skillfully adjusted supporting counter mortar fire on suspected enemy positions and continued to direct the removal of other casualties to a more tenable landing zone while he remained to provide rear-guard security. By his heroic actions, aggressive fighting spirit, and determined efforts in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds, he was directly instrumental in saving the lives of several fellow Marines, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Noblesville, Indiana

PASKEVICH, ANTHONY, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Anthony Paskevich, Jr. (0-94196), Captain [then First Lieutenant], U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving with Marine Observation Squadron TWO (VMO-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, Captain Paskevich launched as the Pilot of 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 Hoe in Quang Nam Province. Arriving over the designated location, he was informed that the unit on the ground had sustained several casualties and was pinned down in an open rice paddy by a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire. With skill and daring, Captain Paskevich commenced a series of rocket and machine gun attacks on enemy positions, flying dangerously low because of the deteriorating weather conditions. Observing that the ground unit was still unable to attain its objective because of the heavy volume of fire from the numerically superior enemy force and because it was encumbered by its casualties, Captain Paskevich landed his helicopter between the opposing units and succeeded in embarking a seriously wounded Marine. Skillfully evading the enemy fire, he then delivered the casualty to An Hoa. During the next four-hour period, he refueled and rearmed seven times as he repeatedly returned to the hazardous area to provide assistance for the beleaguered company. On three additional occasions, he landed his helicopter in the open area subjected to intense hostile fire, several rounds of which penetrated and extensively damaged his aircraft, to ensure the medical evacuation of critical casualties. Seemingly oblivious to the enemy fire directed against him, he repeatedly maneuvered over the enemy lines, destroying machine-gun and antiaircraft emplacements, thereby turning a potential disaster into a decisive Marine victory. Captain Paskevich's indomitable courage, bold initiative, and unfaltering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger were instrumental in saving the lives of four fellow Marines 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: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

PECZELI, JOSEPH S.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Joseph S. Peczeli (1427514), Gunnery Sergeant [then Staff Sergeant], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Section Leader, First Section, Third Platoon, First Armored Amphibian Company, Eleventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam. The section was engaged in search and destroy operations in support of the Second Battalion, Fifth Marines against enemy forces near An Hoa in Quang Nam Province on 24 March 1967. While covering three LVTP5s and one LVTP6 tracked personnel carriers crossing open terrain, Gunnery Sergeant Peczeli was in command of his vehicle when the enemy began a savage attack of small arms, automatic weapons, recoilless rifles, rockets and mortars from ambush against the vehicles and advanced elements of the Second Battalion, Fifth Marines. Disregarding his own personal safety, Gunnery Sergeant Peczeli, while on top of his vehicle, directed rapid and accurate fire into the heaviest enemy concentrations, which effectively suppressed the enemy and prevented heavy casualties to the adjacent friendly forces. Throughout the initial phase of this action he continued to direct his devastating fire to allow the accompanying infantry and vehicles to maneuver and bring their own fire power to bear on the enemy. Only when it was necessary for him to evacuate wounded infantrymen did he withdraw from the battle. Gunnery Sergeant Peczeli immediately returned to the ambush site, this time with his vehicles leading a Marine Company in an assault on the enemy's flank. Again exposed to heavy enemy fire, he closed to within 30 meters of the entrenched enemy, skillfully maneuvering his vehicle and directing effective fire toward the enemy. Although painfully wounded himself, he remained at his post, refusing medical aid and continuing his assault on the enemy. As a direct result of Gunnery Sergeant Peczeli's courageous aggressiveness and swift employment of his vehicle, the enemy ambush was defeated and undoubtedly the lives of many Marines were saved. By his daring actions, exceptional professional skill and loyal devotion to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Peczeli 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: Utica, New York

*PETERS, WILLIAM LEE, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to William Lee Peters, Jr. (0-102208), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Pilot with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE (HMM-165), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, in the Republic of Vietnam on 12 April 1969. First Lieutenant Peters launched as Wingman in a section of two Ch-46 transport helicopters assigned to heli-lift a reconnaissance team into hostile territory. After arriving over the designated location, the lead aircraft inserted the Marines without incident but, while lifting off, the aircraft came under a heavy volume of small arms and automatic weapons fire and sustained extensive damage. Observing that the reconnaissance team was pinned down where it had disembarked and that the Marines were surrounded by a numerically superior hostile force, First Lieutenant Peters circled the area while helicopter gunships and fixed wing aircraft bombed and strafed the enemy soldiers who clung tenaciously to their positions only 20 feet from the beleaguered unit. When the supporting aircraft had expended its ordnance, First Lieutenant Peters, fully aware of the possible consequences of his actions but concerned only with the welfare of the men on the ground, fearlessly elected to attempt the extraction and, as he approached the landing zone, became the target for intense automatic weapons fire. Although numerous rounds penetrated his helicopter, he landed in the fire-swept area and, with calm presence of mind, resolutely maintained his dangerously exposed position, despite a fanatical assault by two North Vietnamese Army soldiers who were killed by the reconnaissance team. Assuring that the ground unit was safely aboard, he then quickly lifted from the zone under an increasingly intense volume of fire from the frustrated enemy which damaged a vital control section of his helicopter. In a brilliant display of superb airmanship and unwavering devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Peters saved his fellow Marines from serious injury or possible death and thereby 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 Dodge, Iowa

*PETERSON, DENNIE DONALD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Dennie Donald Peterson (0-100590), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as Artillery Forward Observer with the Second Battalion, Eleventh Marines and attached to Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam. On 6 September 1967, during Operation SWIFT, the advance of Company I was halted by devastating automatic weapons fire from a massed, entrenched North Vietnamese Army force. Fearlessly exposing himself to enemy fire, Second Lieutenant Peterson moved over the fire-swept terrain to a position from which he could bring Supporting arms to bear on the determined enemy force. Courageously, he moved from one position to another to gain a better vantage point to adjust his fires. Fearing for the life of his radio operator, he took the radio, put it on his back, and moved into contested ground beyond the company perimeter to a position where he could better observe and continue to direct and adjust artillery. His prompt and accurate fires immediately inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. Although he was drawing fire from at least five enemy automatic weapons and was painfully wounded, he remained in his unfavorable position for two hours adjusting artillery. After darkness fell and the enemy was soundly repulsed, he crawled back to his own lines, and despite his own wounds and the heavy volume of fire, assisted another wounded Marine into the perimeter. After being treated and with temporary discontinuation of artillery fires, Second Lieutenant Peterson organized groups of Marines and led them through the enemy lines on three occasions recovering casualties and carrying them to protected areas in the company area. Although he was wounded on four separate occasions, he disregarded his painful wounds and continued to direct and coordinate fire and aid wounded Marines at great personal risk. While being treated for his wounds, he was hit by a burst of automatic weapons fire and mortally wounded. By his calm courage, intrepid fighting spirit and dynamic leadership, Second Lieutenant Peterson served to inspire all who observed him and contributed materially to the accomplishment of his unit's mission. 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. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Los Angeles, California

