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

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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

AJDUKOVICH, GEORGE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to George Ajdukovich, Chief Boatswain's Mate, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as Patrol Officer of two river patrol boats of River Patrol Flotilla FIVE, Task Force ONE HUNDRED SIXTEEN (TF-116), River Assault Division, in a night waterborne guard post on the Muo Hai Canal, Republic of Vietnam, on 7 October 1969. When an enemy grenade was thrown from the bank of the canal and landed on the craft in which Chief Petty Officer Ajdukovich was embarked, he immediately seized the grenade and clasped it to his body in an attempt to protect the lives of his fellow crewmen. Seconds later, when the deadly missile failed to explode, he hurled it into the canal where it detonated underwater almost instantly. With his two patrol boats now under a heavy concentration of automatic-weapons fire from four enemy positions on the river bank, Chief Petty Officer Ajdukovich requested air support and immediately directed a devastating barrage of suppressive fire while leading his units clear of the kill zone. Unable to make any further firing runs on the entrenched enemy force when one of the patrol boats became disabled, Chief Petty Officer Ajdukovich's patrol illuminated and mortared the hostile area until air cover arrived on the scene, and then continued illumination of the target area to help maximize the effects of the air strike. By his valiant fighting spirit, inspiring leadership, and selfless devotion to duty, Chief Petty Officer Ajdukovich was greatly instrumental in leading his patrol to safety without sustaining a single personnel casualty. His heroic initiative was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

ALSPAUGH, TIMOTHY D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Timothy D. Alspaugh, Seaman, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism during operations against an armed enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 25 September 1969. Seaman Alspaugh was the after fifty-caliber machine gunner aboard River Patrol Boat 677, River Division 521, River Patrol Flotilla FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), which had inserted in a night waterborne guard post on the north bank of the Cai Lon River in support of interdiction operations in Kien Giang Province. His boat was acting as cover boat and had taken a position about fifty yards astern of the patrol's lead boat, with its starboard side to a heavy growth of nipa palm along the river bank. Shortly past midnight, after several hours of waiting quietly in the darkness to detect enemy movement on the water, Seaman Alspaugh observed what he believed to be a sampan on the river upstream from his boat. Alerting his Boat Captain and bringing his machine gun to bear over the port quarter, he was concentrating on the barely visible craft when he was struck on his left side by an object which he instinctively recognized as a grenade thrown from the underbrush. He immediately shouted a warning to his fellow crewmembers, at the same time bending down to search for the grenade, which had come to rest on the pump covers on the far side of his gun mount. Despite the extreme darkness and the imminent danger of an explosion, Seaman Alspaugh succeeded in locating the grenade and quickly threw it back into the small clearing from which it had been thrown. Even before the grenade exploded near the enemy's position, he was firing, his fifty-caliber machine gun into the brush, continuing until the boats were clear of the area. Because of Seaman Alspaugh's quick reaction and disregard for his own personal safety, the patrol escaped without casualty. His extraordinary courage and selfless devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*ASHBY, JAMES WESLEY
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to James Wesley Ashby (9140268), Hospitalman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 1 June 1967 while serving as a Corpsman with Company L, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam. During a search and destroy operation, Petty Officer Ashby's company came under intense fire from a large, North Vietnamese Army force deeply entrenched in a cleverly-concealed and heavily defended bunker complex, and suffered heavy casualties during the first few minutes of the fierce battle. Responding immediately, Petty Officer Ashby dashed from his position of relative safety and, seemingly impervious to the murderous hostile, automatic-weapons fire sweeping the area, moved through the open terrain, treating and encouraging the wounded. Completely aware of the grave danger involved in remaining in a position exposed to the withering enemy fire, he staunchly refused to seek cover while there were wounded Marines in need of assistance, placing the welfare of his wounded comrades above his own personal safety. As he knelt over a seriously wounded Marine, shielding the Marine with his own body while administering lifesaving first aid, Petty Officer Ashby was mortally wounded by enemy sniper fire. By his inspiring courage in the face of great personal danger, his deep compassion for his comrades-in-arms, his outstanding professional ability, and his unfaltering devotion to duty, he succeeded in saving the lives of many Marines and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Park Rapids, Minnesota

BACK, JAMES BERNARD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James Bernard Back (715747), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 28 February 1968 while serving as the Regimental Surgeon with the First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. When a Marine was admitted to the regimental aid station suffering from serious wounds sustained when his tracked vehicle came under intense B-40 rocket fire, Lieutenant Back, upon treating the casualty, alertly observed a large, cylindrical, foreign object imbedded in the casualty's lower right side. Unable to identify the object, he requested assistance and was informed the projectile appeared to be an M-79 grenade. Fully aware of the dangers involved, Lieutenant Back operated and found a colored metal cylinder. He resolutely proceeded with the delicate operation without the aid of body armor and despite the danger of the device exploding upon the slightest movement. Displaying extraordinary courage and exceptional professional competence, Lieutenant Back continued his task until he had completely freed the object and carried it outside for disposal. Upon closer examination, it was revealed that the wound had been caused by the fuse of a B-40 rocket, an extremely sensitive and highly explosive device. By his bold initiative, outstanding professional skill, and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Lieutenant Back upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

BAKER, HAROLD L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Harold L. Baker, Radioman Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in action on the night of 20 December 1970 while serving as the rear security for a five-man Sea-Air-Land Team ONE (SEAL-1) patrol on an interdiction mission deep within enemy territory in the Republic of Vietnam. Immediately after inserting ashore, the patrol came under withering enemy fire from automatic weapons, grenades, and rockets, mortally wounding the patrol leader and the automatic weapons man, and critically wounding the patrol's radioman and Vietnamese guide. Although he was not wounded, Petty Officer Baker found himself in the river waters struggling to keep his head above the surface. Through sheer determination, he pulled himself and the body of a fallen comrade onto the bank and then returned a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire toward the enemy in an effort to stave off an assault on the squad's position. Subsequently, Petty Officer Baker administered lifesaving first aid to the two wounded members of the patrol and directed the recovery of the bodies of the patrol leader and the automatic weapons man. By his great personal valor and fighting spirit in the face of heavy enemy fire, he upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

BARATKO, ROBERT EDWARD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert Edward Baratko (741174), Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 15 September 1970 while serving as the Aircraft Commander of an attack helicopter, attached to Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron THREE (HAL(L)-3), Task Force 116 (TF-116), during operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Lieutenant (j.g.) Baratko participated in a mission to provide cover for a medical evacuation helicopter which had previously attempted to evacuate several seriously wounded personnel in the face of intense enemy fire. As his plane and three others entered the evacuation area, the surrounding tree lines erupted with intense fire which downed two aircraft and seriously damaged a third. Lieutenant (j.g.) Baratko's aircraft sustained several critical hits, including one through the fuel tank. With the only flyable attack helicopter on the scene, he provided gun- ship coverage while the medical evacuation helicopter eventually succeeded in rescuing the downed crews. As he was flying this coverage, Lieutenant (j.g.) Baratko's plane was again subjected to heavy fire and sustained several more hits. After the medical evacuation helicopter departed the area, Lieutenant (j.g.) Baratko flew to a nearby landing strip with his fuel supply practically exhausted. By his perseverance and great personal valor in the face of almost overwhelming odds, he was directly instrumental in saving the lives of several of his shipmates. His selfless and determined efforts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

BARBER, WILLIAM B.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William B. Barber, Hospitalman Third Class [then Hospitalman], U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 25 November 1968 while serving as a Corpsman with Company I, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. During the afternoon hours, Petty Officer Barber was accompanying a platoon engaged in patrol activities in Quang Tri Province. While crossing an abandoned landing zone, the unit was attacked by a well-entrenched North Vietnamese army force employing command-detonated mines, rocket-propelled grenades, and automatic weapons which wounded four Marines and forced the others to seek cover in a nearby wooded area. Observing that the four casualties were lying dangerously exposed to hostile fire, Petty Officer Barber disregarded his own safety to reach one of the fallen men. After administering first aid, Petty Officer Barber moved the man to a safer position and, undaunted by the extremely heavy volume of enemy fire, boldly maneuvered across the area on two more occasions to provide medical care and assist the second and third casualties to covered positions. He then braved the intense fire for a fourth time, placing himself between the last of the wounded Marines and the enemy fire during the fifteen minutes required to administer first aid. With the supporting fire of helicopters on station and the concentrated fire of his platoon, Petty Officer Barber was able to remove the wounded Marine to the relative safety of the wooded area. He then skillfully rendered medical aid and comforted all four casualties, directing their movement to a medical evacuation helicopter for embarkation and extraction. By his superb professional skill, outstanding valor, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Petty Officer Barber inspired all who observed him and was instrumental in saving four lives. His daring initiative was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*BENOIT, FRANCIS ARTHUR
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Francis Arthur Benoit (9140346), Hospitalman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 16 March 1967 while serving with Company E, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam. While returning to the Company Command Post from a night platoon patrol base, Petty Officer Benoit's platoon was suddenly attacked by an enemy force employing small arms, automatic weapons, and hand grenades. Observing several wounded men, Petty Officer Benoit rushed forward into the intense enemy fire to administer medical aid, but was wounded, himself, by a hand grenade before reaching the casualties. Stunned and temporarily unable to move, he waited for the wounded to be brought to him, and then quickly and competently rendered medical assistance while exposed to enemy fire. After the attack had subsided and the wounded had been put aboard an evacuation helicopter, he refused to be evacuated and thus leave the platoon without a Corpsman. When the second helicopter came in, the landing zone was hit by enemy mortar fire, inflicting additional casualties. Petty Officer Benoit again stayed behind to treat the wounded. He was helping the last wounded man into the third helicopter, before boarding himself, when he was fatally wounded by an enemy mortar round. By his technical skill, courage and inspiring devotion to duty, Petty Officer Benoit undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his fallen comrades. His heroic actions were in the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Red Lake Falls, Minnesota

BLONSKI, THOMAS JOSEPH JOHN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Thomas Joseph John Blonski (731168), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 10 May 1972 as a Naval Flight Officer of jet aircraft in Fighter Squadron NINETY-SIX (VF-96), embarked in U.S.S. Constellation (CVA-64), during a major air wing strike against an enemy rail yard in North Vietnam. As the radar intercept officer in the lead aircraft of a section carrying out target combat air patrol, Lieutenant Blonski maintained visual contact with a format on of approximately sixteen enemy fighter aircraft and warned the retiring strike force of the oncoming threat. In the face of the overwhelming enemy odds, he aided his pilot in engaging the numerically superior aircraft and in pressing home several hard-fought attacks which resulted in the destruction of two enemy planes and the dispersion of the remaining aircraft out of range of the strike force. Lieutenant Blonski's professional skill, courage and dedication reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

BRAUN, KENNETH R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Kenneth R. Braun (9188839), Hospital Corpsman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism as Corpsman, Command Group, India Company, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, in connection with combat operations against North Vietnamese regular forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 30 and 31 March 1967. while on a battalion level sweep in the vicinity of Hill 70, Quang Tri Province, India Company came in contact with an estimated battalion of enemy soldiers supported by mortar and rocket fire. The command group was immediately under heavy automatic fire and ground attack, suffering numerous casualties. In close combat conditions, Petty Officer Braun, although having received serious shrapnel wounds from the initial firefight, quickly began administering medical aid to those around him. Seeing that their current position was untenable and as casualties mounted, the order was given to pull back. Realizing that many wounded Marines were forward of his position, and disregarding his own safety and wounds, Petty Officer Braun moved throughout the fire swept area, treating the wounded and exposing himself to enemy fire. Time and again, he dragged the wounded across open terrain, shielding them from fire with his body while pulling them to safety. Trading his pistol for a rifle, Petty Officer Braun fought his way back down the hill to where Marines were pinned down and suffering heavy casualties; moving from Marine to Marine, with total disregard for his own safety, he fearlessly and skillfully administered medical aid to the wounded while simultaneously engaging the enemy. With enemy forces in position, Petty Officer Braun did not withdraw, but continued to treat the wounded and though armed with a malfunctioning weapon was able to kill two enemy soldiers while protecting his Marines. Maintaining the tenuous position while assisting a seriously wounded officer, and with enemy troops all around him, Petty Officer Braun held his position, continued to treat the officer, and held off the enemy with his weapon until shot three times. By his uncommon courage, valiant fighting spirit, and selfless dedication to duty, Petty Officer Braun reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Eden Prairie, Minnesota

BULL, LYLE FRANKLIN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lyle Franklin Bull (643704), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 30 October 1967 as a Bombardier/Navigator in Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED NINETY-SIX (VA-196), embarked in U.S.S. Constellation (CVA-64). Exercising exceptional professional skill and sound judgment, Lieutenant Bull assisted in the planning and execution of an extremely dangerous, single-plane, night, radar bombing attack on the strategically located and heavily defended Hanoi railroad ferry slip in North Vietnam. Although the entire Hanoi defensive effort was concentrated upon his lone bomber, he flawlessly assisted his pilot in navigating the aircraft to the target area and commencing an attack. Seconds before bomb release, six enemy surface-to-air missiles were observed to be tracking on his plane. Undaunted by this threat to his personal safety, Lieutenant Bull assisted his pilot in taking swift and effective action to avoid the missiles and complete the attack, releasing all weapons in the target area with extreme accuracy. After release, four more missiles were fired at his aircraft in addition to the intense antiaircraft-artillery fire. In spite of this intense enemy opposition, Lieutenant Bull completed his mission and was directly responsible for dealing a significant blow to the North Vietnamese logistics efforts. His indomitable perseverance and conspicuous gallantry were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

BURNAND, ROBERT W., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert W. Burnand, Jr., Lieutenant, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in action from 12 through 16 October 1966 while serving in a detachment of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron SIX (HS-6), temporarily embarked in U.S.S. INTREPID (CVS-11), flying as Plane Commander of an armored search and rescue helicopter during a series of related rescue missions in support of combat operations in Southeast Asia. Lieutenant Burnand was vectored to an inland area of North Vietnam on three separate search and rescue flights in valiant attempts to rescue a downed Navy pilot. Although encountering severe enemy ground fire, he persisted in his attempts to locate and rescue the survivor. During the final search into the same area, he and his crew demonstrated fearless bravery while under fire. An accompanying helicopter was riddled by intense enemy automatic-weapons fire which completely disabled one of its engines, forcing it to retire toward the sea. Observing this action, and realizing that it was absolutely mandatory that the operation continue in the same location, Lieutenant Burnand and his crew decided to take a calculated risk and expose themselves to enemy fire in a valiant attempt to thwart the North Vietnamese and complete their mission. By executing skillful evasive maneuvers and effectively directing accurate counterfire at the enemy, he and his crew suppressed enemy resistance to such an extent that they successfully completed their assigned mission. By his outstanding courage, exceptional skill and fearless devotion to duty, Lieutenant Burnand upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*BURNS, DEWEY RAY, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Dewey Ray Burns, Jr. (B716750), Hospitalman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 13 September 1969 as a Corpsman serving with the Combined Action Platoon 1-3-9, III Marine Amphibious Force, during operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. During a concentrated enemy attack upon the village of An Phong in Quang Ngai Province, Petty Officer Burns, on several occasions, charged across fire-swept terrain, rendered medical aid to wounded civilians and defending soldiers and Marines, and carried them to positions of safety. On one occasion, Petty Officer Burns was directly responsible for saving the lives of his patients when he defeated an enemy soldier in hand-to-hand combat. Observing that the platoon's interpreter was wounded and had fallen in the direct line of fire of enemy machine guns, Petty Officer Burns directed nearby Marines to provide covering fire and raced to the side of the casualty. Although he, himself, was seriously wounded while treating the fallen interpreter, he resolutely continued his lifesaving actions until he had stopped his patient's bleeding. He then commenced leading his charge toward a location of relative security, but was mortally wounded before he could attain his objective. Petty Officer Burns' valiant and determined actions served to inspire the other members of his platoon to heroic efforts, resulting in the complete routing of the enemy. By his intrepid fighting spirit, daring initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty, he succeeded in saving several lives, and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Sulphur Springs, Texas

BUSEY, JAMES BUCHANAN, IV
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James Buchanan Busey, IV (586527), Commander [then Lieutenant Commander], U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 21 August 1967 as a pilot in Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE (VA-163), embarked in U.S.S. Oriskany (CVA-34). During a combat mission over North Vietnam, Commander Busey was the leader of a section in a six-aircraft bombing element which attacked the Hanoi thermal power plant in the face of the enemy's most sophisticated and complex arsenal of air defense weapons. As he commenced his attack, Commander Busey sustained antiaircraft hits to his aircraft. He skillfully regained control of his aircraft and, although his plane was severely damaged, renewed his attack, placing his weapon precisely on target. Subsequent bomb damage assessment photography confirmed that he inflicted heavy damage to his assigned portion of the thermal power plant. Although still severely handicapped by his damaged aircraft, Commander Busey evaded four surface-to-air missiles during his egress from the target area. Then, through skillful airmanship, he returned his crippled aircraft to the aircraft carrier. By his tenacious aggressiveness, professionalism, and heroic actions in the face of the enemy's massed and determined defenses, Commander Busey upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*CAMERON, KENNETH ROBBINS (POW)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Kenneth Robbins Cameron (568282410), Captain [then Commander], U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 18 May 1967 to 4 October 1970. Under constant pressure from the North Vietnamese in their attempt to gain military information and propaganda material, Captain Cameron experienced severe torture with ropes and by beatings and was kept in solitary confinement. As they persisted in their hostile treatment of him, he continued to resist by feigning sickness and refusing to eat anything but a bare minimum of food. Through those means he was successful in his attempt to keep himself unacceptable in appearance to the North Vietnamese, thus discouraging them from forcing him to meet visiting antiwar delegations for propaganda purposes. He gallantly evaded exploitation by the North Vietnamese throughout his lengthy confinement. By his exceptional courage, determination, and resourcefulness in a most difficult line of resistance, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Berkeley, California

*CASEY, ROBERT MICHAEL
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Robert Michael Casey (B111377), Hospitalman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 16 May 1968 while serving as a Corpsman with Company G, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. During Operation ALLEN BROOK, Company G was moving through a fortified village in Quang Nam Province to engage an estimated 200 North Vietnamese Army Regulars. Suddenly, the point elements came under heavy enemy fire, sustaining numerous casualties. Petty Officer Casey unhesitatingly moved forward under the intense hostile fire and administered medical aid to one of the wounded Marines. Although wounded himself, he disregarded his own injury as he proceeded to another casualty to render medical treatment. Wounded again while assisting his comrade, Petty Officer Casey steadfastly continued his efforts and moved to the aid of still another casualty, receiving two additional wounds while treating the Marine. When other Marines moved forward to evacuate Petty Officer Casey, he adamantly refused to leave the battle area, stating that he wanted to continue to treat the wounded. After being evacuated to the rear by his companions, he encouraged the casualties around him and provided instructions to others in applying battle dressings. Upon hearing a wounded Marine call for aid, Petty Officer Casey dauntlessly crawled to the man and, while treating his injuries, was mortally wounded. By his unflagging courage, selfless concern for the welfare of his comrades, and unfaltering devotion to duty, Petty Officer Casey upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Guttenberg, New Jersey

