Citations for Valor 

USNA Class of 1963




With the passage of  over 40 years since we first came together on that hot July day in Annapolis, we have cause to reflect on the contributions the Class of 1963 has made through our active duty and reserve service.  The war in Vietnam defined our early and mid-career experience:  most of us served in-country or offshore.  Thirteen of us died there.  Others were wounded in action.

The extraordinary heroism of three of our classmates - William Fitzgerald, David Robinson, and Willis Wilson  - was recognized by the award of the Navy Cross.  The citations that accompanied these awards are well worth reflection.

The Army Distinguished Service Cross holds the same order of precedence as the Navy Cross.  One of our classmates, Frank Wroblewski, served in Vietnam as an Army Officer and was awarded the DSC for his actions.

Several of our classmates were awarded Silver Stars.  Steve Toth received his posthumously, after the attack by the Israelis on the USS Liberty in 1967.  The entire list of our classmates awarded Silver Stars:
 

John Cecil Bender Daniel Andrew Hitzelberger
Robert Atticks Black, Jr. Wilson Denver Key
Ronald Joel Calhoun Anthony John Nargi
George Candelori Coral Vance Schufeldt
Michael Paul Cronin Peter Wolcott Soverel
James Hutchings Cunningham  (non- grad) Stephen Spencer Toth
James Edward Gill Frederick Eugene Trani
Joel Marvin Warshaw

One of the toughest duties for any officer is to undergo imprisonment by the enemy.  Two of us endured years of confinement as prisoners of war:  Mike Cronin and Denver Key. Personal recollections are linked.

A posthumous award of the Distinguished Flying Cross was made to Kelly Patterson and Carl Doughtie.



Awards of the Navy Cross



William Charles Fitzgerald
Lieutenant, USN

CITATION:  award of the Navy Cross

     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.

Navy Cross       When Coastal Group SIXTEEN was taken under a coordinated attack by numerically superior Viet Cong forces, Lieutenant Fitzgerald 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.


Additional Decorations
Purple Heart
Purple Heart



David Brooks Robinson
Lieutenant Commander, USN

CITATION:  award of the Navy Cross

      For extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer of the patrol gunboat USS CANON (PG-90), during operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 11 August 1970.

Navy Cross       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 traditions of the United States Naval Service.


Additional Decorations
Bronze Star Purple Heart
Bronze Star Purple Heart



Willis Charles Wilson
First Lieutenant, USMC

CITATION:  award of the Navy Cross

      For extraordinary heroism as a Platoon Commander with Company B, First Battalion, Third Marines, in connection with operations against communist forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 2 April 1966.

Navy Cross       During Operation Orange, Lieutenant Wilson's platoon became heavily engaged with the enemy near the hamlet of Lap Thuan.  Intense enemy mortar fire, close-range small-arms fire, and barbed wire obstacles covered by automatic weapons prevented the forward movement of the platoon.  Although painfully wounded during the initial mortar barrage, Lieutenant Wilson courageously moved up and down his platoon's positions, directing his men and judiciously ordering the deployed squads to bypass the barbed wire in an attempt to eliminate the Viet Cong threat.  When his platoon sergeant was wounded and became entangled in the barbed wire, Lieutenant Wilson, with complete disregard for his own safety, started across seventy-five meters of open terrain in an attempt to retrieve the mortally wounded man, who was still being hit by small-arms fire.  Before he could reach the sergeant's position, Lieutenant Wilson was caught in the hail of small-arms fire and seriously wounded in the shoulder.  Although thwarted in the rescue effort, he competently resumed direction of the platoon and established a strong base of fire to provide cover for a deployed squad.  When a radio operator was wounded in a sudden flurry of Viet Cong fire, Lieutenant Wilson again braved the withering fire to assist the man.  For the third time, he was hit, sustaining a serious wound in the chest from small-arms fire.  With extraordinary dedication and presence of mind, he continued to maintain direction of his platoon.  Increasing the rate of fire from his base squads, he launched an attack by the enveloping squad which finally silenced the Viet Cong fire.  By his exceptional valor despite his suffering from multiple wounds, daring initiative and unswerving dedication to duty throughout, Lieutenant Wilson upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. 