PHELPS, JOHN G.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John G. Phelps (2079635), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Crew Chief of a UH-1E Helicopter attached to Marine Observation Squadron SIX (VMO-6), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, near Quang Ngai, Republic of Vietnam, on 19 August 1967. While conducting a regularly assigned mission, Lance Corporal Phelps' aircraft monitored a transmission giving the approximate location of four soldiers from a downed Army helicopter. The UH-1E diverted to the site and arrived to find the Army personnel in the midst of an estimated thirty to forty frenzied Viet Cong, who were bayoneting and beating them with rifle butts. As the UH-IE began a series of low level attacks, the Viet Cong scattered and withdrew to a tree line, firing frantically at the helicopter. Making another low level pass, they observed one soldier raise his hand in a gesture for help. Unhesitatingly, the UH-IE landed on the beach between the wounded men and the Viet Cong, who were now firing furiously at the aircraft. As the aircraft touched down, Lance Corporal Phelps laid down a heavy volume of fire to cover the gunner, who had leaped from the aircraft and raced to the wounded soldiers. When the gunner was unable to carry the man, because of his weight, Lance Corporal Phelps left his machine gun to help move the man. Observing the Viet Cong swarm around the helicopter, he ran back to his gun to provide protective fire, cutting down the enemy advance. Again observing problems being encountered in moving the third man, he handed his machine gun to one still conscious soldier, drew his pistol and raced to their aid. As the men moved with the wounded man, a lone Viet Cong, armed with a grenade, appeared from behind the UH-IE. Unhesitatingly, he released the wounded man, drew his pistol, and shot the Viet Cong. Once inside the helicopter, as it lifted for flight, Lance Corporal Phelps administered first aid to the wounded men until they reached a hospital. By his courageous actions, bold initiative, and unswerving devotion to duty, Lance Corporal Phelps was instrumental in saving the soldiers' lives. His great personal valor reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and enhanced the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Louisville, Kentucky

PIATT, LOUIS R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Louis R. Piatt (0-106014), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company M, 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 23 February 1969, the Second Platoon of Company M was dispatched to the Bo Ban area of Hieu Duc District in Quang Nam Province to assist a squad from another platoon which had become heavily engaged with a well-entrenched North Vietnamese Army battalion. Having reached their objective, the Marines commenced a reconnaissance in force across a rice paddy covered with heavy grass and, led by Second Lieutenant Piatt, immediately were engaged in fierce hand-to-hand combat with hostile soldiers who had been concealed in the tall grass. As he led the Marines in a steady advance through the rice paddy, they killed twelve of the enemy. Mounting the second attack, the Marines sustained several casualties, and when a machine gunner was wounded, Second Lieutenant Piatt quickly seized the man's weapon and delivered rapid suppressive fire until he exhausted the ammunition, then utilized the light antitank assault weapon of another injured man and continued firing until assured that all casualties had been evacuated. Early the following morning, he rallied his men again and initiated a final, well-planned attack against the formidable North Vietnamese Army stronghold. In a splendid display of dynamic leadership, he led his men across the fire-swept terrain and seized the objective. His heroic and determined efforts inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in his platoon's accounting for thirty-six hostile soldiers killed and vast quantities of enemy weapons and equipment captured. By his courage, bold initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Second Lieutenant Piatt 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 Orleans, Louisiana

*PICHON, LOUIS ALPHONSE, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Louis Alphonse Pichon, Jr. (605087), Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism as Company Gunnery Sergeant with Company I, Third Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 24 March 1967. During a search and clear operation near Cam Lo in Quang Tri Province, Gunnery Sergeant Pichon was advancing with his company when it came under intense small arms and mortar fire from concealed North Vietnamese Army positions. Firing from a series of mutually supporting and well camouflaged bunkers, the enemy inflicted numerous casualties on the left flank platoon. Reacting instantly, Gunnery Sergeant Pichon unhesitatingly advanced to the area of heaviest fighting. With full knowledge of the hazards involved and with complete disregard for his own safety, he rallied the company's flank element and fearlessly charged the enemy bunkers until a heavy volume of grenades halted the advance. Armed only with a pistol and grenades, Gunnery Sergeant Pichon displayed dauntless courage by continuing the charge alone, despite intense hostile fire. Under continuous North Vietnamese fire, he silenced one enemy position and was advancing to a second when he became involved in a hand grenade duel with the enemy. As he lunged to pick up and return an enemy grenade thrown at him, he was mortally wounded by machine gun fire. His aggressive fighting spirit and gallant actions inspired his comrades to launch a determined assault, destroying the enemy positions and resulting in the successful accomplishment of his unit's mission. Gunnery Sergeant Pichon's exceptional leadership, uncommon courage in the face of almost certain death, and loyal devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were m keeping with 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: Slidell, Louisiana

PIERPAN, HERBERT E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Herbert E. Pierpan (0-82433), Major, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving as Operations Officer of the First Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam from 20 to 22 March 1969. On 20 March 1969, Company D and elements of the First Battalion's command group were heli-lifted into Fire Support Base Argonne, located northwest of the Vandegrift Combat Base, to commence a sustained operation against North Vietnamese Army forces in the area. As the Marines landed they came under a heavy volume of mortar, small-arms, and automatic weapons fire, and their lead elements were pinned down by hostile soldiers occupying well-fortified bunkers overlooking the landing zone. Unhesitatingly maneuvering across the fire-swept area to a forward position, Major Pierpan shouted words of encouragement to his men, restoring their confidence and enabling them to provide a base of fire as he and a companion advanced toward the enemy strongholds. When his comrade was seriously wounded, Major Pierpan seized the man's weapon and boldly assaulted a bunker, killing two North Vietnamese soldiers. As he led continuing attacks against other enemy positions, he tossed a hand grenade through the aperture of a hostile emplacement and was wounded when a North Vietnamese soldier returned the grenade. Ignoring his painful injury, he resolutely continued his determined efforts until the bunker was destroyed. When his commanding officer was mortally wounded on the following morning, Major Pierpan unhesitatingly assumed command and, maneuvering his men with skill and daring, continued to lead the battalion against the enemy until he was relieved by a new commanding officer on 22 March. By his courage, dynamic leadership, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Major Pierpan contributed significantly to the accomplishment of the battalion'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
Born: January 16, 1939 at North Adams, Massachusetts
Home Town: North Adams, Massachusetts

*PITTS, ROY EDWARD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Roy Edward Pitts (2425604), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Grenadier with Company G, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 17 February 1969, Company G was conducting a reconnaissance in force twenty-five miles southeast of the Vandegrift Combat Base in Quang Tri Province when the lead platoon came under an intense volume of automatic weapons fire from a large hostile force well entrenched in a camouflaged bunker complex. Assigned to retrieve a Marine who was mortally wounded during the initial moments of the fire fight, Private First Class Pitt's point man maneuvered toward the fallen Marine, who was painfully wounded by enemy automatic weapons fire. After several attempts to aid the two Marines failed, Private First Class Pitts, reacting instantly and with complete disregard for his own safety, fearlessly left his covered position and commenced crawling across twenty meters of fire-swept terrain toward his wounded comrades. Reaching the critically injured point man and observing that he was bleeding profusely, Private First Class Pitts immediately administered emergency first aid to his companion. After skillfully applying a battle dressing to temporarily stop the bleeding, he began to drag the man toward a relatively safe area, offering him encouragement while simultaneously directing the covering fire of his squad. After pulling the Marine away from the area of heaviest contact, Private First Class Pitts was mortally wounded by enemy small-arms fire. His heroic and bold efforts inspired all who observed him and saved the life of his fellow Marine. By his courage, selfless concern for his fellowman, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Private First Class Pitts upheld the highest traditions of the 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: North Highlands, California