CLAY, RAYMOND D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Raymond D. Clay (2318817), Hospitalman, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism as a Platoon Corpsman, 1st Platoon, Company G, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam on 24 September 1966. When a Marine from his platoon suffered a severe head wound shortly after the company encountered a North Vietnamese force estimated at regimental strength and employing intense mortar and small-arms fire, Hospitalman Clay, without hesitation, crawled approximately twenty meters through intense fire to aid the wounded Marine. As he began to treat the wounded man, an enemy grenade exploded about ten meters away. Although bleeding profusely from wounds caused by flying shrapnel, Hospitalman Clay continued treating the Marine until two more grenades landed near him, one falling so close to his legs that he immediately kicked it into the bushes, while the second grenade fell next to him and the wounded Marine. Hospitalman Clay quickly threw himself between the grenade and his patient and, in so doing, absorbed the shrapnel and shock with his own body, saving the wounded Marine from further injury and possible death. The force of this explosion hurled Hospitalman Clay into the bushes, where yet another grenade exploded, increasing the number of his wounds. He then laboriously and with great pain crawled to the rear. Hospitalman Clay's exceptional spirit and fortitude greatly increased the morale of the wounded Marines around him. His inspiring and courageous actions in jeopardizing his own life in order that his patient might live were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Atlanta, Georgia

COKER, GEORGE THOMAS (POW)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to George Thomas Coker (669409), Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism during an extremely daring escape from a solitary confinement cell while a Prisoner of War in Hanoi, North Vietnam on 12 October 1967. During a period of particularly harsh treatment, Lieutenant Commander Coker and another prisoner executed an escape as a two-man team despite the high risk of brutal reprisal or possible loss of life. That night, after opening the cell door by removing door bolt brackets from inside the room, he proceeded over the wall and through several blocks of housing to the Domer Bridge. Walking under the bridge to the Red River's edge, he swam downstream all night and at sunrise buried himself in a mud bank in an effort to remain concealed. He was later discovered, recaptured, severely beaten for many hours, and banished to solitary confinement for two and a half years. His extraordinary courage, aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, and dedication to his country reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: July 14, 1943 at Amarillo, Texas

COMPTON, BRYAN WHITFIELD, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Bryan Whitfield Compton, Jr. (542886), Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism as a pilot and as Commanding Officer of Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE (VA-163), embarked in U.S.S. Oriskany (CVA-34), on 21 August 1967. As the strike leader of a major coordinated air attack against the Hanoi Thermal Power Plant, Hanoi, North Vietnam, Commander Compton, with precise navigation and timing, led the strike group to the target area through an extremely intense array of sophisticated enemy defenses, including at least twenty-eight surface-to-air missiles and heavy, accurate antiaircraft fire. Despite the continuing heavy enemy opposition in the target area, Commander Compton skillfully maneuvered his strike forces and led them in an attack which inflicted major damage upon the target. During the attack, strike aircraft incurred extensive battle damage from the heavy flak opposition. With complete disregard for his own safety, Commander Compton remained in the vicinity of the target until the damaged aircraft exited the area safely. In addition to assisting the egressing strike pilots by calling evasive maneuvers necessary for them to avoid surface-to-air missiles and heavy concentrations of antiaircraft artillery fire, he succeeded in taking seventeen pictures with a hand-held camera which provided immediate and invaluable damage assessment of this most significant target. By his superb leadership, outstanding courage and inspiring devotion to duty in the face of extremely heavy enemy opposition, Commander Compton contributed greatly to the success of a most hazardous mission and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

CONFER, MILTON W.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Milton W. Confer, Engineman First Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 13 February 1970 while serving in the Republic of Vietnam as an Advisor to the Patrol Officer in charge of two Vietnamese River Patrol Boats which were escorting a re-supply mission to advanced tactical support bases. The column included two heavy logistics craft loaded with seven tons of ammunition and a fuel barge with eight thousand gallons of fuel. Suddenly, both banks of the narrow river erupted in a storm of enemy rocket and heavy machine gun fire. With his patrol boat situated between the heaviest enemy firing positions and the transports, Petty Officer Confer attempted to man the after fifty-caliber machine gun but was knocked to the deck as the first of several rockets hit his boat. He then manned the midships gun and fired suppressive volleys into the enemy positions until his ammunition was exploded. Subsequently, he again attempted to man the after gun. This time he was wounded in the side by an enemy bullet, but succeeded in firing the gun until he was obliged to direct his boat alongside one of the logistics craft to rearm. While rearming, his boat received numerous heavy machine gun hits which damaged both engines and started a fire. Despite his painful wound, Petty Officer Confer began another firing run on the heaviest of the enemy positions as the boats finally neared the end of the kill zone. Only when he was relieved by units scrambled to aid his beleaguered convoy did he attend to his wound. By his great personal valor and dauntless perseverance, Petty Officer Confer contributed in large measure to the success of the mission and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*CONNELL, JAMES JOSEPH (POW)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to James Joseph Connell (221245135), Lieutenant Commander [then Lieutenant], U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from April 1968 to June 1969. Under constant pressure from the North Vietnamese in their attempt to gain military information and propaganda material, Lieutenant Commander Connell experienced severe torture with ropes and was kept in almost continuous solitary confinement. As they persisted in their hostile treatment of him, he continued to resist by feigning facial muscle spasms, incoherency of speech, and crippled arms with loss of feeling in his fingers. The Vietnamese, convinced of his plight, applied shock treatments in an attempt to improve his condition. However, he chose not to indicate improvement for fear of further cruelty. Isolated in a corner of the camp near a work area visited daily by other prisoners, he established and maintained covert communications with changing groups of POW's, thereby serving as a main point of exchange of intelligence information. By his exceptional courage, determination, and resourcefulness in this most difficult line of resistance, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Wilmington, Delaware

CONNELLY, MATTHEW JOSEPH, III
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Matthew Joseph Connelly, III (703508), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on May 10 1972 as Pilot of a jet aircraft in Fighter Squadron NINETY-SIX (VF-96), embarked in U.S.S. Constellation (CVA-64), during a major air-wing strike against an enemy rail yard in North Vietnam. As the flight leader of a section of aircraft on target combat air patrol, Lieutenant Connelly sighted a formation of approximately sixteen enemy fighter aircraft threatening the retiring strike force. Despite the overwhelming enemy odds, he engaged the numerically superior aircraft, pressing home hard-fought attacks which resulted in the destruction of two enemy planes and the dispersion of the remaining aircraft out of range of the strike force. Lieutenant Connelly's superb airmanship, courage and dedication reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

COOK, CLARENCE LEROY
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Clarence Leroy Cook (703267), Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as Copilot of a search and rescue helicopter, attached to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron SEVEN (HC-7), Detachment 104, embarked aboard U.S.S. Preble (DLG-15) operating as a unit of the United States Seventh Fleet, in connection with the rescue of two downed aviators in North Vietnam on 19 June 1968. Providing exceptional support to the Pilot of his aircraft throughout this daring night rescue mission which was carried out despite extremely formidable enemy opposition, Lieutenant Cook rendered invaluable assistance in locating and maintaining references to the position of the survivors, and in utilizing his machine gun to suppress hostile small arms and automatic weapons fire which was directed at the rescue helicopter with growing intensity during four difficult descents which culminated in the successful rescue of the survivors. By his professional skill, prompt actions, and great personal valor in the face of intense enemy fire, Lieutenant Cook contributed in large measure to the success of this rescue mission and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

COX, CHARLES JOHN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Charles John Cox (641594), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on the morning of 15 September 1968 while serving with United States forces engaged in riverine assault operations against communist aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. As Commander of River Assault Division 111, River Squadron 5, Task Force 117 (TF-117), Lieutenant Cox was leading a column of assault craft down the Ben Tre River in Kien Hoa Province when the column was ambushed by a Viet Cong unit. After ordering return fire from all weapons, Lieutenant Cox exposed himself to fierce enemy fire while evaluating the tactical situation and marking beach sites for his boats. Although painfully wounded at the outset by exploding rocket fragments, he continued to issue orders and maintain tight control over his division, landing embarked troops on both enemy flanks. In order to insure the safe arrival of the medical aid boat to attend to his numerous casualties, he ordered a monitor at the aid boat's location to provide fire support, and then directed his boat and another monitor back through the ambush. As the front and rear units met in a hail of enemy fire, Lieutenant Cox ordered his two monitors to reverse course and, while running the ambush for the third time, led all four boats to a position of relative safety. He then supervised the treatment or evacuation of his wounded before submitting to much-needed attention for his own injuries. Because of his rare tactical brilliance, the infantry units were landed at optimal positions to assault the enemy from both flanks and inflict serious damage while sustaining little themselves. During two subsequent, intense engagements on 15 and 16 September 1968, Lieutenant Cox led his men with the same high degree of courage and competence. His exemplary performance of duty with consistent disregard for his own safety or his painful wounds throughout two days was instrumental in the success of an operation which inflicted numerous enemy casualties. By his inspiring leadership, great personal valor, and selfless devotion to duty, Lieutenant Cox upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*CRAWFORD, CHARLES HUGH
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Charles Hugh Crawford (6874759), Hospitalman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 29 May 1967 while serving as a Corpsman with Company M, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during Operation PRAIRIE IV against elements of the North Vietnamese Army in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam. While attacking the heavily fortified enemy bunker complex on Hill 174, the lead elements of Company M were pinned down by a heavy volume of automatic-weapons fire delivered from well-prepared enemy positions, and sustained numerous Marine casualties in the initial stage of the battle. Despite the concentrated fire which made it virtually impossible to reach the wounded who were trapped only a few feet from the main enemy bunker, Petty Officer Crawford immediately ran through the deadly hail of enemy fire to reach his injured comrades. After administering first aid to the most seriously wounded Marine, and while moving the casualty to a relatively safe area, Petty Officer Crawford himself was fatally wounded. Through his fearless courage and uncommon concern for his comrades, he inspired the other Marines, and undoubtedly saved the life of the wounded Marine he treated. Petty Officer Crawford's daring actions and unswerving devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Batavia, Ohio

*CRUSE, JAMES DALE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to James Dale Cruse (1392506), Hospitalman, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in action on 15 June 1968 while serving as a Corpsman with Company M, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Hospitalman Cruse's platoon was conducting a search and destroy operation near the Khe Sanh Combat base when the platoon suddenly came under intense automatic-weapons fire from a large North Vietnamese Army Force. During the initial moments of the fire fight, lead elements of the platoon were pinned down in an open area, and the two point men were seriously wounded. Disregarding his own safety, Hospitalman Cruse unhesitatingly advanced from his position of relative safety and maneuvered across the fire-swept terrain to assist his injured comrades. Upon reaching the first casualty, he efficiently rendered medical aid and spoke words of comfort and encouragement before moving forward to the other Marine casualty who lay exposed to enemy fire. While treating and comforting the second wounded Marine, Hospitalman Cruse was himself mortally wounded. By his courage, bold initiative, and selfless devotion to duty, he served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Paducah, Kentucky

CUNNINGHAM, RANDALL HAROLD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Randall Harold Cunningham (722864), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 10 May 1972 while serving as a Pilot with Fighter Squadron NINETY- SIX (VF-96), embarked in U.S.S. Constellation (CVA-64), during a major air-wing coordinated strike against the strategic and heavily defended Hai Duong marshalling rail yard joining the port of Haiphong to the industrial center of Hanoi in North Vietnam. As leader of a section of F-4J flak-suppressor aircraft assigned to protect the less maneuverable and heavily loaded attack group, Lieutenant Cunningham positioned his unit between the retiring strike force and a large formation of approximately sixteen enemy aircraft attempting to intercept the bombers. Displaying extraordinary courage and brilliant aerial skill, he inspired and motivated his outnumbered shipmates in resisting several enemy assaults, and personally accounted for three of the six enemy aircraft destroyed in the fierce battle. Although his aircraft was struck by a surface-to-air missile and later burst into flame, Lieutenant Cunningham managed to barrel-roll his crippled fighter to the Tonkin Gulf where he ejected and was picked up shortly by a rescue helicopter. His great personal courage and invaluable contribution to the success of an extremely important mission were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: December 8, 1941 at Los Angeles, California
Home Town: San Diego, California

D - G

DANNHEIM, WILLIAM TAYLOR
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William Taylor Dannheim (669977), Lieutenant Commander [then Lieutenant], U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 20 October 1970 during an attack by enemy forces on the Advance Tactical Support Base at Song Ong Doc, Republic of Vietnam. As Senior Advisor to River Patrol Division 62, and as the Senior Officer present on the base at the time of the coordinated enemy rocket, mortar, and automatic weapons attack, Lieutenant Commander Dannheim immediately proceeded to Naval Operations Center to organize and direct the defense of the base. With mortar fire intensifying and fires springing up in several places on the base, he gave orders for the boats moored alongside to get underway and defend the base from the adjacent river. This decision was responsible for saving the lives of many United States Navy and Vietnamese personnel by moving them from their static and suddenly lethal position to a maneuverable protected position on the River Assault Craft (monitors). In the face of the mounting enemy fire attack, Lieutenant Commander Dannheim remained in the Naval Operations Center in order to direct air strikes by attack helicopters. Finally, after a secondary fire caused a loss of power to the Naval Operations Center, Lieutenant Commander Dannheim left the burning building to search for any remaining personnel on the base. After completing this search and helping to carry some wounded men aboard a waiting boat, he then moved to a monitor moments before the Naval Operations Center he had just vacated received a direct hit. From the monitor, Lieutenant Commander Dannheim continued to direct gunfire and air support until early morning at which time he moved his operations to the U.S.S. Garrett County. By his outstanding professionalism, leadership and courage, he was directly instrumental in saving many lives and in inflicting heavy casualties upon the enemy, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

DENGLER, DIETER (POW)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Dieter Dengler (683195), Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism during an extremely daring escape from a Prisoner of War stockade on 30 June 1966. Playing a key role in planning, preparing for, and developing an escape and evasion operation involving several fellow prisoners and himself, Lieutenant (j.g.) Dengler, keenly aware of the hazardous nature of the escape attempt, boldly initiated the operation and contributed in large measure to its success. When an unplanned situation developed while the escape operation was being executed, he reacted with the highest degree of valor and gallantry. Through his courageous and inspiring fighting spirit, Lieutenant (j.g.) Dengler upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: May 22, 1938 at Germany

DENTON, JEREMIAH A. (POW)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Jeremiah A. Denton (485087), Rear Admiral [then Commander], U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from February 1966 to May 1966. Under constant pressure from North Vietnamese interrogators and guards, Rear Admiral Denton experienced harassment, intimidation and ruthless treatment in their attempt to gain military information and cooperative participation for propaganda purposes. During this prolonged period of physical and mental agony, he heroically resisted cruelties and continued to promulgate resistance policy and detailed instructions. Forced to attend a press conference with a Japanese correspondent, he blinked out a distress message in Morse Code at the television camera and was understood by United States Naval Intelligence. When this courageous act was reported to the North Vietnamese, he was again subjected to severe brutalities. Displaying extraordinary skill, fearless dedication to duty, and resourcefulness, he reflected great credit upon himself, and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*DICKSON, EDWARD ANDREW (MIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Edward Andrew Dickson (646194), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 7 February 1965 while serving as a jet attack Pilot with Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE (VA-155), aboard the U.S.S. Coral Sea (CVA-43), during a retaliatory air strike against the Dong Hoi Army Barracks and staging area in North Vietnam. When his aircraft was struck by intense enemy antiaircraft fire on the low-level run-in to the target area burst into flame, Lieutenant Dickson elected to remain with his burning aircraft until he had released his bombs on the target area. Following his attack, he headed toward the sea where he ejected from his flaming aircraft. By his inspiring and courageous devotion to duty, Lieutenant Dickson upheld the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Wyoming, Pennsylvania

DINSMORE, HARRY HEASLEY, SR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Harry Heasley Dinsmore, Sr. (513578), Captain (MC), U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 1 October 1966 while serving as Chief of Surgery at U. S. Naval Support Activity, DaNang, Republic of Vietnam. With full knowledge of the serious hazards involved and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, Captain Dinsmore volunteered to perform a surgical operation to remove a live 60-mm. mortar shell from the chest wall of Private First Class Nguyen Luong, Army of the Republic of Vietnam. The impact fuse of the mortar shell was partially activated and could easily have detonated at any time during the operation, resulting in certain death to Captain Dinsmore and his patient. Exhibiting outstanding professional skill and calmness, Captain Dinsmore took command of the situation and successfully removed the shell. By his heroic conduct and fearless devotion to duty, Captain Dinsmore saved the life of the patient and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: March 7, 1924 at Patton, Pennsylvania
Home Town: Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

DRISCOLL, WILLIAM PATRICK
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William Patrick Driscoll (756327), Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 10 May 1972 while serving as a Radar Intercept Officer with Fighter Squadron NINETY-SIX (VF-96), embarked in U.S.S. Constellation (CVA-64), during a major air-wing coordinated strike against the strategic and heavily defended Hai Duong marshalling rail yard joining the port of Haiphong to the industrial center of Hanoi in North Vietnam. Flying with the leader of a section of F-4J flak-suppressor aircraft assigned to protect the less maneuverable and heavily loaded attack group, Lieutenant (j.g.) Driscoll rendered invaluable assistance when a large formation of approximately sixteen enemy aircraft attempted to intercept the retiring strike group. Visually acquiring the enemy fighters, and skillfully directing defensive maneuvers, Lieutenant (j.g.) Driscoll aided his pilot in shooting down three of the six enemy aircraft destroyed in the fierce battle. Although his aircraft was struck by a surface-to-air missile and later burst into flame, Lieutenant (j.g.) Driscoll remained with the crippled aircraft and assisted the pilot in reaching the Tonkin Gulf where both men ejected and were picked up shortly by a rescue helicopter. Lieutenant (j.g.) Driscoll's great personal courage and invaluable contribution to the success of an extremely important mission were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