*POPP, JAMES ARTHUR
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to James Arthur Popp (2246112), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Grenadier with the Second Platoon, Company F, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 8 April 1967. Private First Class Popp's squad was conducting a squad-size patrol against the Viet Cong forces in Quang Nam Province. While moving along a trail in search of the enemy, the squad was suddenly taken under a murderous volume of small-arms, hand grenade and 40 millimeter grenade fire. The heavy volume of fire rained in from three sides, killing or wounding several of his comrades. Seeing his comrades fall, and realizing that the remaining squad members needed covering fire in order to remove the casualties and select a defensive position, Private First Class Popp valiantly remained on the open trail and provided the necessary fire. Although wounded in the initial moments of the engagement, he completely disregarded his wounds and placed accurate and deadly 40 millimeter grenade fire on the enemy. His devastating fire immediately resulted in three enemy killed, sent many of them scurrying for cover and allowed several of the squad members to gain covered positions. The enemy was intent on annihilating the Marine squad and realized that Private First Class Popp was a deadly threat to the success of the entire enemy mission. The bulk of fire was immediately brought to bear on Private First Class Popp and he was struck a second time. Fearing for the safety of his comrades and critically wounded, he exhibited uncommon courage as he knelt in the withering fire and rained grenade after grenade on the enemy. He personally accounted for at least six Viet Cong killed and inflicted severe injuries on many others. He continued to fight, inspiring the men around him with his dynamic and courageous fighting spirit until he fell mortally wounded when struck for the third time. Private First Class Popp's actions in the face of insurmountable odds were responsible in great measure for saving four other Marines, though wounded, from death at the hands of the enemy and thereby upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Hemlock, Michigan

POULSON, LEROY N.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Leroy N. Poulson (1209285), Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Gunner of a UH-1E Helicopter attached to Marine Observation Squadron SIX (VMO-6), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, near Quang Ngai, Republic of Vietnam, on 19 August 1967. While conducting an assigned mission, Gunnery Sergeant Poulson's aircraft monitored an emergency transmission giving the approximate location of four Army personnel from a downed helicopter. The UH-1 E crew diverted to the site and arrived to find the soldiers in the midst of an estimated 30 to 40 Viet Cong who were bayoneting and beating them with rifle butts. They began a series of low level machine-gun and rocket attacks, and the Viet Cong scattered and withdrew to a tree line. They made another low pass over the Army personnel and observed one man raise his arm in a gesture for help. Unhesitatingly, the UH-1E landed on the beach between the wounded men and the Viet Cong, who were now firing furiously at the aircraft. Gunnery Sergeant Poulson leaped out of the aircraft and raced to the side of the nearest soldier. Unassisted, and through a hail of enemy fire, he moved the man to the helicopter. With complete disregard for his personal safety and in the midst of heavy enemy fire, he ran to the second man, and because of his weight, was unable to move him. At this time the copilot joined him, and the two of them managed to get the man safely aboard the aircraft. The Viet Cong began to appear all around the aircraft as he made another attempt to rescue the third man. Because of the man's size, it took three crew members to move him. Upon placing the wounded man in the helicopter, Gunnery Sergeant Poulson made another attempt to rescue the fourth man. Upon reaching his side, under a heavy volume of fire, he discovered the man had succumbed to his wounds, and returned to the aircraft. As the aircraft lifted, he administered first aid to the wounded until they reached a medical facility. By his daring initiative, valiant fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty in the face of insurmountable odds, Gunnery Sergeant Poulson was responsible for saving the lives of the Army personnel and thereby upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Newell, Iowa

*POWELL, CHARLES THOMAS
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Charles Thomas Powell (2085259), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Guide with Company I, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 31 May 1968. While conducting a search and destroy operation north of Dong Ha in Quang Tri Province, elements of Company I suddenly came under a heavy volume of mortar, small-arms and automatic weapons fire from a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force and ! were pinned down. Sergeant Powell unhesitatingly took charge of a fire team and led it in an aggressive assault against an enemy mortar position. Disregarding the rounds impacting near him, he boldly maneuvered to within 40 meters of the hostile emplacement and deployed the Marines for an assault. Despite the intense enemy fire, he fearlessly led the attack across the fire-swept terrain and, upon reaching the edge of the emplacement, mortally wounded two hostile soldiers and caused four others to flee in panic and confusion. While continuing their advance his men sustained two casualties from hostile small arms fire. Notwithstanding a critically low supply of ammunition, Sergeant Powell aggressively moved forward to an advantageous position and, while delivering accurate suppressive fire on the enemy, was seriously wounded. Ignoring his painful injury, he steadfastly remained in a dangerously exposed situation, providing covering fire while a Corpsman administered first aid to his injured comrades. Upon silencing a hostile automatic weapon, he continued his resolute efforts, until he was mortally wounded. His bold initiative, aggressive fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty inspired all who observed him, contributed immeasurably to the success of his unit's mission and upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Columbus, Georgia

Q

*QUICK, ROBERT LEE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Robert Lee Quick (2395468), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Rifleman with Company K, Third Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 7 February 1968. While conducting a search and destroy operation south of Gio Linh, elements of Company K suddenly came under a heavy volume of fire from a numerically superior force. During the ensuing fire fight, Private Quick and four other men became temporarily separated from the remainder of the unit. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, he immediately moved to a dangerously exposed portion of his unit's position to provide security for his companions. Almost immediately an enemy hand grenade landed in the midst of the men. Reacting instantly, Private Quick fearlessly picked up the grenade and hurled it away from his comrades. Mortally wounded by the resulting explosion, his heroic action prevented serious injury or death to the men. His sincere concern for the welfare of his comrades was an inspiration to all who observed him. By his superb display of courage, daring initiative and selfless dedication to duty, Private Quick upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Wallaceton, Pennsylvania

R

 

*RALYA, WARREN HENRY, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Warren Henry Ralya, Jr. (2287779), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Crew Chief with Company A, First Amphibian Tractor Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 20 January 1968. Company A was participating in blocking operations in conjunction with the Junk Fleet and Vietnamese Popular Forces units along the Cua Viet River near the village of My Loc in Quang Tri Province. As Corporal Ralya's platoon was moving into its blocking position, it suddenly came under intense small-arms and automatic weapons fire and antitank grenade attack from a company-sized North Vietnamese Army ambush force, disabling the platoon's tractor and wounding several Marines. Immediately assessing the situation, Corporal Ralya, heedless of his own safety, unhesitatingly left the relative security of the amphibian tractor and advanced to the open ground on one side of the vehicle and courageously remained exposed to the intense hostile fire, while he delivered accurate M-79 grenade fire against the enemy, destroying two automatic weapons positions. Displaying exceptional combat skill and initiative he fearlessly moved to an open area in front of the tractor where his accurate fire destroyed the North Vietnamese antitank grenade launcher that had damaged his vehicle. With the amphibian tractor affording the only protection in the immediate area, he steadfastly remained in his exposed situation and delivered highly effective covering fire that enabled the wounded to be moved to safety behind the vehicle. Ignoring a painful injury and refusing to move to the protection of the vehicle, Corporal Ralya continued to fire his weapon until he was wounded a second time and knocked to the ground by the intense North Vietnamese fire. He had risen from the ground and continued to place accurate fire toward the enemy when he was hit for the third time. Refusing medical attention, he handed his weapon to another Marine and, armed with hand grenades, began to crawl toward the enemy positions. He had traveled only a short distance when he succumbed to his wounds. His determined fighting spirit, strong initiative and devotion to duty at great personal risk contributed substantially to the saving of his fellow Marines from further injury and possible death and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the 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: Shalimar, Florida