DUTTERER, CARROLL E., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Carroll E. Dutterer, Jr., Boatswain's Mate First Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 15 September 1967 during action against communist insurgent (Viet Cong) forces in the Mekong Delta region of the Republic of Vietnam. As Boat Captain of Armored Troop Carrier 111-6, a unit of River Assault Division 11, River Assault Squadron 11, River Assault Flotilla ONE, Task Force 117 (TF-117), operating in support of the Second Brigade, Ninth United States Army Infantry Division. Petty Officer Dutterer participated in a combat mobile riverine assault operation against a Viet Cong stronghold in the Cam Son Secret Zone. While proceeding in formation with embarked Army troops, the riverine assault units came under intense automatic-weapons, recoilless-rifle, and rocket fire from enemy positions on both banks of the narrow stream. Petty Officer Dutterer's boat, one of the lead units in the formation, was returning maximum fire when it was hit simultaneously by two enemy rockets, wounding Petty Officer Dutterer and four other crewmen, and destroying all communications equipment. Unable to receive instructions by radio, or to observe movements of the other craft through the dense pall of smoke, he was unaware that other units had been ordered to reverse course and retire to a safe area for casualty evacuation. Determined to carry out his assigned mission, Petty Officer Dutterer fought his craft, alone and with no fire support, through the entire 1800-meter enemy barrage, and landed his troops. When the troops were pinned down by enemy fire, he directed fire from his exposed position topside and re-beached his boat to pick up the troops. During the re-embarkation, Petty Officer Dutterer was seriously wounded when his boat was again hit by an enemy rocket. Despite his wounds, he maintained control of his craft until re-embarkation was completed. His courage and inspiring devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

EGGERT, LOWELL FRANKLIN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lowell Franklin Eggert (511058), Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 10 May 1972 as pilot of a jet aircraft, while serving as Commander, Attack Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW-9), embarked on board U.S.S. Constellation (CVA-64), in connection with a coordinated strike against a heavily defended enemy railway yard in North Vietnam. In the face of intense opposition, Commander Eggert, as planner of the mission, led his strike force in dive-bombing runs which placed all ordnance directly on target and destroyed a major enemy railway center. Exiting the target area, Commander Eggert's strike group was attacked by approximately sixteen enemy fighter aircraft. In the resultant dogfight, five enemy planes were shot down. By his brilliant planning and foresight, along with his flawless professional leadership, Commander Eggert contributed immeasurably to the success of this mission and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

ENNIS, JOSEPH J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Joseph J. Ennis, Engineman Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 4 April 1968 while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against communist insurgent (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam. As Boat Engineer and 30-caliber gunner, Petty Officer Ennis was aboard Armored Troop Carrier (ATC 92-2). River Assault Division 92, River Assault Squadron 9, Task Force 117 (TF-117), during strike operations in support of United States Army units along the Song Ba Lai River in the Mekong Delta region. When the Viet Cong launched an attack on the entire column of boats with rockets, recoilless rifles, automatic weapons, and small arms, Petty Officer Ennis immediately returned fire with his machine gun which was mounted in the well-deck forward. Seconds later, a rocket exploded on the canopy directly over Petty Officer Ennis, knocking him down and severely wounding him. Although stunned and in great pain, he returned to his weapon, only to find it inoperable. After making his way aft to the boat's magazine to obtain another machine gun, he returned to the forward well deck and immediately fired the weapon from a hand- held position against the enemy until his ammunition was exhausted. Petty Officer Ennis then began administering first aid to other wounded personnel in the well deck. As the boat neared the bank, he quickly reloaded his weapon, stood on the ramp fully exposed to the enemy fire, and put down a withering base of cover fire for the assault troops, maintaining his position until every able-bodied soldier had gotten ashore and had reached a relatively safe position in the tree line. After an hour of fierce combat, ATC 92-2 cleared the area. Petty Officer Ennis continued to assist in treating and moving other wounded until all had been removed to a medical aid boat. Only then, when he was nearing collapse from loss of blood, did he proceed to the medical aid boat for treatment of his severe wounds. By his outstanding professionalism, concern for his fellow men, sense of responsibility, and courage under fire, Petty Officer Ennis upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

ENOCH, BARRY W.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Barry W. Enoch, Chief Gunner's Mate, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 9 April 1970 in connection with operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. While serving with a detachment of Sea-Air-Land Team ONE (SEAL-1), Chief Petty Officer Enoch was the Senior Advisor and radioman/grenadier to a combined United States Vietnamese SEAL combat patrol against the Viet Cong infrastructure leaders in Long Phu District, Ba Xuyen Province. After insertion and patrolling to the target area, Chief Petty Officer Enoch observed six armed Viet Cong attempting to evade. Rushing forward and exposing himself to hostile fire, he succeeded in accounting for three enemy casualties. The SEALs then came under intense B-40 rocket and automatic weapon fire. Realizing that his small force was surrounded, Chief Petty Officer Enoch deployed his men in a defensive perimeter, and although under intense fire, continually shifted position to more effectively employ his weapon, relocate his men, and survey the enemy's locations and tactics. Although his radio was damaged by enemy fire, Chief Petty Officer Enoch directed fixed-wing and helicopter air strikes on the enemy's positions, some strikes as close as twenty meters to his position. With his men running low on ammunition and still encircled, Chief Petty Officer Enoch directed air strikes on the shortest route between his position and the river, and then led the patrol through the enemy encirclement before the latter could close the gap caused by the air strikes. By his heroic and decisive efforts in the face of almost overwhelming odds, Chief Petty Officer Enoch was directly responsible for the safe extraction of the patrol members and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

ENSCH, JOHN CLYDE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John Clyde Ensch (694331), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy as a naval flight officer of jet aircraft while serving with Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-ONE (VF-1610, embarked in U.S.S. Midway (CVA-41). On 23 May 1972, in support of an air strike against the Haiphong petroleum products storage in North Vietnam, the Combat Air Patrol element, in which Lieutenant Ensch participated as a Radar Intercept Officer, was taken under attack by six enemy fighter aircraft. Lieutenant Ensch was instrumental in providing critical tactical information to his pilot and in covering the stern of the patrol element. In the ensuing low-altitude aerial combat, he materially contributed to the success of the mission in which he and his pilot were credited with the confirmed downing of two enemy fighter aircraft. Lieutenant Ensch's superb airmanship and courage reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*FITZGERALD, WILLIAM CHARLES
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to William Charles Fitzgerald (669041), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 7 August 1967 while serving as Senior Advisor to Vietnamese Navy Coastal Group SIXTEEN in connection with combat operations against the communist insurgents (Viet Cong) in the Republic of Vietnam. When Coastal Group 16 was taken under a coordinated attack by numerically superior Viet Cong forces, Lieutenant Fitzgerald immediately established communications with the Vietnamese Navy commanding officer, and attempted to coordinate assistance with free-world forces in the area. The enemy fire soon became too intense for the outnumbered base defense force to resist successfully and the Viet Cong completely overran the base. Aware that his bunker was the only remaining source of resistance, Lieutenant Fitzgerald requested an artillery barrage to be laid down on his own position and ordered his men to evacuate the base toward the river. He gallantly remained in the command bunker in order to provide cover fire for the evacuating personnel. Before Lieutenant Fitzgerald could carry out his own escape, he was fatally shot by the Viet Cong aggressors. By his fearless dedication to duty, courage under fire, and heroic actions in defense of the base, despite overwhelming odds, Lieutenant Fitzgerald served as an inspiration to all persons engaged in the counterinsurgency effort in Vietnam and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: January 28, 1938 at Montpelier, Vermont
Home Town: Worcester, Vermont

*FORD, PATRICK OSBORNE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Patrick Osborne Ford (5347843), Gunner's Mate Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 21 June 1968 while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against the communist insurgent (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Petty Officer Ford was serving as a machine gunner on River Patrol Boat SEVEN HUNDRED-FIFTY (PBR-750), River Section 535, River Squadron FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), which was ambushed during a combat patrol by a Viet Cong force using rockets and heavy machine guns. The enemy rocket fire disabled his craft and started a fire on board, causing the PBR to go out of control and head for the shore line directly in front of the enemy firing positions. Although seriously wounded, Petty Officer Ford returned a continuous volume of fire into the Viet Cong positions. Realizing that his boat was out of control, and in the face of point- blank hostile fire, he assisted three of his more seriously wounded shipmates from the PBR into the water. Only after insuring that all the surviving crew members had left the boat did Petty Officer Ford give any thought to his own safety. He was the last man to leave the boat. As a result of his heroic actions and fearless devotion to duty, Petty Officer Ford saved the lives of two of his shipmates, gallantly sacrificing his own in doing so. His extraordinary heroism under fire was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: May 2, 1942 at San Francisco, California
Home Town: San Francisco, California

*FREUND, TERRENCE JAY
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Terrence Jay Freund (5406507), Radarman Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in action on 26 October 1966 while serving with the United States River Patrol Force, near An Lac Thon Village, Republic of Vietnam. As forward machine gunner on board River Patrol Boat FORTY (PBR-40), River Section 511, River Squadron FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), during a combat patrol on the Bassac River, Petty Officer Freund was instrumental in preventing an enemy battalion from crossing the river, and assisted in the dispersal of that force. By determined and accurate gunfire, he repeatedly suppressed enemy fire from the river banks during the hotly contested action. When an attempt to capture an enemy craft resulted in the recovery party being forced into the river by hostile fire, Petty Officer Freund's covering fire was instrumental in their rescue. Although mortally wounded, he continued to fire into enemy positions so that his craft and other friendly forces could be extricated from their perilous positions close to the enemy. By his heroic conduct, he enabled his unit to retire from the action without further loss of life or damage. Petty Officer Freund's performance distinguished him among his gallant comrades, contributed to a victory over the enemy, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Sheboygan, Wisconsin

FULLER, ROBERT BYRON (POW)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert Byron Fuller (542942), Captain, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism as a Prisoner of War (POW) in North Vietnam during the month of October 1967. During this period, as a prisoner at Hoa Lo POW Prison, he was subjected to severe treatment at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors. As they persisted in their harsh treatment of him, he continued in his refusal to give out biographical data demanded by the North Vietnamese. He heroically resisted all attempts by his captors to break his resistance indicating his willingness to suffer any deprivation and torture to uphold the Code of Conduct. Through those means, he inspired other POW's to resist the enemy's efforts to demoralize and exploit them. By his gallantry and loyal devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: November 23, 1927 at Quitman, Mississippi

GALLAGHER, GARY G.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Gary G. Gallagher, Yeoman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 10 and 11 October 1968 while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict in the Mekong Delta region of the Republic of Vietnam. Distinguishing himself by his exemplary leadership and selfless courage, Petty Officer Gallagher, a member of Sea-Air-Land Team ONE (SEAL-1) serving in the capacity of reconnaissance Unit Adviser, led his unit in a capture mission deep into an enemy-controlled area. As the operation progressed and the unit began picking up prisoners, the unit split and advanced on both sides of a small canal in an effort to capture additional members of the Viet Cong infrastructure. At this time, an earlier-acquired captive made a warning sound to his comrades in the vicinity. Immediately, heavy fire from a numerically-superior enemy force was encountered by the separated half of Petty Officer Gallagher's patrol unit. In order to prevent his prisoners from escaping, he forced them to lead the way while crossing the canal to assist his stricken troops. Rallying his reconnaissance unit, Petty Officer Gallagher boldly exposed himself to the hostile fire while directing return fire on the enemy. His driving determination to succeed in his mission served to inspire his men and resulted in the temporary neutralization of the enemy attack. Petty Officer Gallagher then led a hasty, yet professionally executed, withdrawal-with his entire unit and all prisoners-of-war intact. Before concluding the extraction phase, he administered lifesaving first aid to a seriously wounded companion and carried the man over eight kilometers to safety. Petty Officer Gallagher's heroic response while leading this Vietnamese force, his demonstrated initiative and valor, and his selfless dedication under concentrated enemy fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

GALLAGHER, ROBERT T.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert T. Gallagher, Senior Chief Interior Communications Electrician, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 13 March 1968 while serving with Sea-Air-Land Team TWO (SEAL-2), Detachment ALFA, engaged in armed conflict against the communist insurgent forces (Viet Cong) in the Republic of Vietnam. Senior Chief Petty Officer Gallagher served as assistant patrol leader for a SEAL night combat operation deep in an enemy battalion base area. His patrol penetrated 5,000 yards into the Viet Cong base camp, locating a large barracks area occupied by approximately 30 well-armed insurgents. Senior Petty Officer Gallagher led three men into the barracks. When discovered by a Viet Cong sentry, the patrol came under heavy enemy fire. Although wounded in both legs, Senior Chief Petty Officer Gallagher accounted for five enemy Viet Cong killed. Discovering that his patrol leader was seriously wounded, Senior Chief Petty Officer Gallagher took command and led his patrol 1,000 yards through heavily occupied enemy territory to an open area where he radioed for helicopter support. He continually exposed himself to heavy enemy automatic-weapons fire to direct friendly helicopter gunships and extraction ships. While assisting his patrol to the evacuation point, Senior Chief Petty Officer Gallagher was again wounded, but, despite his multiple wounds, succeeded in leading his men to a safe extraction. By his courage, professional skill, and devotion to duty, he was directly responsible for the safe withdrawal of his patrol and for killing a large number of the enemy in their own base area. His heroic achievements were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

GATES, MICHAEL L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Michael L. Gates, Engineman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 10 July 1969 while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong communist aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. As Boat Engineer of a River Patrol Boat, Petty Officer Gates served with River Division 533, River Squadron FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), which was patrolling the upper reaches of the Vam Co Dong River in a special holding operation to protect Tay Ninh City from expected heavy enemy attack. While settling into waterborne guard-post positions, the units came under heavy automatic- weapons fire. During the first volley, Petty Officer Gates fell to the deck with a serious bullet wound which temporarily paralyzed the lower half of his body. When the units cleared the ambush only to come under a second enemy attack, Petty Officer Gates, despite his severe wound, grabbed a grenade launcher and, from his prone position on the deck of the boat, returned the enemy's fire until the boats again cleared the ambush. After he was transported to the flight deck of a troop carrier to await medical evacuation by helicopter, the enemy once more ambushed the boats. Lying on his back completely exposed to the enemy fire, Petty Officer Gates manned an M-16 rifle which he had requested, and proceeded to assist his shipmates in suppressing the enemy fire. His great personal valor, dauntless initiative, and inspiring devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*GERRISH, ALAN ROBERT
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Alan Robert Gerrish (B116456), Hospitalman Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 23 August 1968 while serving as a Hospital Corpsman with the Third Military Police Battalion, Force Logistic Command, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, in connection with operations against communist aggressor forces (Viet Cong) in the Republic of Vietnam. During a combined United States Marine Corps and Army of the Republic of Vietnam combat sweep near DaNang Airfield, Hospitalman Gerrish's unit came under intense machine-gun fire and grenade attack. Without hesitation, he responded to the pleas for aid from wounded Marines. Braving an open fire-swept field to reach his fallen comrades Hospitalman Gerrish was struck by shrapnel from an exploding grenade and fell to the ground near an open foxhole where he could have attained cover and tended to his wounds. Instead, in the face of the heavy enemy opposition, he chose to advance to the position of the wounded Marines in order to render medical aid. Crawling forward, he inserted himself between the enemy fire and a wounded Marine, using his body as a shield to protect the casualty from the hail of bullets. Critically wounded by enemy fire while engaged in administering first aid to the wounded Marine, Hospitalman Gerrish, by his heroic actions and selfless concern for his fallen comrades, served to inspire all who observed him, and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: September 9, 1948 at Ellsworth, Maine
Home Town: Woburn, Massachusetts

*GILLESPIE, MARTIN L., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Martin L. Gillespie, Jr. (9027756), Hospitalman Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism as a platoon Corpsman, 2d Platoon, Company D, First Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during Operation TEXAS in the Republic of Vietnam against communist insurgent guerrilla forces on 21 March 1966. While engaged in a search and destroy mission, the 2d Platoon came under a devastating volume of accurate small arms semi-automatic weapons fire and heavy caliber machine gun fire from concealed, fortified enemy positions about 75 meters to their front. Observing a Marine wounded as he attempted to knock out the enemy emplacements with a rocket launcher, Petty Officer Gillespie fearlessly dashed across 30 meters of exposed ground, completely disregarding the intense volume of fire. Upon reaching the critically wounded Marine, he quickly began administering life saving aid with calm professionalism. Although the surrounding area was raked continually with increasingly accurate enemy fire, Petty Officer Gillespie continued to work, remaining in the exposed position for several minutes until he had stopped the bleeding, and then, as he began to move the wounded Marine to cover, he was mortally struck by enemy fire. As a result of his expert professional skill and his selfless daring actions, the life of a Marine was spared. Petty Officer Gillespie gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: East Boston, Massachusetts

GILLOTTE, KEVIN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Kevin Gillotte, Engineman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 11 January 1969 while serving with United States forces engaged in riverine assault operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam while serving with River Assault Division 92, River Assault Squadron NINE, River Assault Flotilla ONE, Task Force 117 (TF-117). With Petty Officer Gillotte embarked as Engineer, Assault Support Patrol Boat (ASPB) 92-8 was assigned as a participating unit of Operation GIANT SLINGSHOT. The craft had moored in a night defensive position alongside an Army LCM-8 Mobile Fire Support Base on a shallow, narrow canal when ASPB 92-8 came under sudden mortar attack, finding itself in the center of the impact area. Although wounded in the leg, Petty Officer Gillotte responded immediately to the seriousness of the situation by assisting the boat captain in rousing the crew to man their stations, and then made his way forward to throw off the entangled mooring line. Standing exposed to incoming mortar rounds on the forecastle of the boat, Petty Officer Gillotte was again wounded by shrapnel, but eventually succeeded in freeing the fouled line. Upon hearing the cries of the machine gunner, he climbed on top of the gun mount, removed his seriously wounded shipmate, rendered immediate medical aid, and threw his own body over the incapacitated victim to shield him from further injury. After ASPB 92-8 cleared the kill zone, Petty Officer Gillotte risked harmful burns when he entered the engine compartment to work on an engine damaged by shrapnel that caused extreme overheating. He remained at his station tending the damaged engine until the boat secured alongside a landing ship on the main river; only then allowing himself to be relieved in order to seek medical attention. His inspiring courage and selfless dedication were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*GRANT, GOLLIE LEO
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Gollie Leo Grant (6833808), Hospitalman Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 19 September 1966 as a Corpsman with Company B, First Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam. When the lead squad came under intense automatic-weapons and sniper fire from well-concealed enemy positions during the approach to Gia Binh Village in Quang Tri Province during Operation PRAIRIE, Hospitalman Grant unhesitatingly ran forward and moved approximately twenty-five yards through deadly enemy fire to aid the wounded. While moving toward the nearest wounded Marine, he himself was struck by small-arms fire. Ignoring his painful wound, he courageously continued his advance by crawling toward his wounded comrade. As he was applying a battle dressing to the man, Hospitalman Grant was wounded a second time by enemy fire. Continuing to administer first aid, he selflessly completed the treatment and directed the casualty to friendly lines. As he proceeded toward another injured Marine, Hospitalman Grant was mortally wounded by a third enemy round. His professional skill, great personal courage and inspiring devotion to duty at the risk of his own life undoubtedly saved the life of one Marine and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Old Fort, North Carolina

*GRIFFITH, JOHN GARY (MIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to John Gary Griffith (580219), Lieutenant Commander [then Lieutenant], U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in aerial flight on 24 February 1968 as a naval flight officer in Attack Squadron THIRTY-FIVE (VA-35), embarked in U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CVA(N)-65). As leading Bombardier/Navigator, Lieutenant Commander Griffith flew on a night air strike against a vital and heavily defended port facility in the heart of North Vietnam. Navigating his aircraft at perilously low altitudes in the monsoon weather, he successfully penetrated intense and accurate enemy defenses en route to the target. Disregarding the threatening surface-to-air missiles and antiaircraft artillery defending the target area, Lieutenant Commander Griffith maintained a steady radar tracking of the target until bomb release, thereby ensuring an optimum bombing solution. Because of his daring and highly professional navigation and radar- bombing skill, his bombs found their mark, inflicting heavy damage upon the port facilities. By his technical competence, courage, and loyal devotion to duty in the face of intense enemy opposition, Lieutenant Commander Griffith contributed materially to United States efforts in Southeast Asia and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Kansas City, Missouri

GROCE, DONALD B.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Donald B. Groce, Chief Boatswain's Mate, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism while serving as the Advisor to Vietnamese Navy ZIPPO Boat (HG-6533) when that vessel was ambushed by enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 4 September 1970. During the initial moments of the ambush, enemy rockets, recoilless rifle and automatic weapons fire inflicted heavy casualties upon crew members of the ZIPPO boat. The first rocket round wounded Chief Petty Officer Groce in the arms and legs and knocked him out of the coxswain's flat and into the main deck gunwhale. Despite his serious wounds, he made his way back to his battle station and had resumed his duty of advising and assisting the Vietnamese Boat Captain in the counterattack when shrapnel from another enemy rocket again wounded him, causing a deep hip wound and a compound fracture of his right thumb. Disregarding his grievous injuries, Chief Petty Officer Groce managed to crawl forward on the open deck to the flame mounts which were not firing. While exposed to the full force of the enemy fire, he calmly aligned the flame system and shouted encouragement to the other crew members. Subsequently, he personally operated one flame mount and supervised the employment of the flame throwers against the enemy's positions until the enemy fire was effectively suppressed. Chief Petty Officer Groce's exemplary professionalism, bravery under fire, and courageous devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

H - L

HALL, MICHAEL RICHARD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Michael Richard Hall (628949), Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 24 February 1968 as a Bombardier/Navigator in Attack Squadron SEVENTY-FIVE (VA-75), embarked in U.S.S. Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), and launched from U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CVA(N)-65) in a joint attack with Attack Squadron THIRTY-FIVE. Lieutenant Commander Hall participated in a coordinated, night, low-level strike against the heavily defended port facilities within the city of Hanoi, North Vietnam. Soon after launching, serious systems difficulties developed in his aircraft. Through the professionalism and determination of Lieutenant Commander Hall and his pilot, this discrepancy was overcome and they rejoined the flight to continue the attack. En route to, and in the target area, extremely heavy and accurate antiaircraft fire was encountered and the aircraft received a hit in the left wing. Notwithstanding this battle damage, Lieutenant Commander Hall aggressively navigated his aircraft to the target through multiple surface-to-air missile attacks which were successfully evaded through extremely low-altitude maneuvering. He then delivered his ordnance directly on the target. During egress from the target area, he again came under an intense attack from surface-to-air missiles and was forced to maneuver violently at very low altitude. One missile was seen to explode aft and below his aircraft, buffeting it violently. By his daring action, exceptional skill, and loyal devotion to duty in the face of intense enemy opposition, Lieutenant Commander Hall upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

HAMPTON, GREGORY O.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Gregory O. Hampton, Seaman, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 20 August 1969 while serving with friendly foreign forces as a member of River Assault Division 535, River Patrol Flotilla FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), engaged in armed conflict against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. As an M-60 machine-gun operator, Seaman Hampton took part in a two-boat night patrol on the Vam Co Dong River. When sounds of approaching personnel on the beach were detected, his unit held its fire, due to lack of visibility, until a better target could be obtained. Suddenly, a hand grenade was tossed aboard his patrol boat and landed in the darkness. Quick to act, Seaman Hampton called to all personnel to take cover, dived across the wet slippery deck, succeeded in locating the lethal weapon, and hurled it over the side of the patrol boat. As the grenade hit the water, it exploded and showered the craft with water and shrapnel. Seaman Hampton then manned the M-60 machine gun and began to deliver suppressive fire on the suspected enemy position until his boat could clear the kill zone. His craft received one rocket round close aboard as it cleared the zone. Discovering that no damage had been inflicted, the patrol boat returned to make a second firing run on the enemy position. By his daring initiative, unfaltering courage, and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death, Seaman Hampton was directly instrumental in saving many lives, along with his patrol boat. His unswerving devotion to duty was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*HANCOCK, EUGENE SCOTT
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Eugene Scott Hancock (B317923), Hospitalman Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 24 February 1969 while serving as a Corpsman with Company I, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. With a squad from Company I conducting a search and destroy operation east of Highway 5 near La Chau (2) in Quang Nam Province, when the unit came under a heavy volume of small-arms, automatic-weapons, and rocket-propelled grenade fire from a concealed and well-entrenched North Vietnamese Army company and sustained several casualties, Petty Officer Hancock immediately proceeded to the assistance of three casualties, treated their wounds and, aided by his comrades, removed all three men to a position of relative safety. Upon observing a critically-wounded Marine who was lying in an area dangerously exposed to the intense enemy fire, Petty Officer Hancock maneuvered across the fire-swept terrain and methodically applied tourniquets to the Marine's legs to stop the profuse bleeding. Assured of the casualty's immediate evacuation to friendly lines, Petty Office Hancock then valiantly ran through the intense hostile fire to yet another seriously injured comrade, but was himself mortally wounded by automatic-weapons fire before he could reach the Marine. By his heroic and inspiring efforts, Petty Officer Hancock was directly instrumental in saving the lives of four Marines. His courage, bold initiative, and selfless devotion to duty in the face of heavy enemy fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Gainesville, Florida

HANSON, ANTHONY C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Anthony C. Hanson, Aviation Electronics Technician Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 2 July 1967 while serving as Combat Aircrewman aboard a Search and Rescue Helicopter embarked in U.S.S. Reeves (DLG-24). When the helicopter rescue of a wounded U. S. Air Force pilot, downed by hostile fire, was rendered impossible due to extensive jungle growth, Petty Officer Hanson, with full knowledge that enemy ground forces were closing the rescue scene, descended 150 feet from his helicopter to the wounded pilot, disengaged the latter from his parachute and, after carrying the downed airman one hundred yards through the dense undergrowth, fastened him to the hoisting equipment and guided him into the hovering helicopter. By his heroic action and fearless devotion to duty, Petty Officer Hanson was directly instrumental in saving a life. His inspiring efforts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

HAYENGA, WILLIAM E., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William E. Hayenga, Jr., Fireman, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 4 February 1968 while engaged in armed conflict in the Republic of Vietnam while serving with River Section 535, River Assault Squadron FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116). During Operation BOLD DRAGON I, Fireman Hayenga, as Engineman on board River Patrol Boat 731(BPR-731), participated in a four-PBR combat patrol on the Rach Hong Nhu River to assist a Vietnamese unit pinned down by a Viet Cong company. When PBR 728 was hit by three rockets and forced to beach in the middle of the ambush site, PBR 731, having also taken a direct rocket hit, returned to the stricken boat to attempt rescue of its crew. One crew member was rescued shortly after beaching. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Fireman Hayenga volunteered to search for the four missing crew members. Unarmed, he jumped ashore and made his way upstream toward the partially-sunken boat in search of his comrades. Finding no one on board the boat, he continued his search among the numerous thatched hutches along the river bank, and succeeded in locating two of the crewmen hidden in a drainage ditch. Both men were in a state of shock and one had sustained a serious leg wound. Assisting the wounded man and urging the other onward, Fireman Hayenga started to lead them back to PBR 731. Enemy fire was so effective at one point that the men were forced to crawl approximately thirty yards across an open space. On the other side of the clearing, Fireman Hayenga found a third crew member who was disoriented and in a state of shock. Upon reaching the embankment leading down to PBR 731, he sent the two ambulatory sailors to the boat and, once they were aboard, assisted the wounded man down the embankment and onto the boat. The Boat Commander of PBR 728 made his way to the rescue PBR approximately two minutes later, thus completing the rescue operation. Fireman Hayenga's heroic actions in the face of intense enemy fire were directly responsible for saving the lives of three of his comrades and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*HENRY, DANIEL BENEDICT
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Daniel Benedict Henry (2365535), Hospitalman First Class [then Petty Officer Second Class], U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 27 August 1967 while serving as an Operating Room Technician with First Medical Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, near DaNang, Republic of Vietnam, in direct support of combat operations against communist insurgent (Viet Cong) forces. When a battalion surgeon was about to perform a surgical amputation of a leg of a seriously wounded casualty who hand an "armed" 2.75-in. rocket imbedded in the injured limb, Petty Officer First Class Henry, realizing the gravity of the situation, volunteered to assist in the surgery. Although anticipating that the rocket might explode at any moment, he displayed an outstanding degree of professionalism in administering to the pre-surgical needs of the patient. After the anesthetic had been administered and the patient positioned, Petty Officer Henry aided the surgeon throughout the forty-five minute operation. By his outstanding courage, technical competence and selfless devotion to duty in the face of grave personal risk, Petty Officer Henry lent valuable assistance in saving the wounded man's life and in removing the threat of death or injury from other personnel working in the vicinity of the operating room. His inspiring conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Olean, New York

HERBERT, ROBERT STEVEN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert Steven Herbert (751175), Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 11 August 1970 while serving as Weapons Officer in U.S.S. Canon (PG-90) engaged in armed conflict against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Lieutenant (j.g.) Herbert was directing the harassment and interdiction fire of his gun crews while proceeding up the narrow Bo De river when his vessel suddenly came under intense enemy rocket, automatic-weapons, and small-arms attack from an estimated forty-man force in concealed positions on both banks of the river. During the initial hail of enemy fire, he and the commanding officer were both seriously wounded. Despite his own serious wounds, Lieutenant (j.g.) Herbert immediately removed the commanding officer to a position of relative safety and then, further exposing himself to enemy fire, continued to direct and coordinate the ship's gun crews. Although weak from loss of blood, he managed to communicate with the bridge, relaying the commanding officer's orders and keeping the latter informed of the status of the ship's armament, propulsion, and known damage. Due to Lieutenant (j.g.) Herbert's excellent training of and communication with the gun crews, a deadly and effective suppressive barrage was continued even after he was unable to personally direct the fire. When crew members found him lying on the deck, Lieutenant (j.g.) Herbert directed them to aid the commanding officer first. By his outstanding courage and valiant efforts in the face of heavy enemy fire, Lieutenant (j.g.) Herbert was directly instrumental in preventing the enemy from inflicting additional personnel casualties and material damage to the ship. His heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Arlington, Virginia

HICKEY, WILLIAM L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William L. Hickey (5848365), Hospitalman Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 4 July 1966 as Senior Corpsman with Company K, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during a search and destroy operation in the Republic of Vietnam. When his company came under intense small-arms, automatic-weapons, and 57-mm. recoilless rifle fire from a numerically superior enemy force, Petty Officer Hickey braved the blistering enemy fire to move across an open field to aid a Marine trapped in an amphibian vehicle. Although he, himself, was wounded during this action, he succeeded in carrying the victim to a protected area. Realizing that two other corpsmen needed assistance in treating several casualties, he again exposed himself to the withering fire to reach their position and was wounded a second time. Disregarding the agonizing discomfort of his multiple injuries, he fearlessly moved about helping the other wounded and, upon reaching the company casualty collection point, was wounded a third time by an enemy rifle grenade. Displaying an uncommon devotion to his fellow comrades, Petty Officer Hickey refused evacuation for several hours so that he could render assistance and advice to the other corpsmen, remaining until all casualties could be treated and until evacuation of the seriously wounded was completed. His outstanding professional skill, and inspiring and unconquerable courage were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Dallas, Texas

HOLMES, BILLIE D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Billie D. Holmes (6848245), Hospitalman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on the night of 15 - 16 June 1966 as a Medical Corpsman, Company C, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam. Serving with a platoon which was attacked by a determined and well-trained North Vietnamese battalion after the platoon had established an observation post deep within Viet Cong-controlled territory, Petty Officer Holmes, in the face of the intense enemy fire, left the meager cover of his position on the perimeter to render aid to the wounded. Oblivious to the shouted warnings of his Platoon Leader to take cover, he repeatedly exposed himself to the hostile fire by moving from one wounded man to the next, administering emergency treatment. On two separate occasions when there were enemy grenades exploding, he covered the body of his wounded companion with his own to prevent further injury. Although twice painfully wounded, he continued giving aid and comfort to the wounded throughout the night and morning. Petty Officer Holmes' outstanding professional skill, extraordinary heroism, and deep concern for his comrades were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Madison, Tennessee

HUNTER, CHARLES BRYAN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Charles Bryan Hunter (584531), Commander [then Lieutenant Commander], U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 30 October 1967 as a pilot in Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED NINETY-SIX (VA-196), embarked in U.S.S. Constellation (CVA-64). Exercising exceptional professional skill and sound judgment, Commander Hunter, planned and executed an extremely dangerous, single-plane, night, radar bombing attack on the strategically located and heavily defended Hanoi railroad ferry slip in North Vietnam. Although the entire Hanoi defensive effort was concentrated upon his lone bomber, he flawlessly piloted his aircraft to the target area and commenced his attack. Seconds before bomb release, six enemy surface-to-air missiles were observed to be tracking on his plane. Undaunted by this threat to his personal safety, Commander Hunter took swift and effective action to avoid the missiles and then proceeded to complete his attack, releasing all weapons in the target area with extreme accuracy. After release, he guided his plane through the intense antiaircraft-artillery fire and four additional missiles which were fired at his aircraft. In spite of this intense enemy opposition, Commander Hunter completed his mission and was directly responsible for dealing a significant blow to the North Vietnamese logistics efforts. His indomitable perseverance and conspicuous gallantry were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

JAMES, ALAN C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Alan C. James (7894913), Hospitalman Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 9 September 1968 while serving as senior Corpsman with Company B, First Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Company B commenced an aggressive assault against a North Vietnamese Army battalion occupying well-fortified emplacements in the Mutter's Ridge area of Quang Tri Province. During the ensuing three-day engagement which culminated in a decisive rout of the numerically-superior enemy force, Petty Officer James personally organized the company aid stations and casualty clearing points, and attended each of the numerous casualties sustained by the company, continually exposing himself to intense artillery and mortar fire in order to maneuver across the hazardous terrain and treat his injured companions. On several occasions, Petty Officer James protected wounded Marines from further injury by shielding them with his own body. During one intense artillery attack, he rushed outside the defensive perimeter to aid a seriously-wounded Marine, and calmly rendered first aid before carrying the man to a medical evacuation helicopter. Petty Officer James demonstrated a sincere concern for the welfare of his comrades throughout this fierce battle, repeatedly refusing rest or protective cover in order to ensure the proper treatment and expeditious evacuation of his patients. His heroic actions and extraordinary professional skill undoubtedly saved the lives of several Marines and inspired all who observed him. By his courage, resolute determination, and selfless devotion to duty, Petty Officer James upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Lisle, Illinois

*KIERZNOWSKI, TERRENCE E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Terrence E. Kierznowski (B509521), Hospitalman Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Corpsman with Company K, 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 12 September 1969, while Company K was occupying a night defensive position in mountainous territory north of the Elliot Combat Base in Quang Tri Province, the Marines came under a heavy volume of mortar fire which immediately resulted in several casualties among men in forward fighting holes. Responding immediately to the situation, Petty Officer Kierznowski left his covered position and, running to the side of a seriously wounded man, commenced treating him. While he was performing this lifesaving task, Marines nearby shouted a warning of additional incoming rounds and called to him to seek cover. Although fully award of the possible consequences of his action, Petty Officer Kierznowski quickly pushed the wounded man down and, covering him with his own body, absorbed the full impact of three mortar rounds which detonated close to them. By his courage, inspiring initiative, and selfless devotion to duty and to his fellow man, Petty Officer Kierznowski sacrificed his own life to save that of his patient, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and 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: Crete, Illinois

KINNARD, DONEL C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Donel C. Kinnard, Chief Hospitalman, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism while engaged in armed conflict against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 20 - 21 January 1970. During this period, Chief Petty Officer Kinnard was serving with Underwater Demolition Team TWELVE (UDT-12), Detachment GOLG, and operating with the Second Battalion, Fifth Mobile Forces Command during a sweep and clear mission in the Ca Mau Peninsula. On one occasion, Chief Petty Officer Kinnard was singled out as a target by an enemy force while he was attempting to beach a damaged sampan from which three of the enemy had leaped into the water and escaped. His courageous action resulted in the capture of the sampan and enemy weapons. On another occasion, when his unit was subjected to intense enemy rocket, machine-gun and automatic-weapons fire, Chief Petty Officer Kinnard was wounded in the arms and legs by shrapnel from an enemy hand grenade. He immediately hurled several hand grenades across a canal into enemy positions. During the ensuing battle, he was suddenly attacked by one of the enemy who had crept up behind him. After several minutes of a fierce hand-to-hand struggle, Chief Petty Officer Kinnard succeeded in overcoming his attacker who was later identified as a North Vietnamese Army Lieutenant. By his personal courage and inspiring devotion to duty, Chief Petty Officer Kinnard contributed materially to the success of a vital mission and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*KOLLMANN, GLENN EDWARD (MIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Glenn Edward Kollmann (551276), Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in aerial flight on 24 February 1968 as the Commanding Officer of Attack Squadron THIRTY-FIVE (VA-35), embarked in U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CVA(N)-65). Commander Kollmann planned and led a night air strike against a vital and heavily defended port facility in the heart of North Vietnam. Piloting his aircraft at perilously low altitudes in the monsoon weather, he successfully penetrated intense and accurate enemy defenses. Disregarding the threatening surface-to-air missiles and the antiaircraft artillery defending the target area, Commander Kollmann maintained a smooth, level flight path until bomb release, thereby ensuring an optimum bombing solution. Because of his daring and highly professional flying skill, his bombs found their mark, inflicting heavy damage upon the port facilities. By his airmanship, courage, and loyal devotion to duty in the face of intense hostile fire, Commander Kollmann contributed materially to United States efforts in Southeast Asia and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Daly City, California