*RASH, DONALD RAY
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Donald Ray Rash (2230103), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a rifleman with Company B, First Battalion, Twenty-sixth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 30 March 1968, while conducting a reconnaissance in force near the Khe Sanh Combat Base, Company B suddenly came under a heavy volume of small-arms fire from a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force occupying fortified positions. Although the majority of the hostile fire was directed at his squad, pinning down his companions, Private Rash disregarded his own safety as he unhesitatingly left a covered position and launched a determined assault against the enemy emplacements. Ignoring the hostile rounds impacting near him, he fearlessly advanced across the fire-swept terrain, boldly throwing hand grenades and delivering a heavy volume of rifle fire upon the enemy force. Although continuously exposed to the intense hostile fire, he resolutely continued his vicious attack until he had destroyed five enemy positions and killed numerous North Vietnamese soldiers. When his company was subsequently ordered to withdraw while under accurate enemy mortar fire, he steadfastly remained behind, and as he delivered suppressive fire to cover the evacuation of casualties he was mortally wounded. His bold initiative and resolute determination inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in his company accounting for 115 North Vietnamese soldiers confirmed killed. By his courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and selfless devotion to duty, Private Rash contributed immeasurably to the accomplishments of his unit's mission and sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the 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: Pocahontas, Virginia

*RAY, DARRELL THOMAS
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Darrell Thomas Ray (2108299), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as an Automatic Rifleman with the Second Platoon, Company C, Second Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 28 February 1966. Engaged in a sweep of the Phu Thu Peninsula near Phu Bai, the Second Battalion became heavily engaged with a hardcore Viet Cong battalion. Private Ray was assigned to one of the assault platoons with the mission of securing a complex bunker system located in a tree line. His squad was able to move through an intense hail of hostile fire up to a point approximately thirty meters from the tree line before being completely pinned down by a Viet Cong machine gun which was concentrating all its fire on the squad. Realizing that many of his fellow Marines would be killed if that machine gun position were not knocked out, Private Ray called to his squad to cover him. With complete disregard for his own safety and in the ultimate of sacrifice for the rest of the men in his squad, he jumped to his feet and personally assaulted the machine gun position, yelling and firing his automatic rifle. About ten meters from the machine gun bunker, he received three serious wounds that caused him to fall to the ground. Once again, with extreme personal courage and a high degree of valor, he struggled to his feet and moved the remaining distance to the bunker where he succeeded in silencing the deadly enemy machine gun. As a result of his extraordinary initiative and inspiring valor, Private Ray saved his comrades from injury and possible loss of life, and enabled his platoon to seize and hold this vital part of the battalion objective. His bravery and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Olympia, Washington

*REID, JOHN MICHAEL
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to John Michael Reid (2145615), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Rifle Squad Leader while serving with Company C, Battalion Landing Team 1/3, III Marine Amphibious Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 10 May 1967. While participating in Operation BEAVER CAGE, Corporal Reid's platoon became heavily engaged in combat with a Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troop unit and was receiving casualties from enemy automatic weapons, small arms and mortar fire. One machine gun team was placed completely out of action by enemy mortars. Seeing that enemy fire had his platoon pinned down in exposed positions, he unhesitatingly moved across open ground to the machine gun, seized it and advanced another 20 to 30 meters. Being forced down several times during this maneuver, he reached his new position and delivered a heavy volume of accurate fire on the enemy positions, temporarily halting their fire, which allowed six other members of his squad to gain a covered position. Corporal Reid continued firing the machine gun from the exposed position in the rice paddy to thwart the advance of enemy troops attempting to overrun his platoon and endanger the Company's flank. While in his exposed position, Corporal Reid was wounded in the leg by rifle fire and as he moved forward to gain cover, he was hit again and mortally wounded. By his daring action and devotion to duty, Corporal Reid gave his life to save those of his fellow Marines, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the 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: Magnolia, New Jersey

*REILLY, DONALD JOSEPH
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Donald Joseph Reilly (0-61230), Major, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Helicopter Pilot in Marine Observation Squadron TWO (VMO-2), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, in the Republic of Vietnam on 9 December 1965. With his squadron engaged in air support operations for Task Force Delta in Quang Tin Province, Major Reilly was designated as Tactical Aircraft Coordinator (Airborne). Reporting on station about 1800, he immediately answered an emergency request for support from a Marine company which was part of a mobile alert force that had been helicopter-lifted into a hostile area where it was heavily engaged by the Viet Cong using mortars, automatic weapons, and small arms. Although exposed to hostile rifle and machine-gun fire, he, with selfless determination and skill, fearlessly delivered devastating fire from low altitudes upon the Viet Cong who were encircling the company. Later, in response to a request for evacuation of eleven of the company wounded, he prepared to land. In darkness and under a 1200 foot overcast with three miles visibility he arranged for the company to guide him on the final approach with a flashlight. Directing his wingman to remain aloft and assist only if he were successful, he turned off aircraft lights and resolutely commenced his approach. Although encountering intense small-arms fire, he pressed on with determination and while slowing for landing, received a severe bullet wound. His copilot was unable to take over in time and the aircraft crashed on landing in the friendly zone. No further evacuations could be attempted due to enemy resistance until several hours later that night and by that time Major Reilly had succumbed to his grievous wound. His self-sacrificing action in the face of overwhelming odds sustained and enhanced the finest traditions of the 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: St. Louis, Missouri

*REILLY, JAMES RICHMOND
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to James Richmond Reilly (2042266), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Machine Gunner with the Second Platoon, Company G, Second Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in action against communist forces at DaNang, Republic of Vietnam, on 17 March 1966. In the early morning hours of that day, Private First Class Reilly and a fellow Marine were vigilantly defending their two-man foxhole position on the unit's perimeter against repeated enemy small-arms and grenade attacks. Their position was of particular importance in that it blocked the possible approach of the enemy forces through a wooded draw. As Private First Class Reilly peered into the semidarkness he heard and saw an object, which he immediately recognized as a grenade, land about four feet from his position beyond the edge of the foxhole. The ground at this point sloped sharply toward his position and he realized instantly that the grenade would roll into the hole itself. With precious seconds already gone, Private First Class Reilly knew he could not retrieve the grenade and hurl it away in time. Without a moment's hesitation he called a warning to his comrade and, unmindful of his own personal safety, threw himself upon the deadly missile, absorbing the exploding charge in his own body and thereby saving his comrade from serious injury or possible death. Private First Class Reilly, by his superb courage and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice, reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Esopus, New York

*REIS, TIAGO
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Tiago Reis (2209245), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company F, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 21 September 1967. Corporal Reis was a member of a point squad which was participating in a search and destroy operation near Con Thien. The squad encountered a numerically superior unit of the North Vietnamese Army, which unleashed a murderous hail of automatic small-arms fire. The volume and accuracy of the enemy fire resulted in immediate and heavy casualties on the Marine squad and left Corporal Reis as the only member unwounded. With complete disregard for his own safety, he braved the continuing enemy fire and began dragging his wounded comrades from their exposed areas to sheltered positions. He quickly treated each man's wounds, comforted him and then courageously moved back into the vicious fire in search of other fallen comrades. On one trip he was struck by an enemy bullet, but paused only for a moment, and gallantly continued his rescue efforts. With all of the enemy fire directed at him, Corporal Reis exhibited uncommon courage as he worked feverishly to almost complete exhaustion, fearlessly exposed to the enemy fire and defying the enemy attempts to prevent him from aiding the wounded. Corporal Reis continued his courageous actions until he fell, mortally wounded, when struck a second time. By his intrepid fighting spirit, daring initiative and selfless efforts in behalf of his comrades, Corporal Reis upheld the highest traditions of the 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: New Bedford, Massachusetts

RICHARDS, THOMAS A.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Thomas A. Richards (2417861), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism on 5 and 6 June 1969 as a Fire Team Leader with Company H, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during operations against an armed enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. When his platoon initiated contact with a company-sized hostile force occupying well-camouflaged positions on a cliff overlooking a trail, and were subjected to a heavy volume of fire, Corporal Richards, during the initial attack, skillfully regrouped his platoon and led his men in a counterattack, enabling them to establish a defensive perimeter. Throughout the night, he assisted in countering enemy attacks and in moving casualties to areas of relative safety. Although wounded by fragments of an enemy grenade, he steadfastly refused to be evacuated in order to remain with his men and continue the fight. Observing that a machine gun in his area was dangerously short of ammunition, he made several trips across the fire-swept zone to obtain and replenish ammunition for the weapon. When the machine gunner and assistant gunner sustained wounds, Corporal Richards unhesitatingly dashed to the gun position and, although exposed to the brunt of the enemy attack, concentrated a heavy volume of fire on the hostile troops, causing the attack to falter long enough for the Marines to repulse it. His gallant actions resulted in the death of eight enemy soldiers and prevented the Marine perimeter from being penetrated. Through his superb leadership, courage, initiative, and inspiring dedication, he contributed significantly to the defeat of the enemy and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: at Madison, Wisconsin
Home Town: Madison, Wisconsin

RIENSCHE, HAROLD A.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Harold A. Riensche (1880764), Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Maintenance Chief with Company B, Third Tank Battalion, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 24 March 1969. Staff Sergeant Riensche and his four-man crew were embarked aboard an M51 Tank Retriever assigned the recovery of a disabled tank located near Dong Ha, when their vehicle detonated a mine and sustained extensive damage. While repairing the retriever, the Marines came under a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire from a North Vietnamese Army platoon occupying well-concealed emplacements in the tall elephant grass nearby. In the initial burst of fire which came from all sides, two of Staff Sergeant Riensche's crew were killed and two wounded, leaving him the sole defender of the retriever. Although in a dangerously exposed position, he commenced returning fire with a mounted .50 caliber machine gun. When a hostile round rendered the weapon inoperable, he moved across the top of the tracked vehicle to an M-60 machine gun, removed it from its mount and, standing in full view of the enemy, continued firing at the advancing North Vietnamese. When the barrel vibrated loose and fell from his weapon, Staff Sergeant Riensche caught the red hot cylinder in mid air and, while reinserting it, sustained serious burns to his hands. Ignoring his painful injury, he resolutely resumed firing all around his vehicle until the machine gun malfunctioned. While attempting to correct the difficulty, he observed a hostile soldier who had maneuvered to a point next to the recovery vehicle and quickly killed the man with his .45 caliber pistol. Unable to pinpoint the location of each North Vietnamese soldier in the gathering darkness, he then commenced throwing hand grenades in all directions, forcing the enemy to withdraw. Following their retreat with grenade launcher fire, Staff Sergeant Riensche, although still a very vulnerable target and vastly outnumbered, tenaciously manned his hazardous position and continued firing on possible hostile emplacements until a friendly tank arrived to render assistance. His heroic and decisive action inspired all who observed him and saved the lives of two fellow Marines. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Staff Sergeant Riensche upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Beatrice, Nebraska

RIPLEY, JOHN W.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John W. Ripley (0-84239), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism on 2 April 1972 while serving as the Senior Marine Advisor to the Third Vietnamese Marine Corps Infantry Battalion in the Republic of Vietnam. Upon receipt of a report that a rapidly moving, mechanized, North Vietnamese army force, estimated at reinforced divisional strength, was attacking south along Route #1, the Third Vietnamese Marine Infantry Battalion was positioned to defend a key village and the surrounding area. It became imperative that a vital river bridge be destroyed if the overall security of the northern provinces of Military Region One was to be maintained. Advancing to the bridge to personally supervise this most dangerous but vitally important assignment, Captain Ripley located a large amount of explosives which had been pre-positioned there earlier, access to which was blocked by a chain-link fence. In order to reposition the approximately 500 pounds of explosives, Captain Ripley was obliged to reach up and hand-walk along the beams while his body dangled beneath the bridge. On five separate occasions, in the face of constant enemy fire, he moved to points along the bridge and, with the aid of another advisor who pushed the explosives to him, securely emplaced them. He then detonated the charges and destroyed the bridge, thereby stopping the enemy assault. By his heroic actions and extraordinary courage, Captain Ripley undoubtedly was instrumental in saving an untold number of lives. His inspiring efforts reflected great credit upon himself, the Marine Corps, and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: June 29, 1939 at Radford, Virginia
Home Town: Radford, Virginia

RIVERA, JOSE L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Jose L. Rivera (2447515), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company L, Third 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 26 March 1969, Lance Corporal Rivera and six other Marines from Company L were occupying a listening post approximately 100 yards forward of the company perimeter in Quang Nam Province. Suddenly, the Marines came under a heavy ground attack by a numerically superior enemy force. Lance Corporal Rivera was attempting to alert the company by radio when a hostile hand grenade landed in his position. Without hesitation, he covered the grenade with his helmet and two protective vests and, shouting a warning to his comrades, smothered the explosion with his own body. Although suffering from multiple fragmentation wounds, he ignored his painful injuries and commenced delivering accurate fire at the assaulting enemy, resolutely refusing to leave his position until his comrades had reached friendly lines. His heroic and timely actions and sincere concern for the welfare of his fellowmen inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of several Marines. By his courage, aggressive determination and unswerving devotion to duty in the face of extreme personal danger, Lance Corporal Rivera contributed significantly to the subsequent defeat of the enemy force 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: Waukegan, Illinois