KRUEGER, ROGER W.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Roger W. Krueger (677063), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 24 March 1968 as a Naval Flight Officer in Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE (VA-165), embarked in U.S.S. RANGER (CVA-61). Lieutenant Krueger served as the bombardier/navigator for the first U. S. Navy A-6A night, all-weather attack against the heavily defended and strategic Kinh No railroad yard, located on the vital northeast railroad of North Vietnam. Although encountering extremely intense enemy antiaircraft defenses, a barrage of four surface-to-air missiles, and a near miss that forced the aircraft into momentarily uncontrolled flight and degraded his weapon system, Lieutenant Krueger continued to operate the attack system and to provide the necessary navigational and attack parameters to accomplish a successful weapons release on this vital target. During egress, the flight encountered a line of thunderstorms and heavy enemy defenses necessitating an aerial refueling in order to safely outmaneuver these obstacles and complete the return to ship. Lieutenant Krueger's heroic actions, professionalism, and fearless devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

LARSEN, DAVID R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to David R. Larsen, Gunner's Mate Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 2 August 1969 as a member of River Division 593, River Patrol Flotilla FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against North Vietnamese and Viet Cong communist aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Petty Officer Larsen was serving as a gunner's mate aboard River Patrol Boat 775 (PBR-775) which was part of a two-boat night waterborne guard post stationed on the upper Saigon River. Operating in conjunction with the patrol, a six-man ambush team, which was providing bank security for the guard post, engaged four enemy soldiers who were part of an estimated 35 to 50-man force that returned the contact with accurate rocket fire, killing or critically wounding all but one member of the six-man ambush team. One man from the team managed to call for the PBR crewmen's help. Armed with a machine gun and several ammunition belts, Petty Officer Larsen hastened to the assistance of the ambush team. As he led his small force ashore, he saw three enemy soldiers about to overrun the friendly position. He immediately rushed toward them, firing his machine gun, and single-handedly turned back the enemy assault, killing at least one of the enemy. Petty Officer Larsen then maintained a one-man perimeter defensive position and, although under continuous enemy fire, succeeded in discouraging further enemy attacks until additional help arrived. Later, armed with three different weapons, Petty Officer Larsen was the first man to take his post on the perimeter established to provide security for the medical evacuation helicopter. By his extremely courageous one-man assault in the face of direct enemy fire, Petty Officer Larsen was responsible for saving the lives of three fellow servicemen, and for protecting his shipmates as they administered aid to the wounded. His valiant and inspiring efforts reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*LEAL, ARMANDO GARZA, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Armando Garza Leal, Jr. (B704027), Hospitalman Third Class [then Hospitalman], U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 4 September 1967 while serving as Corpsman with the Second Platoon, Company M, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. During Operation SWIFT, the Second Platoon was providing security for the Battalion Command Group when the platoon came under heavy enemy fire. Petty Officer Leal ran through the fire-swept area, and began administering first aid to several casualties who were directly exposed to grazing fire. Although constantly exposed to heavy fire, and painfully wounded himself, he rendered aid for two hours to wounded Marines who were located between friendly and enemy lines. He refused to be evacuated in order that he might continue his mission of mercy. While treating his comrades and moving them to protected areas, Petty Officer Leal was severely wounded for a second time and, despite being immobilized, calmly continued to aid his wounded comrades. A Marine tried to drag him to a covered position, but was shot in the hand and, at that time, Petty Officer Leal received a third wound. Petty Officer Leal pushed the Marine and told him to take cover from the assaulting enemy whom they both could see. Suddenly a North Vietnamese soldier fired a machine gun from close range, mortally wounding Petty Officer Leal. Through his swift actions and professional skill in aiding and protecting the wounded, he significantly eased the suffering and undoubtedly saved the lives of several of his comrades. His exceptional courage and unfaltering dedication to duty in the face of great personal risk were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: San Antonio, Texas

LEWIS, DAVID HOWE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to David Howe Lewis (633562), Lieutenant Commander (MC), U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Surgeon with the First Medical Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 24 September 1969, a Marine was admitted to the battalion's emergency receiving area with a serious wound in his thigh. Subsequent x-rays revealed that an armed grenade launcher round was imbedded in the tissue adjacent to the bone. After directing all personnel not positively necessary to assist him as he operated to immediately leave the area, Lieutenant Commander Lewis supervised the careful removal of the wounded man to an operating room and then directed that sand bags be placed around the patient, leaving only room for himself to move while he worked with the casualty. Fully aware that the round could detonate at any moment, but concerned only for the welfare of the wounded man, Lieutenant Commander Lewis then skillfully operated on his patient and successfully extracted the projectile. His resolute determination and bold initiative inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the life of the Marine. By his courage, fearless action, and selfless devotion to duty under extremely perilous conditions, Lieutenant Commander Lewis averted a potential disaster and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

LINDER, JAMES BENJAMIN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James Benjamin Linder (521643), Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in aerial flight on 28 September 1967 as Commander, Attack Carrier Air Wing FIFTEEN (CVW-15), embarked in U.S.S. Coral Sea CVA-43). Commander Linder planned, led, and directed an air-wing striking force consisting of thirty-one aircraft against the heavily defended and strategically important Haiphong rail way/high way bridge in North Vietnam. Although subjected to intense and accurate barrages of multi-caliber antiaircraft-artillery fire, surface-to-air missiles, and enemy interceptor aircraft, he fearlessly and skillfully directed and controlled the striking forces assigned, resolutely pressing home a devastating attack which resulted in total destruction of the bridge and marked the culmination of the comprehensive attack plan to isolate the city. As the leader of four of the previous assaults on the strategic Haiphong bridge complex, Commander Linder, by his courageous leadership, comprehensive planning, and outstanding airmanship, contributed greatly to the total success of this daring and expansive attack strategy. Tactics which were planned and executed by Commander Linder encompassed over one hundred and fifty attack sorties and were consummated in the face of scores of accurate surface-to-air missile firings and fusillades of antiaircraft fire concentrated at the targets. Despite the enemy's determined and formidable opposition, the logistic lifeline of Haiphong was effectively severed by the destruction of these key bridges without the loss of a single strike aircraft. Commander Linder's brilliant planning, consummate flight leadership, and fearless devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

M - P

*MACK, FRANCIS WILLIAM
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Francis William Mack (5950010), Hospitalman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism as a Corpsman with Company F, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 17 August 1966. When the lead platoon was suddenly taken under devastating enemy fire by automatic weapons and snipers from concealed positions during a reconnaissance-in-force operation in the Cam Lo River Valley, Quang Tri Province, Petty Officer Mack immediately began to administer aid to the wounded. Upon being informed that two seriously wounded Marines needed medical aid, but couldn't be evacuated due to intense and accurate enemy fire, he unhesitatingly moved over two hundred meters down the fire-swept road to reach the casualties. With bullets striking the ground near him, he nonetheless succeeded in administering lifesaving aid to the wounded men and remained with them until they were evacuated. Before moving back to a covered position in preparation for an air strike, Petty Officer Mack once again exposed himself to the intense enemy fire to assist a wounded Marine in the advance element who needed medical aid prior to being evacuated. While rendering first aid to the wounded man, Petty Officer Mack, himself, was mortally wounded. By his extraordinary initiative, inspiring valor and unswerving devotion to duty, he was directly responsible for saving the lives of three fellow servicemen. His heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Jersey City, New Jersey

MARTIN, CECIL H.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Cecil H. Martin, Mineman First Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on the night of 21 November 1968 while serving with River Division 531, River Patrol Flotilla FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), during riverine assault operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Mekong Delta region of the Republic of Vietnam. As Senior Boat Captain of a two-boat patrol, Petty Officer Martin was transiting from Rach Soi to Rach Gia, in conjunction with a concentrated patrol program adopted for the Sea Lords interdiction campaign in the lower Delta, when his patrol came under heavy enemy attack on all sides. During the initial hail of fire, his cover boat received two direct rocket hits, wounding all personnel aboard and causing the craft to veer out of control and run aground directly in front of the enemy firing positions. Petty Officer Martin ordered his coxswain to reverse course and reenter the ambush area to rescue the cover boat's crew members. As his unit approached the stricken craft, Petty Officer Martin directed effective counterfire and, placing his boat between the beleaguered craft and the blazing enemy batteries, took command of the precarious rescue effort. While affording exemplary leadership and inspiration to the members of his surprised and battered patrol element, he directed the major fire-suppression efforts of his gunners, personally manning and firing a machine gun at crucial intervals. Additionally, Petty Officer Martin rendered first aid to casualties, extinguished a fire in the beached craft, advised his commanding officer in the Naval Operations Center of the seriousness of the situation, and coordinated the transfer of wounded personnel to his unit. Through his courageous and determined fighting spirit, he succeeded in safely extracting his men, undoubtedly saving numerous lives. His great personal valor in the face of heavy and sustained enemy fire was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: November 6, 1940 at Grandville Township, Illinois
Home Town: Grandville Township, Illinois

MAYTON, JAMES A.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James A. Mayton (2973461), Hospitalman First Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 21 May 1966, as a Medical Corpsman serving with Marine Observation Squadron TWO (VMO-2), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, in the Republic of Vietnam as a member of the Squadron's Medical Evacuation Team. Receiving an emergency medical evacuation call from the Third Platoon, A Company, Ninth Marines, the Medical Evacuation Team immediately went to aid the platoon which was engaged in bitter combat, pinned down by a large well-armed North Vietnamese force, and therefore unable to assist their wounded comrades. As the medical evacuation helicopter landed in the zone, Petty Officer Mayton, without hesitation, leaped from the aircraft and, with intense enemy fire hitting all around him, raced back and forth carrying the wounded and dead to the aircraft. Again and again, during eight trips into zones around the scene of battle, he exposed himself fearlessly to enemy fire in order to rescue the wounded Marines. Due to his courageous and selfless actions, twenty-three casualties were evacuated under fire. Petty Officer Mayton's repeated voluntary actions in trying to save his wounded and dying comrades, at obvious risk to his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Manchester, Tennessee

McDANIEL, EUGENE BAKER (POW)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Eugene Baker McDaniel (602046), Captain, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism as a Prisoner of War (POW) in North Vietnam from 14 June to 29 June 1969. Due to an unsuccessful escape attempt by two of his fellow prisoners, his captors launched a vicious round of torture to single out the senior POW's who were to blame for the breakout. During these torture sessions a confession led to exposing him as the communications link between the senior ranking officer of the main prison camp and the adjacent annex detachment. He accepted the responsibility for the escape and fabricated a story of his own planned escape. After interrogation, the enemy severely tortured him in their attempt to obtain information about the organization and policies of the American POW's in the camp. Under the most adverse of conditions, he heroically resisted these cruelties and never divulged the information demanded by the North Vietnamese. His exemplary courage, maximum resistance, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: at Craven County, North Carolina
Home Town: Kinston, North Carolina

McEWEN, ROBERT M.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert M. McEwen (632049), Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 30 March 1968 as a Naval Flight Officer in Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE (FA-165), embarked in U.S.S. RANGER (CVA-61). Lieutenant Commander McEwen was the Bombardier/Navigator on a daring, single-airplane, night attack against the heavily defended and vital Hanoi port facility in North Vietnam. Although his aircraft developed difficulty with the inertial navigation system, Lieutenant Commander McEwen continued to navigate the aircraft to the target at an extremely low altitude and high speed over rough terrain in instrument flight conditions. While the pilot successfully evaded four surface-to-air missiles, intense radar-directed 57 and 85 millimeter antiaircraft fire, and constant tracking and barrage automatic-weapons fire, Lieutenant Commander McEwen calmly and professionally provided accurate navigation and attack parameters to the pilot, resulting in a devastating string of bombs dropped precisely on target. During retirement from the target area, he assisted his pilot in further evasive maneuvers to avoid heavy concentrations of automatic- weapons fire. Due to a low fuel state, the pilot had to rendezvous and refuel prior to completing recovery. Lieutenant Commander McEwen's heroic actions, professionalism, and fearless devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*McKEEN, GERALD CLAUDE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Gerald Claude McKeen (9190058), Hospitalman, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 24 September 1966 as Platoon Corpsman, Company G, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during Operation PRAIRIE in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam. While moving through an unfamiliar area, the company came under intense mortar, machine-gun and sniper fire from what was later estimated to be a North Vietnamese regiment. Although seriously wounded by a large piece of shrapnel, Hospitalman McKeen refused aid from his fellow Corpsman and began crawling from one wounded man to another, rendering medical treatment. At one time, he crawled more than twenty meters under devastating fire to assist an exposed machine-gun team. While aiding the wounded Marines, Hospitalman McKeen received another severe wound which partially immobilized him. Once again he refused treatment, insisting that the other wounded be treated first. Many of these casualties were less seriously wounded than himself. Finally, after three hours, when his physical condition prevented him from continuing, Hospitalman McKeen crawled more than fifty meters back to the company command post where he succumbed to his wounds. By his inspiring and valiant efforts in behalf of his comrades, Hospitalman McKeen upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Sac City, Iowa

McKEOWN, RONALD EUGENE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Ronald Eugene McKeown (647772), Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy as a Pilot of jet aircraft while serving with Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-ONE (VF-161) embarked in U.S.S. Midway (CVA-41). On 23 May 1972, in support of an air strike against the Haiphong petroleum products storage in North Vietnam, the Combat Air Patrol element, in which Lieutenant Commander McKeown participated as flight leader, was taken under attack by six enemy fighter aircraft. Demonstrating exceptional aeronautical skill, Lieutenant Commander McKeown engaged the attackers in extremely low altitude aerial combat, accounting for the confirmed downing of one enemy aircraft. Continuing his expert maneuvering while negating several gun attacks by the enemy, Lieutenant Commander McKeown pressed an attack on an enemy fighter closing behind his wingman, resulting in a second confirmed downing of an enemy fighter aircraft. His superb airmanship and courage reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*MERCER, WILLIAM IVAN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to William Ivan Mercer (B980863), Hospitalman Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 15 June 1968 while serving as Senior Corpsman of Company M, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. While conducting a sector of the battalion defense perimeter, Company M became heavily engaged with a large North Vietnamese Army force near Khe Sanh, and sustained numerous casualties. Reacting instantly, Petty Officer Mercer began assisting the injured Marines to a covered area for treatment, ensuring their further movement to the battalion landing zone for medical evacuation. On many occasions, he unhesitatingly moved to the points of heaviest contact and maneuvered about the fire-swept terrain to treat men who lay wounded in their fighting holes or the perimeter. When a platoon was assigned the mission of searching the area forward of friendly positions, Petty Officer Mercer voluntarily accompanied this unit and subsequently came under accurate enemy sniper fire. Upon observing a seriously wounded Marine, he fearlessly left his covered position and maneuvered across the hazardous area to the side of his injured comrade. Completely disregarding his own safety, Petty Officer Mercer shielded the man with his own body as he administered first aid, and then carried him to a position of relative safety. Alertly observing another casualty lying in an area dangerously exposed to the intense fire, Petty Officer Mercer rushed to his aid, and again selflessly used his own body to protect the Marine from the hostile fire impacting around them. While administering medical treatment to his comrade, Petty Officer Mercer was fatally wounded by the North Vietnamese fire. By his daring initiative, exceptional valor, and inspiring actions, he was directly responsible for saving the lives of several wounded men. His selfless devotion to duty was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Los Angeles, California

*MEYERKORD, HAROLD DALE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Harold Dale Meyerkord (639933), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving with the Naval Advisory Group, United States Military Assistance Command, Republic of Vietnam, and assigned as Naval Advisor to the River Force of the Vietnamese Navy. Directly involved in more than thirty combat operations against enemy aggressor forces, Lieutenant Meyerkord at all times served to inspire all who observed him by his superb leadership and cool courage while under enemy fire. On 30 November 1964, he was instrumental in turning defeat into victory when, under fire, he reconnoitered ahead of friendly forces and discovered that river craft could proceed no farther because of a Viet Cong canal block. He immediately proceeded to set up a shore command post, direct artillery fire, call for medical evacuation helicopters, and call for and direct air strikes. On 13 January 1965, he transferred from a command boat to a small boat, proceeded to a boat grounded in Viet Cong territory, administered first aid to the wounded, and returned to the command boat, all of which took place while he was exposed to constant enemy fire. On 24 January 1965, he assumed direction of a Vietnamese River Force flotilla when the Vietnamese Commander was wounded in an ambush. Later in the action, although wounded himself and facing heavy fire, he continued the fight for almost an hour, until victory was assured. In his final action, on 16 March 1965, Lieutenant Meyerkord lost his life while leading a river sortie into insurgent territory after he had again positioned himself in the leading boat in order to direct operations and set an example for the Vietnamese Naval personnel. Caught in a heavy ambush in which he was wounded by the first fusillade from the Viet Cong, he was reported to have returned their fire at pointblank range until he was again wounded, this time mortally. By his sustained leadership, initiative, and courage throughout these operations, Lieutenant Meyerkord contributed greatly to the United States effort in Vietnam and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: St. Louis, Missouri

*MILIUS, PAUL LLOYD (MIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Paul Lloyd Milius (482322758), Captain [then Commander], U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 27 February 1968 as an Aircraft Commander in Observation Squadron SIXTY SEVEN (VO-67). During a combat mission in Southeast Asia, Captain Milius' aircraft received multiple hits from 37-mm. antiaircraft-artillery fire during a run over the assigned target. Immediately, the aircraft burst into flames, several members of the crew received injuries, and dense smoke and fumes filled the fuselage. Remaining at the controls to insure stable flight, Captain Milius ordered his crew members to bail out. As a result of his action, seven of his nine crewmen were rescued within three hours of bail-out. Rescue flights, however, were unable to locate Captain Milius. His heroic efforts and inspiring devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: February 11, 1928 at Denver, Iowa
Home Town: Waverly, Iowa