RIVERA-SOTOMAYOR, MIGUEL A.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Miguel A. Rivera-Sotomayor (2174861), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Grenadier with Company F, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 29 July 1967. While moving in a battalion-sized operation in connection with Operation KINGFISHER, the entire battalion was attacked by a large element of the North Vietnamese army and began receiving a heavy barrage of mortar, rocket and automatic weapons fire. The Third Platoon of Company F, called to the front of the battle, was pinned down in a heavy cross fire from enemy machine guns. Receiving a call, for his support, Corporal Rivera-Sotomayor responded immediately, though he had been painfully wounded in the arm by shrapnel earlier in the battle. Rushing out into the direct line of enemy fire, with utter disregard for his own safety, he fired his complete supply of ammunition. His firing was so effective that it completely silenced the enemy machine guns and allowed his platoon to move from its pinned down position to establish an effective base of fire against the enemy. With his ammunition expended, Corporal Rivera-Sotomayor observed a machine-gun team whose members were too seriously wounded to fire their gun. Running across the opening in which he was standing, through intensifying enemy automatic rifle fire, he quickly loaded it and again, with no thought of his intense pain or severe wound, stood up with the gun and fired several rounds. Observing that the enemy was shifting positions, he grabbed a rifle and struggling into the open from his covered position, he fired a complete magazine of ammunition. Returning as quickly as possible for another magazine, he had to be restrained by a Corpsman from going out again. By his daring actions and loyal devotion to duty in the face of personal risk, Corporal Rivera- Sotomayor 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

*RIVERS, JETTIE, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Jettie Rivers, Jr. (1300239), Second Lieutenant [then First Sergeant], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Company First Sergeant while serving with Company D, First Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 14 and 15 May 1967. While engaged in search-and-destroy operations against units of the North Vietnamese Army, Company D became engaged with an estimated reinforced enemy company and Second Lieutenant Rivers, a member of the company command group, was wounded. Realizing that the enemy had forced a gap between the command group and one platoon and the two rear platoons, he immediately informed the company commander. At dusk the enemy fire and mortar barrages intensified, and as casualties mounted, the two separate elements set up a hasty perimeter of defense. Second Lieutenant Rivers expertly directed his men's fire, placed personnel in strategic positions, and personally participated in repelling the enemy assault. Observing a number of enemy soldiers maneuvering toward the perimeter, he mustered a small force of Marines and personally led them to meet the enemy, killing several of the enemy soldiers. When evacuation of the wounded was completed, Second Lieutenant Rivers requested permission to take the point in an attempt to link up the smaller element with the other two platoons. A short distance from the perimeter, the group encountered withering machine-gun fire which instantly killed the platoon sergeant and seriously wounded the platoon leader. Second Lieutenant Rivers immediately took command of the situation, aiding the wounded and personally pinning down the enemy machine gun while the casualties were removed. Now under complete darkness and subject to continuous enemy crossfire and sporadic mortar barrages, Second Lieutenant Rivers assisted in joining the two units. Discovering that all of the platoon leaders had become casualties, he assisted the company commander in setting up an effective perimeter and personally supervised the medical evacuation preparations. Presently a deadly mortar barrage precipitated an all-out enemy assault on the company. Second Lieutenant Rivers was everywhere-encouraging the men, directing fire, assisting the wounded, and distributing ammunition to critical positions. Wounded himself, he continued this pace until late in the afternoon when relief arrived. By his initiative, devotion to duty, and aggressive leadership, he served to inspire all who observed him and was instrumental in saving the lives of many Marines. His great personal valor reflected great credit upon himself, the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Nashville, Tennessee

ROBERSON, JAMES J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James J. Roberson (0-97738), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving with the First Armored Amphibian Company, Eleventh Marines, attached to the Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 24 March 1967, during Operation NEW CASTLE in the Quang Nam Province. Second Lieutenant Roberson was Officer-in-Charge of two armored amphibian vehicles engaged in a search and destroy mission, and while advancing across open terrain in an armored amphibian accompanied by three other tracked vehicles, his vehicle came under a heavy volume of small arms, automatic weapons and accurate mortar fire from an estimated battalion sized enemy force strategically positioned in an inverted U-shaped ambush. Aware that the leading elements of the company were pinned down by the intense fire, Second Lieutenant Roberson, exposing himself to enemy fire, unhesitatingly directed his vehicles into the center of the attack delivering accurate 105 millimeter and .50 caliber machine gun fire into the enemy positions. Continuing his advance over 800 meters of fire-swept terrain, he was knocked from his vehicle twice, sustaining painful fragment wounds by the increasing Viet Cong fire being delivered from all three sides. Despite his painful wounds he remounted his vehicle and calmly continued the movement until he reached the company's forward positions. He then increased the volume of fire from his vehicles attempting to gain fire superiority from the enemy, and again disregarding his wounds and exposing himself to the intense enemy fire, he dismounted to assist in loading the wounded aboard his vehicle for evacuation. He then transported the wounded to a medical facility, re-supplied his ammunition and returned to the ambush area in support of another company as it enveloped the enemy. Although receiving intense Viet Cong rocket, recoilless rifle and mortar fire, Second Lieutenant Roberson again fearlessly positioned himself on top of his vehicle as he led the attack on the enemy's flank, closing to within forty meters of the Viet Cong while coordinating the delivery of small arms and automatic weapons fire. Due to his aggressive and courageous actions, the enemy ambush was repulsed, numerous enemy weapons were destroyed and approximately forty Viet Cong killed. Demonstrating sincere concern for the welfare of the wounded, Second Lieutenant Roberson again refused medical attention and remained in the area until the units of the battalion had regrouped and all the wounded were safely evacuated. By his daring actions, exceptional professional skill and loyal devotion to duty, he undoubtedly saved the lives of many Marines, 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: Boise, Idaho

*RODRIGUES, JOE G., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Joe G. Rodrigues, Jr. (2058221), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Sergeant with Company L, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam from 22 February to 3 March 1969. On 26 February, while Company L was patrolling in support of Fire Base Pete north of the Rockpile in Quang Tri Province, Sergeant Rodrigues' platoon became heavily engaged with a large North Vietnamese Army force and, during the ensuing fierce fire fights, sustained several casualties. Fearlessly maneuvering across the fire-swept terrain, Sergeant Rodrigues directed the suppressive fire of his men and skillfully deployed them away from the hazardous area to rejoin the main body of the company. On the afternoon of 28 February his platoon commander was mortally wounded. Unhesitatingly assuming command, Sergeant Rodrigues completely disregarded his own safety as he moved about the hazardous area, reorganizing his men and restoring their confidence and effectiveness as an aggressive fighting unit. Maneuvering them to a more tenable position, he then established a night defensive perimeter. During the early morning hours of 3 March, his sector of the perimeter was breached by a North Vietnamese Army unit, accompanied by sappers, and in the initial moments of the vicious attack numerous Marines were seriously wounded. Reacting instantly, Sergeant Rodrigues ignored the hostile fire and rushed to the point of heaviest contact and, moving from one position to another, assisted the injured men to locations of relative safety. After repeatedly crossing the fire-swept terrain to aid the casualties, he observed two wounded Marines lying in positions dangerously exposed to the enemy fire and unhesitatingly placed himself between the injured men and the North Vietnamese Army soldiers and provided covering fire for his comrades. Although struck several times by small arms fire, he valiantly continued his determined efforts to protect his comrades until he succumbed to his wounds. By his inspiring courage, aggressive fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty, Sergeant Rodrigues upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Dallas, Texas

ROGERS, RAYMOND G., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Raymond G. Rogers, Jr. (583291), First Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as First Sergeant, Company I, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 30 March 1967. While on Operation PRAIRIE III, northwest of Cam Lo, near the Demilitarized Zone, the command post group with two squads and a sixty-millimeter mortar section were preparing night positions on Hill 70 when they were hit with a vicious mortar barrage followed by an intense and vicious ground assault by an estimated reinforced North Vietnamese Army company. Seeing his company commander's position occupied by the enemy, he single-handedly charged through heavy automatic weapons fire and grenades to assist him. Upon reaching the position, he found his company commander mortally wounded and engaged the numerically superior enemy force, killing several. In this instant he was severely wounded by rifle fire, but despite his painful injuries, he continued to deliver accurate and effective fire upon the enemy. Seeing the weapons platoon commander go down, he crawled to him, administered first aid and, at the injured man's request, propped him into a firing position. Being the senior Marine present, he assumed command of his remaining forces and crawled through a widely exposed area to radio and re-establish contact with the battalion. While attempting to call in artillery fire on his own position, a Huey Gunship came into the area. He established contact with the gunship and directed fire on the enemy, but the enemy hordes kept coming into his positions. Although seriously wounded, he led six seriously wounded survivors to a covered position and established a hasty defense. As a result of his professionalism, courageous leadership and stirring example, the fanatic enemy assaults were stopped, and he and his forces accounted for sixty-two enemy soldiers killed. By his daring initiative, valiant fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty in the face of grave personal risk, First Sergeant Rogers 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: Cincinnati, Ohio

ROLLER, ROBERT T.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert T. Roller (1998691), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Squad Leader with Company F, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 13 October 1966. During a search and clear operation near the Demilitarized Zone in Quang Tri Province, the lead elements of the company were attacked by enemy sniper fire. Sergeant Roller's platoon was deployed to pursue and eliminate the snipers. They were hit by extremely heavy automatic weapons fire and grenades from a large enemy force concealed in a well camouflaged trench line. Although painfully wounded in the hand and leg from the initial burst of fire, he quickly gave first aid to the other wounded Marines and organized the evacuation of his fallen comrades, at the same time directing a heavy volume of fire on the enemy position. He also assisted in bringing in medical evacuation helicopters for the more critically wounded. Disregarding his wounds, he refused evacuation and rejoined his platoon to rally the men and charge the heavily fortified enemy position. With only a pistol, Sergeant Roller led the assault, shouting encouragement to his men, and was wounded again. His aggressive and heroic actions in the face of grave personal danger inspired his men to overrun the enemy, routing them from their position and causing them to leave seven of their dead and numerous weapons behind. By his daring initiative, inspiring leadership and indomitable fighting spirit, Sergeant Roller upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: South River, New Jersey

ROLLINGS, WAYNE E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Wayne E. Rollings (107099), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism on 18 September 1969 as a patrol leader with the First Reconnaissance Company, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. While First Lieutenant Rollings was leading a long-range reconnaissance patrol deep into enemy-controlled territory in Quang Nam Province, the point man spotted twelve enemy soldiers in almost hidden emplacements and immediately fired at the hostile troops. Observing that the point man's weapon had become inoperable, First Lieutenant Rollings dashed across the fire-swept terrain and positioned himself between the point man and the enemy. Although small-arms fire tore his clothing and ripped his gas mask, and fragments of an enemy grenade struck him in the face and legs, First Lieutenant Rollings continued to deliver suppressive fire, accounting for several enemy casualties and forcing the remainder of the hostile troops to withdraw. Assuming the dangerous point position, and once again faced with intense enemy fire, he charged up an enemy-held knoll in a fiercely determined assault, resulting in the complete routing of the enemy. Despite the pain of his injuries, First Lieutenant Rollings continued to expose himself to fire from the retreating enemy while he skillfully directed air strikes upon all possible routes of egress. By his courage, dynamic leadership, and unfaltering devotion to duty, he contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his patrol'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: Elloree, South Carolina

ROMINE, RICHARD E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Richard E. Romine (0-58482), Lieutenant Colonel [then Major], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Helicopter Pilot, Troop Commander, and Tactical Air Controller with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE (HMM-165), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, in the Republic of Vietnam on 3 and 4 June 1967. When his transport helicopter was hit during an emergency retraction of a besieged combat team from an enemy-surrounded bomb crater, Lieutenant Colonel Romine displayed exceptional aeronautical skill in maneuvering his crippled aircraft away from enemy concentrations prior to crash landing into the mountain forest. Directing his crew to bring all the battle equipment that they could carry, he fought and led them through the almost impassable and enemy-populated forest back to the besieged forces position. With darkness closing, illumination flares were requested and adjusted to pinpoint accuracy. He exposed the advancing enemy, brought them under fire, and prevented surprise attacks. Awake throughout the cold, rainy night, Lieutenant Colonel Romine resumed calling in air strikes at dawn. Without thought of personal risk, he exposed himself along the barren crater rim to direct the strikes within ten meters of his position. Faultlessly, for twenty-four torturous hours, he gallantly controlled air operations and directed his nearly decimated ground forces against insistent, overwhelming enemy attacks until their guns were silent, the enemy beaten, and the trapped men were helicopter-lifted to safety. Lieutenant Colonel Romine's dynamic leadership, indomitable fighting spirit, and relentless exposure to the enemy to control ground and air operations that saved the lives of his men, 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: Hanover, Massachusetts

*ROSENBERGER, ROGER DALE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Roger Dale Rosenberger (2484828), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Rifleman with Company M, Third Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 17 June 1969, Company M was participating in Operation VIRGINIA RIDGE approximately seven miles north of the Dong Ha Combat Base in Quang Tri Province. As the Marines crossed a large open field, the point element came under a heavy volume of small arms, automatic weapons, machine gun, and rocket-propelled grenade fire from enemy forces well-concealed in a hedgerow. Observing that his companions were pinned down by the intense hostile fire, Private First Class Rosenberger unhesitatingly rushed across the fire-swept terrain to attack the most forward enemy position. Although seriously wounded and knocked to the ground by the explosion of a hostile hand grenade, he resolutely regained his footing and continued his aggressive assault against the enemy emplacement, temporarily suppressing the enemy fire. As the enemy soldiers began to retreat, one of them threw a second hand grenade at Private First Class Rosenberger, mortally wounding him. His heroic actions and sincere concern for the welfare of his fellowman inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of several Marines. By his courage, determination and selfless devotion to duty, Private First Class Rosenberger contributed significantly to the subsequent defeat of the hostile force 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: Swartz Creek, Michigan