MURPHY, DAVID RODNEY
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to David Rodney Murphy, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in action from 12 through 16 October 1966 while serving in a detachment of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron SIX (HS-6), temporarily embarked in U.S.S. INTREPID (CVS-11), flying as Plane Commander of an armored search and rescue helicopter during a series of related rescue missions in support of combat operations in Southeast Asia. Lieutenant Commander Murphy was vectored to an inland area of North Vietnam on two separate search and rescue flights in valiant attempts to rescue a downed Navy pilot. Although encountering intense enemy fire, he persisted in his determined attempts to locate and rescue the survivor. During the second search, his helicopter, while in a hover, was riddled by enemy automatic-weapons fire which completely disabled one of its engines. Lieutenant Commander Murphy successfully flew the aircraft out of range of the enemy's guns and retired toward the sea where, nearing the heavily-fortified coastline, a barrage of accurate enemy antiaircraft fire inflicted additional heavy damage to the already crippled helicopter and wounded all personnel. Nonetheless, he and his crew tenaciously nursed their helicopter through the enemy fire toward a United States destroyer, approximately fifteen miles from the enemy coastline. When the helicopter lost complete directional control as it neared the destroyer, Lieutenant Commander Murphy skillfully ditched the aircraft in an upright position, thereby preventing further injury to all personnel on board. By his outstanding courage, exceptional skill and fearless devotion to duty, he upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

NELSON, JAMES RAD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James Rad Nelson (570611), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 18 August 1968 while engaged in riverine assault operations against communist aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. As Commander River Assault Division 112, Task Force 117 (TF-117), consisting of twelve river assault craft, Lieutenant Nelson conducted operations along the Hai Muoi Tarn Canal in Dinh Tuong Province. Shortly after noon, the assault boat column was attacked by what was later estimated to be a Viet Cong battalion. Lieutenant Nelson's command Monitor received two damaging rocket hits, at the outset, that sprayed him in the face with shrapnel and blinded him in his right eye. Ignoring the excruciating pain and the resultant loss of vision, he steadfastly remained at his station and continuously exposed himself to enemy fire by standing upright at his position on top of the boat, to gain the best possible view of enemy positions, in order to direct his assault boats in returning fire. Additionally, Lieutenant Nelson assumed complete control of his boat, shouting instructions to the coxswain while, at the same time, firing on the enemy positions himself with a grenade launcher. He then directed his units to lay down a steady barrage of fire which succeeded in suppressing the enemy's fire sufficiently to permit helicopter evacuation for the many casualties and the safe back-loading of the remainder of the troops. Later that afternoon, Lieutenant Nelson was involved in a second intense ambush during which he again valiantly exposed himself to heavy enemy fire. As the infantry succeeded in securing this area, he maneuvered his craft into defensive positions and supervised evacuation of the wounded. Only after all wounded personnel had been evacuated and a relief officer was provided did Lieutenant Nelson submit to evacuation for badly-needed medical treatment. His superb leadership, courage under fire, and selfless devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

O'KELLEY, JOHN W.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John W. O'Kelley, Seaman, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 26 May 1968 while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against communist insurgent (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam while assigned to River Assault Division 111, River Assault Squadron ELEVEN, River Assault Flotilla ONE, Task Force 117 (TF-117). Seaman O'Kelley's craft, Assault Support Patrol Boat 111-1 (ASPB-111-1), was engaged in minesweeping operations ahead of a column of River Assault Craft with embarked infantry personnel on the Ong Huong River of Kien Hoa Province when reconnaissance-by-fire delivered by ASPB 111-1 triggered a Viet Cong ambush from both sides of the narrow river. Sustaining recoilless-rifle and rocket hits in the first few minutes of the ambush, which killed the Boat Captain and the Coxswain, Seaman O'Kelley's boat went out of control and careened from bank to bank. Realizing the immediate peril to his boat and its surviving crew members, Seaman O'Kelley left his position of relative safety as a thirty-caliber machine gunner in the stern of the boat and dashed forward under a hail of enemy fire to attempt to bring the boat under control. Driven back by flames, and unable to enter the coxswain's flat because casualties inside were blocking the door, he crawled over the top of the boat to the canopy over the coxswain's flat. After cutting through the heavy canopy in the face of continuing hostile fire, Seaman O'Kelley entered the control area, restarted one of the stalled engines, and gained partial steering control. He then brought the boat alongside the Medical Aid Boat where he rendered assistance to critically wounded personnel and helped remove them for prompt evacuation by helicopter. Had Seaman O'Kelley not taken action instantly to regain control of his boat, the entire column of River Assault Craft could have been trapped in the ambush zone, and suffered heavy casualties and disruption of the entire operation. By his heroic actions and courage under fire, Seaman O'Kelley upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*ORLANDO, SAMUEL GIZZI
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Samuel Gizzi Orlando (5910304), Hospitalman, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 4 March 1966 while serving as a Corpsman in Company H, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during Operation UTAH in the Republic of Vietnam. Upon learning that additional Corpsmen were needed when one of the platoons of his company was particularly hard hit by intense automatic weapons and heavy mortar fire and was sustaining heavy casualties, Orlando unhesitatingly left his position of relative safety and moved across a barren hill, in the face of intense fire, to the wounded Marines. Exercising outstanding professional skill and resourcefulness, he dressed many wounds and helped evacuate casualties, making several daring trips across the fire-swept area. During one of these trips, when he heard a call for more machine-gun ammunition, he quickly acquired the necessary rounds and carried them to the machine-gun position which was in critically short supply. Hearing the cries of a wounded Marine during an ensuing enemy counterattack, Orlando crawled forward in a courageous attempt to render aid, but was mortally wounded by enemy fire at the moment he reached his objective. In sacrificing his own life while saving the lives of many of his comrades, Orland displayed the highest degree of courage and self-sacrifice. His heroic and inspiring efforts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Birmingham, Michigan

PALMER, FREDERICK FRASER
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Frederick Fraser Palmer (448768), Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in action as Commander, Attack Carrier Air Wing FOURTEEN (CVW-14), embarked in U.S.S. RANGER (CVA-61). During the devastatingly effective strike against the heavily defended Hai Phong petroleum and oil storage area in North Vietnam on 29 June 1966, Commander Palmer, as leader of the entire strike force, was responsible for the precise, well coordinated and imaginative plan which ultimately was responsible for the success of the entire mission. Knowingly placing himself in the middle of the strike force so that he could coordinate and evaluate the entire mission, he effected the rendezvous of the strike group of twenty-eight airplanes, directing them to the target with deliberate precision despite complete electronic and radar silence. At the target, he fired his rockets directly into fuel tanks causing a fireball which reached up to 1500 feet. Following his own attack, Commander Palmer, despite heavy enemy gunfire, turned back to the target to make the first essential evaluation of damage, noting that all ordnance had been accurately placed within the carefully prescribed target area and that the damage was extensive. His imaginative planning, skillful execution and outstanding courage in the face of extreme danger were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

PATE, JAMES WILSON, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James Wilson Pate, Jr. (682598), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 24 March 1968 as a pilot in Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE (VA-165), embarked in U.S.S. RANGER (CV-61). Lieutenant Pate served as the Pilot of the first U. S. Navy A-6A night all-weather attack against the strategic and heavily defended Kinh No railroad yard, located on the vital northeast railroad of North Vietnam. Although encountering extremely intense enemy antiaircraft defenses, a barrage of four surface-to-air missiles, and a near miss that momentarily forced his aircraft into uncontrolled flight, Lieutenant Pate continued to press his attack and succeeded in dropping all weapons on target. During egress, Lieutenant Pate encountered a line of thunderstorms and heavy enemy defenses necessitating an aerial refueling in mid air to safely out-maneuver these obstacles and complete his return to his ship. His heroic actions, professional airmanship, and fearless devotion to duty in the face of grave personal risk were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

PHILLIPS, JOHN C.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John C. Phillips (B673934), Hospitalman, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 19 December 1968 while serving as a Corpsman with Company C, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Shortly before noon, Hospitalman Phillips' unit was maneuvering to assist a friendly squad which was heavily engaged with a North Vietnamese Army platoon. As the Marines approached their beleaguered comrades, the Marine unit came under intense small-arms and automatic-weapons fire from a tree line. Observing the point man fall seriously wounded, Hospitalman Phillips unhesitatingly left his position of relative safety and, exposing himself to the intense enemy fire, rushed across the hazardous terrain to the side of the injured Marine. Ignoring the enemy rounds impacting about him, Hospitalman Phillips was skillfully treating the casualty's wounds when an enemy hand grenade landed" in proximity to his patient. Completely disregarding his own safety, Hospitalman Phillips reacted instantly and threw his body across that of the wounded Marine, sustaining serious injuries to himself while absorbing the concussion and fragmentation from the exploding grenade. He ignored his own painful injuries to resume treating his wounded comrade, and continued his determined lifesaving efforts until both men were removed to a covered area. Cognizant of the seriousness of his companion's wounds, Hospitalman Phillips steadfastly refused medical attention for himself until the remaining Corpsman had first treated the casualty. Hospitalman Phillips' heroic and decisive actions served to inspire all who observed him and were highly instrumental in saving the life of the injured Marine. By his courage, bold initiative, and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Hospitalman Phillips upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Des Moines, Iowa

PORTER, ROBERT O.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert O. Porter, Chief Gunner's Mate, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 10 June 1970 while serving with River Division 513, River Patrol Flotilla FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), as Patrol Officer of a two-boat patrol on the Giang Thanh River in the Republic of Vietnam. Having established a night waterborne guard post in support of interdiction operations, Chief Petty Officer Porter, after several hours of waiting, detected activity in the underbrush near his boat. Quickly alerting his crew to the imminent danger, he was concentrating on a muffled sound in the bushes when a hand grenade landed on the boat, and the bank of the river erupted in fire directed at his craft. Chief Petty Officer Porter instantly yelled "grenade" and then dashed through the intense enemy fire, picked up the grenade and hurled it back onto the beach. In a matter of seconds the grenade exploded, showering the boat with a deadly hail of shrapnel and wounding him in the face. Ignoring his wounds, Chief Petty Officer Porter directed accurate suppressive fire against the enemy positions until they were silenced. In risking his own life to protect the lives of his shipmates, he displayed the highest order of valor, dedication, and selflessness, thereby upholding the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*POWELL, RICHARD LEE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Richard Lee Powell (B418314), Hospitalman, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on the morning of 29 August 1968 while serving as a Corpsman with Company L, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Hospitalman Powell's platoon was moving with Company M of the Third Battalion to establish a blocking position near Hill 55 southwest of DaNang when the lead elements of the company received intense hostile sniper fire. As Hospitalman Powell's unit maneuvered across a large field in an attack on the enemy's flank, the Marines came under a heavy volume of automatic-weapons fire delivered from three sides by a large North Vietnamese Army force, and sustained numerous casualties. With complete disregard for his own safety, Hospitalman Powell unhesitatingly rushed forward and commenced treating the wounded men. During the ensuing fire fight, he fearlessly maneuvered about the fire-swept terrain from one injured man to another and, on several occasions, moved dangerously close to the hostile emplacements to assist casualties. Although struck by enemy machine-gun fire which immobilized one of his arms, he ignored his painful injuries as he steadfastly continued to render life-sustaining first aid to his fallen comrades. Observing a casualty who lay within fifteen meters of an enemy machine-gun position, Hospitalman Powell fearlessly advanced into the hazardous area and was mortally wounded by hostile fire while providing vital medical treatment to the injured Marine. By his outstanding initiative, personal valor, and sincere concern for the welfare of his comrades, Hospitalman Powell served to inspire all who observed him, succeeded in saving the lives of numerous Marines, and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Youngstown, Ohio

*POWERS, TRENT RICHARD (POW)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Trent Richard Powers (474244762), Captain [then Lieutenant Commander], U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 31 October 1965 while serving as a pilot of jet attack aircraft with Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FOUR (VA-164), embarked in U.S.S. Oriskany (CVA-34) during a combat mission over hostile territory in North Vietnam. Captain Powers was assigned the demanding and unusual task of leading a two-division, United States Air Force flight into an area heavily defended by antiaircraft artillery and surface-to-air missiles, with the mission of locating and destroying the missile installations. He planned the attack route and led the eight-plane group over more than six hundred miles of unfamiliar, cloud-shrouded, mountainous terrain, arriving in the target area precisely at a pre-briefed time that had been selected to coincide with the strikes of two carrier air wings against a bridge. The target area was the scene of an intense air-to-ground battle, many surface-to-air missiles were being fired and heavy enemy antiaircraft fire was observed in all directions. With full knowledge of the serious hazards involved, Captain Powers courageously led the Air Force aircraft into battle. His bombs and those of the Air Force aircraft which he led inflicted severe damage to both missile sites. By his superior aeronautical skill and valiant determination, Captain Powers upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Minneapolis, Minnesota

PRENDERGAST, FRANCIS SARSFIELD (POW)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Francis Sarsfield Prendergast (677423), Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 9 March 1967, as a naval Flight Officer serving with Reconnaissance Attack Squadron THIRTEEN (RVAH-13) embarked in U.S.S. Kitty Hawk (CVA-53), on a combat mission over North Vietnam. After being shot down, pursued, and captured by a group of enemy militiamen and soldiers in the shallow, coastal waters off North Vietnam, Lieutenant (j.g.) Prendergast calmly and accurately assessed his dire situation and cunningly conserved his strength for a bold and extraordinarily heroic escape. Demonstrating the courage and alertness of a disciplined and well-trained fighting man, he seized upon a most dramatic escape opportunity which presented itself for, at the most, a few fleeting seconds. By his exceptionally prompt, daring and heroic action at this moment he succeeded in eluding his captors and was, shortly thereafter, picked up by a rescue helicopter. Lieutenant (j.g.) Prendergast's keen foresight, sound judgment and courageous conduct in the face of an armed enemy, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

R - T

REYNOLDS, MARVIN DENNARD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Marvin Dennard Reynolds (570754), Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 17 July 1967 as a pilot in Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE (VA-163), embarked in U.S.S. Oriskany (CVA-34). As the leader of a section of A4E aircraft conducting a search and rescue mission for a pilot downed the previous day, thirty-two miles southwest of Hanoi, North Vietnam, Lieutenant Commander Reynolds proceeded seventy miles inland through darkness and heavy antiaircraft-artillery fire to the search area where he succeeded in establishing contact with the downed pilot. When the Search and Rescue Commander informed him that positive voice contact with the pilot must be established before the helicopter could cross the beach, Lieutenant Commander Reynolds reentered the area and established voice contact. Due to his low fuel state, he was forced to aerial refuel before returning to the scene, this time leading the rescue forces. Maneuvering so as to evade three surface-to-air missile launchings, he led the flight to the rescue scene. He attacked and silenced a large flak site endangering the helicopter. Lieutenant Commander Reynolds then made repeated, dangerously low passes over the pilot to ensure successful pickup. During egress, he successfully attacked and silenced one of the most menacing flak sites on the helicopter's egress route. By his courageous conduct, exceptional skill, and fearless devotion to duty, he was primarily responsible for the successful rescue of the downed pilot, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

RHODES, FRANCIS EUGENE, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Francis Eugene Rhodes, Jr. (552977), Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 15 September 1967 during action against communist insurgent (Viet Cong) forces in the Mekong Delta region of the Republic of Vietnam. As Commander River Assault Squadron ELEVEN, Task Force 117 (TF-117), Lieutenant Commander Rhodes was in command of twenty-three riverine assault craft, with elements of the 2d Brigade, 9th United States Army Infantry Division embarked. While transiting the Rach Ba Rai River during combat riverine strike, search and destroy operations in the Cam Son Secret Zone, the entire task group came under heavy Viet Cong fire from fortified bunkers on both banks of the river, sustaining numerous personnel casualties and damage to several boats. Although momentarily stunned when two rockets knocked him and his crew to the deck, Lieutenant Commander Rhodes stationed himself in an exposed position on his command boat and, in the face of heavy, direct enemy fire from close range, quickly noted the condition and disposition of his units, took personal command, by radio, of all units, and ordered them to regroup and return downstream out of the enemy's fortified area. After transferring casualties and reassigning personnel so that all boats were manned, Lieutenant Commander Rhodes again took his task group up the river and was subjected once more to heavy enemy fire. Hard hit for a second time by a large number of casualties, he nevertheless successfully landed embarked army units ashore in the assigned objective area, and set up a naval blockade of the river. In the face of enemy fire which could have resulted in a devastating defeat by the Viet Cong, Lieutenant Commander Rhodes made a most significant contribution to an operation that resulted in 213 Viet Cong killed in action, 66 probably killed, 600 bunkers destroyed, and a large quantity of war munitions captured. His heroic conduct and inspiring devotion to duty in the face of intense enemy opposition were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

ROBINSON, DAVID BROOKS
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to David Brooks Robinson (669469), Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer of the Patrol Gunboat, U.S.S. Canon (PG-90), during operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 11 August 1970. While Lieutenant Commander Robinson was directing his ship's harassment and interdiction fire as the craft proceeded up the Bo De River, the ship suddenly came under intense enemy automatic weapons, rocket and small arms attack from an estimated forty-man force located in well-concealed positions in a mangrove swamp on both banks of the river. During the initial hail of enemy fire, Lieutenant Commander Robinson sustained a broken leg and numerous shrapnel wounds when a rocket exploded on the port side of the flying bridge. Despite his serious wounds and loss of blood, he continued to direct his ship's fire until the enemy attack was suppressed. Refusing medical evacuation, Lieutenant Commander Robinson submitted to first-aid treatment and then requested that he be strapped in a stretcher and placed in an upright position so that he could continue to direct the actions of his ship until it cleared the enemy ambush site. Only after the ship was anchored at an advanced tactical support base and he was assured that his ship and crew were capable of continuing their assigned mission, did he allow himself to be medically evacuated. By his extraordinary courage, resolute fighting spirit and inspiring personal example in the face of a fierce enemy attack, Lieutenant Commander Robinson upheld the finest tradition of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

ROGERS, GERALD WINSTON
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Gerald Winston Rogers (624201), Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 30 March 1968 as a pilot in Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE (VA-165), embarked in U.S.S. RANGER (CVA-61). Lieutenant Commander Rogers was the Pilot of a daring, single-airplane, night attack against the heavily defended and vital Hanoi port facility in North Vietnam. Although his aircraft developed difficulty with the inertial navigation system, Lieutenant Commander Rogers pressed on to the target at an extremely low altitude and high speed in instrument flight conditions. He successfully evaded four surface-to-air missiles, intense radar-directed 57 and 85 millimeter antiaircraft fire, and constant tracking and barrage automatic-weapons fire to drop a devastating string of bombs on target. During retirement from the target area, he encountered heavy automatic-weapons fire necessitating further evasive maneuvers. Due to his low fuel state following these maneuvers, he had to rendezvous with the tanker and refuel in order to complete his recovery. Lieutenant Commander Rogers' heroic actions, professional airmanship, and fearless devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