ROSS, DAVID L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to David L. Ross (0-74837), Major, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Pilot with Marine Observation Squadron TWO (VMO-2), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, in the Republic of Vietnam, on 4 September 1967. Major Ross was assigned to a single armed UH-1E providing escort for a UH-34 helicopter flying medical evacuation mission in support of elements of the First Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment, which had come under heavy attack from a large enemy force. As the UH-34 made its approach, Major Ross commenced firing runs, hoping to suppress the enemy fire. Despite this, the UH-34 was hit several times and was forced to shut down in the zone. Major Ross' UH-1E was also hit and he was able to accomplish a successful autorotation into the same zone as the UH-34. Once on the ground, he made his way across this area, which was now under heavy fire, to the command post and discovered that the situation was extremely grave, with the Company Commander fatally injured and many troops wounded. Major Ross made radio contact with a flight of armed UH-1Fs orbiting overhead and a Marine C-1C, which was controlling air strikes to the southwest, briefed them regarding the situation on the ground and directed their attacks to the eastern side of the perimeter. The command post was in a location directly susceptible to enemy fire but commanded an excellent view of both friendly and enemy positions on the northern and eastern sides of the perimeter. With complete disregard for his own safety, Major Ross maintained his vulnerable position throughout the ensuing action. With the help of friendly air forces, the ground defense was able to hold its own, until the enemy obviously decided on a full scale assault. Due to the close proximity of the enemy, Major Ross could not use his fixed-wing support, so instead, he directed the armed UH- 1Es on target. He continuously exposed himself to hostile fire in order to determine its exact location and insure accurate counterfire. Occasionally these strikes came within 50 meters of the friendly perimeter. When aid finally arrived, Major Ross refused evacuation for himself, until all injured personnel and helicopter crews were out. His courage and devotion to duty were an inspiration to all who observed him, undoubtedly prevented the company from being overrun 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: Cabol, Missouri

*RUSHER, ROBERT CHARLES
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Robert Charles Rusher (2278308), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader with Combined Action Platoon Hotel-6, Third Combined Action Group, at Nuoc Ngot Village, Phu Loc District, Thua Thien Province, Republic of Vietnam. During the early morning hours of 7 January 1968, Corporal Rusher's compound came under heavy enemy mortar, rocket, and ground attack including sappers and enemy troops attempting to gain entry into the compound. Corporal Rusher fearlessly and courageously rallied his men and began delivering accurate fire on the enemy soldiers who were returning fire and detonating satchel charges. During the heat of the battle, two enemy soldiers, firing small arms and carrying a satchel charge, dashed toward Corporal Rusher and a fellow Marine. With deliberate and exacting fire, Corporal Rusher killed both, but not before the enemy soldiers were successful in hurling their satchel charges at him and his comrade. Displaying extraordinary heroism, Corporal Rusher placed himself between the impending blast and his comrade, thereby protecting his fellow Marine with his own body. As the charge detonated, Corporal Rusher absorbed the full brunt of the explosion and was mortally wounded. By his dauntless courage, intrepid fighting spirit and grave concern for another, he served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the 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: Tracy, California

RUSSELL, TIMOTHY W.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Timothy W. Russell (2229573), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader with Company D, First Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. During the early morning hours on 2 February 1968, the Cam Lo District Headquarters came under heavy artillery, mortar and recoilless rifle fire followed by a well coordinated ground attack by a numerically superior enemy force. Although bleeding profusely from multiple fragmentation wounds to his arms and legs and temporarily rendered unconscious from the explosion of an enemy rocket round during the initial moments of the attack, Corporal Russell refused immediate medical attention for himself in order to control and direct the fire of his men against the assaulting force. Displaying exceptional courage and bold initiative, he completely ignored the danger to his life as he repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire in order to pinpoint enemy positions for his unit and deliver effective rifle fire against the attackers. Exhibiting outstanding leadership and composure during the five-hour engagement, he steadfastly refused medical aid and evacuation for himself and continued to move throughout the fire-swept area, skillfully directing the fire of his squad and encouraging his men. Although the enemy penetrated a portion of the compound's eastern perimeter, which threatened the Marine defenses, and reinforcements were required to prevent the attackers from overrunning the northern perimeter, Corporal Russell ably directed his squad members to counter the hostile force and, as a result, forced the enemy to break contact and withdraw, undoubtedly preventing his sector of the perimeter from being penetrated. His dauntless courage and bold initiative inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in repulsing the attackers, accounting for numerous casualties and the capture of thirty-eight soldiers and confiscation of numerous weapons and items of equipment. By his aggressive fighting spirit, resolute determination and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Corporal Russell upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Cleveland, Ohio

RUSSELL, WILLIAM E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William E. Russell (0-81670), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer of Company E, Second Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 28 May 1968, Captain Russell was assigned the mission of leading his company and a tank platoon to a ridgeline position in Quang Tri Province to relieve a unit which had been heavily engaged with the enemy the previous night. Under his superb leadership, his unit maneuvered to the ridgeline and killed sixty-five enemy soldiers while advancing under fire. Upon arriving at the besieged Marines' position and despite strong enemy resistance, Captain Russell rallied his forces and, after evacuating the casualties, consolidated the perimeter and coordinated his units' defensive actions. On the night of 30 May when his position was attacked by a reinforced North Vietnamese battalion, he directed well coordinated and highly accurate air strikes and artillery fire around his perimeter, killing ninety-six enemy soldiers and forcing the hostile force to discontinue the attack and withdraw from the area. Although sustaining painful fragmentation wounds from the enemy mortar fire, Captain Russell refused medical assistance and continued to direct supporting fire against the retreating enemy throughout the night. Early the following morning, a relief force maneuvering along the ridgeline to his position came under heavy enemy fire and was pinned down. Disregarding his own safety, he quickly adjusted fire on the enemy positions, killing forty-four North Vietnamese soldiers and enabling the Marines to reach the relative safety of the company perimeter. Assuming command of the relieving company when its commanding officer was wounded, Captain Russell, even though wounded a second time, continued to direct the actions of his men throughout the night. He accepted medical evacuation the following day only when assured that the vital position was secure. His sustained heroism in the face of a numerically superior, determined enemy force inspired all who observed him and contributed immeasurably to the accomplishment of his unit's mission. By his intrepid fighting spirit, superb leadership, and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Captain Russell upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Omaha, Nebraska

RUSTH, JOHN E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John E. Rusth (2274554), Corporal [then Lance Corporal], 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 10 May 1967. During Operation UNION, Corporal Rusth was moving with the lead elements of his company, as they secured the crest of Hill 110 in Suoi Cho Valley, advancing against an estimated battalion of North Vietnamese Army regulars. Accompanied by other elements of his company, he was leading his fire team to secure the military crest on the northeastern slope, when they came under intense enemy fire from positions concealed in hedgerows, tree lines and cane fields at the base of the hill, sustaining numerous casualties. Immediately assessing the situation, Corporal Rusth moved among the wounded to ensure that all had received proper care, while he steadfastly remained exposed to hostile fire on the bare hillside. He displayed outstanding leadership, courage, and tactical skill, as he aggressively led his men in the grenade and bayonet assault down the hill against the North Vietnamese positions, routing the enemy and forcing it to flee to alternate ground. Corporal Rusth, completely disregarding his own safety, fearlessly moved down the hillside on nine occasions to assist casualties up the slope to safety. Although painfully wounded in his thigh from an enemy round when he began his tenth trip to rescue a wounded Marine, he quickly bound his injury and, displaying exceptional physical stamina and courage, assisted the stricken man to safety before collapsing from the effects of his painful wound and heat exhaustion. By his prompt and courageous action, he was instrumental in saving several Marines from further injury or possible death and contributed significantly to the successful accomplishment of his unit's mission. By his bold initiative and unswerving dedication to duty at great personal risk, Corporal Rusth 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: Klamath Falls, Oregon

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