ROLAND, JOHN ROGERS, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John Rogers Roland, Jr. (701984), Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 28 January 1969 while serving as Officer in Charge of Patrol Craft Fast THIRTY-FIVE (PCF-35), Coastal Squadron ONE, Task Force ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN (TF-115), during combat operations against communist aggressor forces in Kien Hoa Province, Republic of Vietnam. Accompanied by PCF-100, Lieutenant (j.g.) Roland conducted a daring daylight probe into a narrow canal off the Ham Luong River, deep into enemy-held territory. After completing a devastatingly effective gunfire mission, both boats were caught in a deadly cross-fire from a numerically-superior Viet Cong force entrenched in both banks of the canal. PCF-100 sustained two serious B-41 rocket hits which wounded the Officer in Charge and one crew member, and knocked them over the side. The helmsman of PCF-100, blinded by heavy smoke, was unaware of this situation and proceeded out of the canal. Upon observing the situation, and realizing the grave danger of the two stricken men, Lieutenant (j.g.) Roland unhesitatingly placed his boat between the two men and the bank in an effort to protect them from further injury. Due to the severity, volume, and accuracy of the enemy fire, he found it necessary to make several passes before stopping and pulling his two wounded comrades aboard PCF-35. Lieutenant (j.g.) Roland's rescue efforts were undaunted by the fact that his boat had received a direct hit from a rocket-propelled grenade round; he directed the operation to a successful climax despite the intense enemy opposition. Through his inspiring personal leadership, his composure under extremely heavy fire, and his disregard for his own personal safety, he was instrumental in saving the lives of his two stricken comrades. By his daring action and loyal devotion to duty in the face of extreme personal risk, Lieutenant (j.g.) Roland upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*RUDD, DONALD LEE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Donald Lee Rudd (B502831), Hospitalman Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 3 March 1969 while serving as Senior Corpsman with Company L, Third Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, Fleet Marine Force, during combat operations against enemy forces north of Khe Sanh, Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam. With his unit sustaining several casualties when a reinforced enemy squad penetrated the friendly lines and engaged the Marines throughout the perimeter, Petty Officer Rudd immediately went to the assistance of the injured Marines in the face of heavy hostile fire, administered lifesaving first aid, and removed the wounded to positions of relative safety. On several occasions, to insure the safety of his charges, he was forced to use protective fire, at close quarters, against the attackers. When he observed a seriously wounded Marine who was pinned down by enemy fire, Petty Officer Rudd rushed to the side of the victim and protected him with his own body while administering medical aid. In an attempt to silence the hostile fire, Petty Officer Rudd again picked up a weapon to deliver fire against the enemy position, still shielding his patient. While engaged in this action, he was fatally wounded by small-arms fire. By his great personal valor and self-sacrificing efforts, Petty Officer Rudd was directly responsible for saving the lives of at least five Marines. His inspiring and steadfast devotion to duty was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Tecumeseh, Michigan

SHEPHERD, BURTON HALE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Burton Hale Shepherd (507539), Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in aerial flight on 26 October 1967 as Commander, Attack Carrier Air Wing SIXTEEN (CVW-16), embarked in U.S.S. Oriskany (CVA-34). As the strike leader of an eighteen-plane strike group launched against the strategically located and heavily defended Hanoi thermal power plant in North Vietnam, Commander Shepherd, although hampered by adverse weather conditions en route, maintained the precise timing necessary to properly execute the intricate strike plan. Skillfully maneuvering to avoid the numerous tracking missiles and intense and accurate barrages of 57-mm. and 85-mm. flak, he led the strike group to the optimum roll-in point and then aggressively pressed home his attack, releasing all bombs on target. Egressing from the target area in a hail of enemy fire, he retired to the relative safety of the Karst Hills and checked in his strike group. After proceeding expeditiously to the coast to refuel, Commander Shepherd returned to an area south of the target to search for one of his missing strike pilots. Continuing the search for more than an hour over enemy terrain in the face of the most concentrated enemy fire in North Vietnam, he finally returned to the coast after reaching a low fuel state. By his aggressive leadership, professional airmanship, and determination, Commander Shepherd contributed in large measure to the destruction of this major target, and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

SMITH, CHESTER B.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Chester B. Smith, Signalman First Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in action against Communist insurgent forces in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with River Patrol Section 531, River Squadron FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), on 11 December 1966. As Patrol Officer on a PBR combat patrol on the Mekong River, Petty Officer Smith pursued a sampan, with three Viet Cong aboard, into a narrow canal where the sampan's occupants, aided by eight other Viet Cong along the canal banks, opened fire on the patrol boat. Petty Officer Smith promptly directed his crew in returning suppressive fire which accounted for eight Viet Cong killed. Bringing in his cover boat from the main river, Petty Officer Smith reentered the canal where he came upon a company-size Viet Cong force preparing to board forty sampans. The enemy opened fire on the patrol boats, but were completely repulsed and demoralized by Petty Officer Smith's sudden attack, causing them to retreat in confusion. At least two of the enemy were confirmed as killed. While still returning the heavy fire the Viet Cong were directing at him, Petty Officer Smith systematically destroyed their water transport and equipment. After extracting his patrol to rearm, he reentered the canal for a third time and personally directed his machine gunners in silencing six enemy weapons positions. Petty Officer Smith then vectored a U. S. Navy helicopter in a rocket run on a cleverly camouflaged bunker. A large secondary explosion resulted, completely destroying an enemy ammunition cache. When the overall four-hour engagement had ended, Petty Officer Smith's PBR's had accounted for fifteen enemy confirmed killed, twenty-eight enemy sampans sunk, twelve damaged, three captured, and an enemy ammunition cache destroyed. His daringly aggressive actions, outstanding initiative, extraordinary courage, and gallant leadership were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*SMITH, HOMER LEROY (POW)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Homer Leroy Smith (234365503), Captain [then Commander], U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 19 and 20 May 1967, while serving as Commanding Officer of Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWELVE (VA-212), embarked in U.S.S. Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), during aerial attacks on two strategically important and heavily defended thermal power plants in Hanoi and Bac Giang, North Vietnam. As strike leader in each of these actions against the enemy, Captain Smith was faced with adverse weather and difficult terrain, formidable opposition from the enemy, and the necessity for violent, evasive maneuvering. Despite these obstacles, he expertly led his strike groups in executing brilliantly successful attacks which subsequently hindered the enemy in his efforts to make war. By his heroic actions, superb airmanship, and inspiring devotion to duty throughout, Captain Smith reflected great credit upon himself and his squadron, and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Alma, West Virginia

SPARKS, NEIL ROLEY, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Neil Roley Sparks, Jr. (629516), Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in aerial flight on 17 July 1967 as Aircraft Commander of an armored helicopter in Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron TWO (HS-2), during a search and rescue mission over North Vietnam. Lieutenant Sparks courageously penetrated the coastal defenses of North Vietnam to rescue a downed naval aviator in a heavily defended area thirty miles south of Hanoi. Although the helicopter was hit by intense and accurate enemy fire, disabling the radios, automatic stabilization equipment, and airspeed indicator, he skillfully hovered for twenty minutes until the survivor was safely hoisted aboard. Under intense antiaircraft fire, Lieutenant Sparks, through adept maneuvering, prevented further damage to the helicopter during the flight back to the coastline. Two and one-half hours after penetrating the coastal defense over North Vietnam, and having traveled two hundred miles over heavily-fortified hostile territory, he brought his crew and the downed aviator to safety. By his courageous actions, exceptional skill and fearless devotion to duty, Lieutenant Sparks prevented the capture by hostile forces of a fellow aviator, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

SPEER, PAUL HAROLD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Paul Harold Speer (507584), Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 19 May 1967 as a pilot in Fighter Squadron TWO HUNDRED ELEVEN (VF- 211), embarked in U.S.S. Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31). As the flight leader of six F-8 aircraft assigned to escort and provide target combat air patrol for two A4 aircraft during a strike against a thermal power plant in North Vietnam, Commander Speer demonstrated outstanding leadership and airmanship in the planning and execution of the defense of the strike group. Encountering an intense barrage of about twenty-five surface-to-air missiles, and under attack from enemy MIGs, he pressed on toward the target, maintaining flight discipline and integrity. Despite increasingly heavy and accurate antiaircraft fire, his flight successfully defended the bombers who scored direct hits on the target, causing extensive damage. During retirement from the target area, Commander Speer sighted a MIG closing dangerously to attack the A-4s. Through his skillful execution of tactical maneuvers, he was able to fire two sidewinders at the MIG, causing it to dive into the ground and explode on impact. Continuing the retirement, his flight downed two other enemy aircraft with sidewinders and damaged another by 20-mm. cannon fire. By his superior airmanship, leadership and sound tactical judgment, Commander Speer contributed greatly to the successful execution of this mission, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

STAYTON, NORMAN B.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Norman B. Stayton, Petty Officer [then Airman], U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 26 March 1971 while serving as second gunner in the lead aircraft of a light fire team from Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron THREE (HA(L)-3), flying convoy escort along the Can Gao Canal, Kien Giang Province, Republic of Vietnam. Petty Officer Stayton was participating with his fire team in providing overhead cover for a boat convoy when one of the boats carrying 9,000 gallons of explosive jet fuel struck a mine, detonating the fuel. Two enemy rockets then struck the boat, following which burning fuel spewed across the water. When he observed a wounded man struggling to shore to escape the flames and the hail of enemy bullets hitting the water, Petty Officer Stayton alerted his pilot, took the initiative and dived from the hovering helicopter into the burning canal to carry a life preserver to the survivor. Although immediately wounded in the leg, Petty Officer Stayton nonetheless succeeded in reaching the victim, who had sustained serious burns and was in a state of shock, and shielded him with his own body while attempting to tow him to the recovery site. Thwarted in five attempts to reach the hovering helicopter because of the current, the enemy fire, and the helicopter rotor downwash, Petty Officer Stayton, although close to complete exhaustion, managed to wave his arms and get the attention of a river assault craft which proceeded to rescue both men. By his valiant and persevering efforts in the face of intense enemy fire and almost insurmountable circumstances, Petty Officer Stayton was directly instrumental in the rescue of a seriously wounded fellow serviceman. His heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

STONE, GUY E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Guy E. Stone, Chief Shipfitter, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 27 January 1970 during operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. Engaged in clearing a graveyard of booby traps for a detachment of Underwater Demolition Team TWELVE (UDT-12) during a bunker-destruction sweep near the Vinh Dien River, Chief Petty Officer Stone suddenly discovered eight of the enemy hidden in the grass. The hostile troops opened fire with automatic weapons and began hurling hand grenades. Yelling a warning to the other members of his team, Chief Petty Officer Stone, without a weapon at that moment, took cover behind a mound and proceeded to direct the fire of his companions. Subsequently, in the face of the hostile fire, he raced to within fifteen feet of the enemy and hurled three grenades into their midst. Observing two of the enemy soldiers retreating, he again exposed himself to the hostile fire to borrow a weapon from a team member and shoot the fleeing soldiers, accounting for a total of six enemy dead and two captured. Chief Petty Officer Stone's instinctive reactions saved two United States and two Vietnamese Naval personnel in his team from certain death. His exceptionally courageous and heroic actions and selfless efforts on behalf of his team members were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

STRODE, GERALD M.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Gerald M. Strode (B809190), Hospitalman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 4 September 1967, while serving as a Corpsman with the First Platoon, Company B, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against North Vietnamese Army forces in the Republic of Vietnam. At this time, Company B was engaged in Operation SWIFT in Quang Ngai Province, and came under heavy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and mortar fire from an estimated regimental-sized North Vietnamese Army force. Without hesitation, Petty Officer Strode moved to the point of initial contact, undaunted by the heavy volume of fire, and began administering first aid to the casualties. In order to protect his wounded comrades, he utilized a pistol and hand grenades effectively in their defense. Although wounded, he then engaged in hand- to-hand combat until the enemy withdrew. Starting once again to treat the wounded, Petty Officer Strode carried his injured comrades to a protected area about seventy-five meters away. When he returned to the line, he worked continuously through the night with the casualties until he was relieved by the company Corpsman the next morning, caring for his own wounds and allowing himself to be evacuated only when all other casualties had been evacuated. By his swift actions, professional skill, and cool demeanor under fire, he inspired the men of his platoon and undoubtedly saved many lives, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Moses Lake, Washington

TAFT, DAVID ALLAN
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to David Allan Taft (711699), Lieutenant Commander (MC), U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 27 August 1967 while serving as a Surgeon with the First Medical Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, near DaNang, Republic of Vietnam, in direct support of combat operations against communist insurgent (Viet Cong) forces. When a seriously wounded casualty with an "armed" 2.75-in. rocket imbedded in his left leg was brought by helicopter to the First Medical Battalion, Lieutenant Commander Taft carefully diagnosed the case, concluding that surgical amputation was imperative and time was of the essence. Anticipating that the rocket might detonate at any moment, he immediately supervised the patient's emergency treatment and transfer to the operating room, setting an outstanding example of calmness and courage. He assisted with the administration of spinal anesthetic which necessitated manipulating and positioning the victim several times. Lieutenant Commander Taft cleared the operating room of all personnel with the exception of the patient, himself, and a Navy Hospital Corpsman, and then, with complete disregard for his own safety, coolly and competently performed the necessary surgery. By his expeditious treatment of the patient, his superior professional skill, and his unfaltering devotion to duty, Lieutenant Commander Taft undoubtedly saved the injured man's life, and was instrumental in removing the threat of death or injury from other personnel in the vicinity of the operating room, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Columbus, Ohio

*TAYLOR, JESSE JUNIOR (MIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Jesse Junior Taylor (553662), Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in aerial flight as a Pilot in Attack Carrier Air Wing SIXTEEN (CVW-16), embarked in U.S.S. Oriskany (CVA-34), during a rescue combat air patrol over hostile territory in North Vietnam on 17 November 1965. Although his aircraft was severely damaged by heavy enemy ground fire while he was attempting to locate a downed pilot, Lieutenant Commander Taylor persisted in his efforts until he had definitely ascertained the location of his fellow airman. He then proceeded to attack enemy gun sites which threatened the approach of the rescue helicopter. Only after his aircraft caught fire and a crash was imminent did Lieutenant Commander Taylor cease his efforts. With his aircraft burning and heavily damaged, he succeeded in reaching the coast of the Gulf of Tonkin in an attempt to ditch but did not survive the crash of his crippled aircraft. In sacrificing his life in an effort to save the life of a fellow airman, Lieutenant Commander Taylor displayed the highest degree of courage and self-sacrifice. His actions were in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: January 16, 1925 at Wichita, Kansas
Home Town: Los Alamitos, California

THOMAS, ROBERT J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert J. Thomas, Radarman Second Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 23 March 1969 while serving with Sea-Air-Land Team TWO (SEAL-2), Detachment ALFA, Seventh Platoon, during combat operations against communist aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Embarked in a Seawolf helicopter on a visual reconnaissance and strike mission on Da Dung Mountain near the Cambodian border when the aircraft was struck by enemy ground fire and crashed in an exposed rice paddy, Petty Officer Thomas was thrown from the wreckage, sustaining multiple injuries. Fighting off the stunning effects of shock, he immediately moved to the aid of the helicopter crewmen who were still in the burning aircraft. Despite the intense flames and the heavy gunfire from both the mountain and a nearby tree line, Petty Officer Thomas managed to remove one of the crewmen to safety and, with the aid of another man who had been dropped onto the site by an accompanying helicopter, succeeded in freeing the trapped pilot from the flaming cockpit. Petty Officer Thomas then made a gallant attempt to rescue the two remaining men trapped beneath the twisted metal, discontinuing his efforts only when driven back by the exploding bullets and rockets of the burning helicopter. After moving the two previously rescued men to a greater distance from the crash site, Petty Officer Thomas realized that Viet Cong troops were steadily advancing on his position. He selflessly threw himself upon the body of one of the wounded men and began returning the enemy fire. His deadly accuracy accounted for at least one enemy dead and held the aggressors at bay until an Army rescue helicopter landed. By his valiant efforts and selfless devotion to duty while under hostile fire, Petty Officer Thomas upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*TRUETT, QUINCY HIGHTOWER
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Quincy Hightower Truett (4284530), Chief Boatswain's Mate, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on the night of 20 January 1969 while serving with River Division 551, River Patrol Flotilla FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), engaged in armed conflict against North Vietnamese and Viet Cong communist aggressor forces on the Kinh Dong Tien Canal in the Republic of Vietnam. As Patrol Officer of two River Patrol Boats (PBR's) in company with an Armored Troop Carrier (ATC) and two other PBR's, Chief Petty Officer Truett was aboard the fourth boat in the column when the entire unit came under intense enemy fire. PBR 8137, the boat ahead of Chief Petty Officer Truett, was taken under extremely heavy fire and began to burn, forcing the five occupants aboard into the water. Observing the men struggling to reach the safety of a ditch, Chief Petty Officer Truett ordered his PBR into the area of the burning craft to recover the men in the water. Without regard for his own personal safety, he deliberately exposed himself to the blistering enemy fire, positioning himself on the bow of his boat to provide covering fire and to assist the men from the water. Because of several bright fires from grass huts burning along the canal bank, Chief Petty Officer Truett was completely visible to the enemy during the entire rescue. Mortally wounded after he had helped rescue the last man from the water, Chief Petty Officer Truett, by his outstanding valor, concern for his shipmates' safety, and inspiring devotion to duty, contributed directly to the safe recovery of the crew of PBR 8137. His selfless efforts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Leesburg, Florida

V - Z

*VALDEZ, PHIL ISADORE
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Phil Isadore Valdez (9997731), Hospitalman Third Class [then Hospitalman], U.S. Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action on the morning of 29 January 1967, while serving with Company B, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the vicinity of DaNang, Republic of Vietnam. As Corpsman with the Third Platoon, Petty Officer Valdez participated in a heli-lift with his platoon in support of Company H of the Second Battalion. Immediately upon landing, the platoon came under heavy enemy fire and sustained several wounded while maneuvering forward. Without hesitation, Petty Officer Valdez ran over seventy-five yards of open terrain, under constant enemy fire, to aid a fallen Marine. He then moved the wounded man to a safe area and, quickly and competently, rendered medical assistance. Again exposing himself to enemy fire, Petty Officer Valdez moved across approximately fifty yards of open ground to another Marine. While treating the second Marine, he positioned himself between the man and the hostile fire. It was at this time that Petty Officer Valdez was mortally wounded by enemy small-arms fire. Through his heroic actions and selfless devotion to duty, he was responsible for saving the lives of two Marines. His inspiring efforts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Dixon, New Mexico

VAMPATELLA, PHILIP V.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Philip V. Vampatella, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 21 June 1966 as pilot of a jet fighter aircraft in Fighter Squadron TWO HUNDRED ELEVEN (VF-211), embarked in U.S.S. HANCOCK (CVA-19). Although his aircraft was critically low on fuel and had already been severely damaged by hostile antiaircraft fire, Lieutenant (j.g.) Vampatella, upon learning that two of his squadron mates were being attacked by four North Vietnamese MIG-17 jet fighters, reversed his course and returned deep into enemy territory to render assistance. Engaging two of the MIG fighters in low-altitude, aerial combat, he succeeded in maneuvering his crippled aircraft into position to fire a missile and shoot down one of the enemy fighters. Only then did he disengage from the aerial battle and proceed to the coast, arriving with less than five minutes of fuel remaining. After skillfully and calmly executing an in-flight refueling from a waiting aerial tanker, he returned his crippled fighter to the HANCOCK. Lieutenant (j.g.) Vampatella's superb airmanship, outstanding courage, and inspiring devotion to duty in the face of enemy antiaircraft fire and aerial opposition were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

WALKER, JAMES ROBERT
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James Robert Walker (641616), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 14 September 1968 while serving with Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron THREE (HAL(L)-3), Detachment THREE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), during operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. As the Fire Team Leader of a Light Helicopter Fire Team which was called in to support United States naval forces that were under heavy attack on the Mekong River, Lieutenant Walker, upon arrival at the scene of the enemy ambush, immediately commenced his attacks against the entrenched hostile emplacements on both sides of the river. After diverting the intense enemy fire from the badly-damaged ships to himself and his fire team, he continued to press his attacks and was able to suppress much of the Viet Cong fire. With his ammunition expended, Lieutenant Walker was preparing to leave the scene of action to rearm when he was informed of the need of an immediate medical evacuation of a critically-wounded crewman aboard a severely-damaged lighter. Realizing that no medical-evacuation aircraft could approach the crippled ship due to the heavy fire, Lieutenant Walker courageously volunteered to attempt the evacuation, in the face of the withering hail of bullets, and with full knowledge that the ship had no landing capabilities for his aircraft. He hovered his aircraft over the bow of the moving ship and successfully completed the evacuation of the injured man under the most hazardous conditions. He then flew the casualty to awaiting medical attention at Vinh Long Airfield and quickly rearmed, returning to the scene of contact to press his attacks on the enemy positions. Forced to rearm once again at Vinh Long, Lieutenant Walker again returned to the ambush scene and succeeded in breaking the fiercely-resisting insurgents and suppressing all their fire. Through his tenacious and courageous attacks, he turned a well-planned enemy ambush on United States naval forces into a disastrous enemy rout. Lieutenant Walker's composure under fire, outstanding professionalism, and valorous dedication were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

WESELESKEY, ALLEN ELLIS
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Allen Ellis Weseleskey (614343), Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 9 March 1968 while serving as an Attack Helicopter Fire Team Leader with Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron THREE (HAL(L)-3) in the Mekong Delta region of the Republic of Vietnam. While attempting to rescue two United States Army advisors who had been critically wounded when their Vietnamese battalions engaged communist insurgent (Viet Cong) forces, Lieutenant Commander Weseleskey and his helicopter fire team were caught in an intense cross fire during the attempt to land. Signaled to abort and clear the area, by ground troops, the fire team departed the zone, machine guns blazing. When his wingman's aircraft commander and gunner were wounded, Lieutenant Commander Weseleskey ordered them to return to base while he remained on station to complete the mission alone. Witnessing a Vietnamese aircraft receive several hits which forced it to depart station, Lieutenant Commander Weseleskey renewed his determination to complete a successful rescue of the Americans. Joined by an Army AH-1G gunship to cover his attempt, he led his crew into the combat zone, again receiving intense enemy automatic-weapons and .50 caliber fire. He landed his helicopter on target, in an extremely confined zone, and brought aboard the two critically wounded U.S. Army advisors and a seriously wounded Vietnamese soldier. Lifting his heavily laden helicopter out of the zone, Lieutenant Commander Weseleskey maintained absolute control of his aircraft despite adverse flying conditions. By his professional leadership and courageous fighting spirit, he served to inspire his crew to perform to their utmost capability, thus ensuring the success of the mission. His heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

WESTIN, BRIAN EDWARD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Brian Edward Westin (666503), Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 27 April 1966 while serving as a Bombardier/Navigator in Attack Squadron EIGHTY-FIVE (VA-85) during a combat mission over North Vietnam. When his pilot was seriously wounded and partially incapacitated during a daylight bombing run, Lieutenant (j.g.) Westin, by calmly coaxing and physically assisting him in the control of the aircraft, succeeded in reaching the open sea where he made sure that the semiconscious pilot ejected safely before he, himself, exited the plane. The first to be picked up by rescue helicopter, Lieutenant (j.g.) Westin directed the crew to the estimated position of his pilot. When the latter was unable to enter the rescue sling because of his injuries, Lieutenant (j.g.) Westin re-entered the water to assist him despite the fact that a shark was spotted near the bleeding victim. Following the rescue of the pilot, and before his own retrieval, the hoisting device aboard the helicopter malfunctioned. Realizing the urgency of immediate medical attention for the now unconscious pilot, Lieutenant (j.g.) Westin waved the helicopter off and remained in the shark-infested water until the arrival of a second rescue helicopter five minutes later. Through his quick thinking, cool courage, and selflessness in the face of grave personal risk, he was directly responsible for saving the life of his pilot. His heroic efforts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

WESTPHAL, WARREN R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Warren R. Westphal, Boatswain's Mate First Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 24 November 1968 while serving with River Division 572, River Patrol Flotilla FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), during combat operations against enemy aggressor forces on the Mekong River in the Republic of Vietnam. As Patrol Officer for River Patrol Boats (PBRs) 138 and 55, Petty Officer Westphal was conducting a routine mission on a narrow branch of the Mekong River when his patrol encountered a communist battalion crossing southward. The enemy force took the two PBRs under increasingly intense fire from at least twenty positions. Realizing that they were caught in the kill zone of a hostile force vastly larger than their own, the patrol boat crewmen accelerated to full speed and headed for the open river. Suddenly a rocket detonated directly in front of the lead boat, PBR 138, in which Petty Officer Westphal was embarked, seriously wounding the forward machine gunner. Believing that PBR 55 was in more serious trouble, Petty Officer Westphal gave the order to turn toward it and then personally manned the forward gun battery in PBR 138 until his craft received three additional hits which wounded the entire crew, including himself, flooded the boat, and rendered its weapons useless. After transferring two seriously-injured crew members to PBR 55, and ordering the cover boat to proceed out of the canal, he beached his own craft on the far bank and personally provided medical assistance for another injured man. Petty Officer Westphal's crew received no additional enemy opposition, and he was then able to request a medical evacuation helicopter and vector outside assistance to engage the retreating enemy. By his exemplary courage and outstanding professional ability, he prevented a large enemy force from crossing the river, and was directly responsible for saving the lives of eleven of his comrades. Petty Officer Westphal's heroic actions in the face of almost overwhelming enemy opposition were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

WIANT, JEFFRIE EDWIN, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Jeffrie Edwin Wiant, Jr. (720231), Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 30 August 1968 as pilot of a search and rescue helicopter, serving with Detachment 110, Helicopter Combat Support Squadron SEVEN (HC-7), embarked in U.S.S. Sterett (DLG-31). Lieutenant (j.g.) Wiant launched from Sterett to attempt recovery of a Navy attack pilot downed near Vinh, North Vietnam, in an area requiring a circuitous flight of approximately fifty miles over enemy territory. Despite heavy antiaircraft fire, combined with small-arms fire en route to and in the rescue area, he skillfully and expeditiously maneuvered his aircraft over the downed pilot and commenced a pickup. Although his aircraft was hit several times while in hover, he steadfastly remained in position until the airman was hoisted aboard. Lieutenant (j.g.) Wiant's courage and calm professionalism while piloting his helicopter through a veritable hail of antiaircraft fire were key factors in the successful accomplishment of his mission. His superb aerial skill, valor, and devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

*WILHELM, MACK HOUSTON
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Mack Houston Wilhelm (B713921), Hospitalman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 19 February 1969 as a Corpsman serving with Company D, First Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. When his company came under a heavy volume of fire from an enemy force occupying a well-concealed bunker complex at the crest of a hill in the northern section of the I Corps Tactical Zone, Petty Officer Wilhelm observed a seriously wounded Marine lying dangerously exposed to the intense hostile fire, and quickly raced across the fire-swept terrain to the side of the casualty. Although Petty Officer Wilhelm was painfully wounded in the shoulder, he skillfully administered emergency first aid to his companion, picked him up and, shielding him with his own body, commenced to carry him to a sheltered position. Once again wounded, this time in the leg, Petty Officer Wilhelm nonetheless managed to evacuate his patient to a relatively safe location. He then returned through the hail of fire to the side of another critically wounded Marine and was in the process of examining the casualty when he, himself, was mortally wounded by a burst of enemy rifle fire. By his daring initiative, outstanding courage, and selfless dedication, Petty Officer Wilhelm was directly instrumental in saving the life of a fellow serviceman. His heroic and determined efforts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Rockport, Texas

*WILLEFORD, FRANKLIN PATRIC
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Franklin Patric Willeford (3537852), Hospitalman, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 14 December 1968 while serving as a Platoon Corpsman in Company C, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam. As Hospitalman Willeford's platoon was participating in a company-sized sweep through an area, the lead element came under intensive automatic-weapons fire which wounded and trapped one Marine in very close proximity to one of the enemy bunkers. Seeing his comrade fall and subsequently receive another hit from a grenade, Hospitalman Willeford unhesitatingly left his position of relative security and moved forward to the side of the mortally-wounded Marine. Hidden from the enemy positions by the tall grass in the area, he found the Marine bleeding severely and in no condition to be moved. Hospitalman Willeford raised himself up and into the grazing zone of hostile fire in order to administer a heart massage and mouth- to-mouth resuscitation, continuing his desperate attempts to save the Marine until all hope of life had expired. Only then did he begin the slow return through the fire-swept zone to the trench line, bringing with him the body of his comrade. As his platoon again started through the area, the enemy opened up with intensive small-arms and automatic-weapons fire, wounding and trapping the three lead Marines. When two Marines started to move out of the trench line to retrieve the casualties, one was mortally wounded and the other critically wounded. Disregarding the intense danger, Hospitalman Willeford again moved forward to aid his fellowman. Finding the first Marine mortally wounded, and realizing the impossibility of trying to move him back to a secure area, Hospitalman Willeford stayed with the Marine, rendering what aid and comfort he could, until the Marine succumbed to his injuries. After he had informed the remainder of the platoon that the Marine had died, he proceeded deeper into the fire zone toward the second Marine, and drew fire from an enemy bunker a short distance from the wounded man. With full knowledge that the enemy was now concentrating their fire upon him, Hospitalman Willeford forged his way through the tall grass to the wounded Marines' side and began administering aid. While treating the fallen Marine, Hospitalman Willeford was also struck and mortally wounded. His courageous actions were an inspiration to all who observed him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Lawton, Oklahoma

WILLIAMS, JAMES ELLIOTT
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James Elliott Williams (9908934), Boatswain's Mate First Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 15 January 1967 while serving with River Section 531, River Squadron FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), and friendly foreign forces during combat operations against communist insurgent (Viet Cong) forces on the Mekong River in the Republic of Vietnam. As Patrol Officer of a combat River Patrol Boat (PBR) patrol, Petty Officer Williams interdicted a major enemy supply movement across the Nam Thon branch of the Mekong River. He directed his units to the suspected crossing area, and was immediately taken under intense hostile fire from fortified positions and from along the river banks. After coordinating Vietnamese artillery support and U. S. Air Force air strikes, Petty Officer Williams courageously led his three PBR's back into the hazardous river to investigate and destroy the enemy sampans and supplies. Blistering fire was again unleashed upon his forces. Frequently exposing himself to enemy fire, he directed his units in silencing several automatic-weapons positions, and directed one PBR to investigate several sampans which could be seen, while the other PBR's provided cover fire. Almost immediately, the enemy renewed their fire in an effort to force the PBR's away from the sampans. Petty Officer Williams ordered the destruction of the sampan and the extraction of all his units. During the fierce firefight following the temporary immobilization of one of the units, Petty Officer Williams was wounded. Despite his painful injuries, he was able to lead his patrol back through the heavy enemy fire. His patrol had successfully interdicted a crossing attempt of three heavy-weapons companies totaling nearly four hundred men, had accounted for sixteen enemy killed in action, twenty wounded, the destruction of nine enemy sampans and junks, seven enemy structures, and 2400 pounds of enemy rice. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, his unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and his utmost devotion to duty, Petty Officer Williams upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: November 13, 1930 at Rock Hill, South Carolina
Home Town: Columbia, South Carolina
Other Award: Medal of Honor (Vietnam)

WILLIAMS, LLOYD T., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lloyd T. Williams, Jr., Aircraftman First Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 28 April 1969 while serving as a Crew Chief and Door Gunner with Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron THREE (HAL(L)-3), Detachment THREE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), during a strike mission against enemy sampans in the Republic of Vietnam. When the wing-aircraft was struck by ground fire and crashed, and his own aircraft was also struck and forced to land, Petty Officer Williams calmly directed the preparations for the forced landing while continuing to return the enemy fire. After his aircraft had landed and the crew had abandoned it, he advanced toward the enemy under heavy fire and established a defensive position on the path leading to the enemy positions. Observing a crew member from the crashed wing-aircraft moving in the midst of the wreckage, Petty Officer Williams exposed himself to the blistering fire and ran across an open field to rescue the casualty. After carrying the severely injured man back across the open field to an area near the defensive perimeter, Petty Officer Williams returned to the wreckage in an attempt to find others from its crew. Obliged to suppress enemy fire in order to conduct his search, he persisted in his rescue attempts, despite the heat from the fire and the dangers of the exploding ammunition, until his ammunition was exhausted. Petty Officer Williams then ran to the defensive perimeter to report that the enemy had started using mortars, and proceeded to assist a casualty aboard a rescue helicopter before boarding the craft himself to render first aid to the other wounded. Petty Officer Williams' determined efforts, his indomitable courage under fire, and his inspiring devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

WORK, WARREN A., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Warren A. Work, Jr. (9158408), Hospitalman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 8 April 1967 while serving as a Corpsman with Company F, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam. While on a security patrol in Quang Nam Province, Petty Officer Work's reinforced squad came under intense small-arms fire and grenade attack from a numerically superior enemy force. With his squad pinned down, and the machine gunner hit during the initial burst of fire, Petty Officer Work rushed across an exposed area to render medical assistance to the fallen Marine. As he was approaching, he observed two enemy soldiers firing their weapons as they maneuvered toward the wounded machine gunner. Aware of the extreme danger to his patient, Petty Officer Work directed fire at the enemy soldiers and killed them before treating and comforting the wounded man. After encouraging and aiding the mounting number of casualties, he found that one of the injured was too seriously wounded to move. Petty Officer Work administered first aid to the Marine and hid him in the dense underbrush to await later evacuation. While the enemy was regrouping for another attack, Petty Officer Work, single-handedly assisted his seriously wounded patrol leader to the security of the platoon's perimeter, solacing him and caring for his wounds. By his steadfast determination and deep compassion for his comrades, Petty Officer Work was instrumental in saving several Marine lives. His extraordinary courage, bold initiative, and inspiring devotion to duty in the face of enemy fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Home Town: Tulsa, Oklahoma

YOUNG, WILLIAM DAVID
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William David Young (735141), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on the night of 6 August and early morning of 7 August 1972 while serving with Helicopter Combat Support Squadron SEVEN (HC-7), Detachment 110, embarked in U.S.S. SARATOGA (CVA-60). As Copilot of a combat rescue helicopter during nearly five hours of a coordinated search and rescue effort for a United States Navy pilot downed in North Vietnam, Lieutenant Young, in the face of intense enemy fire, rendered valuable assistance in carrying out a low-level flight with the helicopter's landing lights turned on in order to facilitate the search. Although his aircraft was repeatedly hit by enemy ground fire, he continued the search until the downed airman was visually located and picked up. Lieutenant Young then flew back to the safety of SARATOGA at treetop level with his crippled aircraft. By his skilled airmanship, courage, and devotion to duty, he contributed materially to the success of an extremely hazardous rescue mission and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

ZACHARIAS, JERROLD MATTHEW
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Jerrold Matthew Zacharias (555252), Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 24 February 1968 as a pilot in Attack Squadron SEVENTY-FIVE (VA- 75), embarked in U.S.S. Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), and launched from U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CVA(N)-65) in a joint attack with Attack Squadron THIRTY FIVE (VA-35). Commander Zacharias participated in a coordinated, night, low-level strike against the heavily defended port facilities within the city of Hanoi, North Vietnam. Soon after launching, he developed serious systems difficulties in his aircraft. Through the professionalism and determination of Commander Zacharias and his bombardier/navigator, this discrepancy was overcome and they rejoined the flight to continue the attack. En route to, and in the target area, extremely heavy and accurate antiaircraft fire was encountered and the aircraft received a hit in the left wing. Notwithstanding this battle damage, Commander Zacharias aggressively piloted his aircraft to the target through multiple surface-to-air missile attacks which he successfully evaded through extremely low-altitude maneuvering. He then delivered his ordnance directly on the target area. During egress from the target area, he again came under an intense attack from surface-to-air missiles and was forced to maneuver violently at very low altitude. One missile was seen to explode aft and below his aircraft, buffeting it violently. By his daring action, exceptional skill, and loyal devotion to duty in the face of intense enemy opposition, Commander Zacharias upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

ZINSER, HARRY JACK
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Harry Jack Zinser (752383), Lieutenant, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in action on the night of 6 August and early morning of 7 August 1972 while serving with Helicopter Combat Support Squadron SEVEN (HC-7), Detachment 110, embarked in U.S.S. SARATOGA (CVA-60). As Pilot in command of a combat rescue helicopter during nearly five hours of a coordinated search and rescue effort for a United States Navy pilot downed in North Vietnam, Lieutenant Zinser, in the face of intense enemy fire, commenced a low-level flight and turned on his landing lights in order to facilitate the search. Although his aircraft was repeatedly hit by enemy ground fire, he continued the search until the downed pilot was visually located. Lieutenant Zinser then carried out a skillful landing, picked up the downed airman and succeeded in flying his crippled aircraft at treetop level back to the safety of SARATOGA. By his outstanding aeronautical skill, courageous leadership, and inspiring dedication, Lieutenant Zinser 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

 

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