Additional Decorations
Purple Heart
Purple Heart



Award of the Army Distinguished Service Cross



Frank Matthew Wroblewski

CITATION:  award of the Distinguished Service Cross

      For extraordinary heroism during operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 28 September 1967.

Army Dsitinguished Service Cross       For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Captain Wroblewski distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 28 September 1967 while serving as commander of an infantry company on a combat mission in Hau Nghia Province near the Cambodian border. During the first few minutes of a heliborne assault on a Viet Cong bivouac area, his unit was savagely attacked and pinned down on the landing zone by withering enemy automatic weapons and small arms fire. The insurgents completely surrounded the landing zone. Captain Wroblewski dauntlessly led his command group through a curtain of fire to a relatively protected position. He then discovered two of his platoons had lost radio contact with the command group and immediately moved to locate and lead them to join his other elements. He moved across two hundred meters of open ground, ignoring bullets striking all around him, to reach the first platoon. while he called air strikes to within fifty meters of their positions, the men began their movement toward the established defensive perimeter. Again moving across the battlefield alone, he reached the second platoon which was hopelessly trapped by extremely intense fire. The relentless barrage prevented movement without losses, so Captain Wroblewski moved into the open to direct artillery strikes within one hundred meters of his position. As the platoon withdrew, he remained behind to personally cover their movement. For four hours he continually moved among his men, inspiring them to fight furiously until reinforcements arrived and the combined forces routed the Viet Cong. Captain Wroblewski's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.


Additional Decorations
Bronze Star Purple Heart
Bronze Star Purple Heart



Awards of the Silver Star



Stephen Spencer Toth
Lieutenant, USN
USS LIBERTY (AGTR-5)
Silver Star

CITATION:   posthumous award of the Silver Star

      As intelligence officer, LT Toth was on the starboard wing of the flying bridge, 04 level, when the strafing attack occurred.  It became a vital matter to quickly establish the national identity of the aircraft that had initiated the vicious attack in order to inform higher authority.  With complete disregard for his own personal safety he fearlessly exposed himself to overwhelmingly accurate rocket and machine gun fire to obtain this data.  While engaged in this task a violent explosion on the starboard side of the bridge inflicted fatal injuries.


Additional Decorations
Purple Heart
Purple Heart



Michael Paul Cronin
Lieutenant Commander, USN

Silver Star
CITATION:  award of the Silver Star (with Gold Star)

      For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. On 1 June 1967, his captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention.  By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.


Legion of Merit
CITATION:  award of the Legion of Merit (with Combat Distinguishing Device)

      For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from January 1967 to March 1973.  By his diligent efforts, exceptional leadership, devotion and loyalty to the United States, and under the most adverse of conditions, he resisted all attempts by the North Vietnamese to use him in causes detrimental to the United States.  While in daily contact with the North Vietnamese guards and officers, he performed duties in staff positions, maintaining good order and discipline among the prisoners.  Under constant harassment from their captors, and due to the frustrations of the prisoners during their long internment, many difficult situations arose, requiring perseverance, endurance and ingenuity.  Using his extraordinary courage, resourcefulness, and sound judgment, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.

The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.


Distinguished Flying Cross
CITATION:  award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

      For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight on 2 January 1967 while serving as a jet attack pilot in Attack Squadron TWENTY-THREE, embarked in USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43) during a mission in support of a strike into the Red River Delta, North Vietnam. When his aircraft was severely damaged by a surface-to-air missile during a strike against an enemy missile site, Lieutenant Commander (then Lieutenant, Junior Grade) Cronin regained control of his aircraft which had lost all hydraulic power and elevator control, by using horizontal stabilizer trim and manually controlling the rudder and aileron.  Despite low ceillings and reduced visibilities which necessitated an instrument approach, Lieutenant Commander Cronin flew the stricken aircraft through the adverse weather to a safefield arrested landing, thus saving a valuable operational aircraft. His superb airmanship, courage and professionalism were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


Additional Decorations
Prisoner of War Medal
Prisoner of War Medal



Wilson Denver Key
Silver Star
CITATION:  award of the Silver Star
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. On 22 November 1967, his captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces."


CITATION: award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

      The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Commander [then Lieutenant] Wilson Denver Key (NSN: 0-669207/1310), United States Navy, for heroism while participating in aerial flight on 17 November 1967 as a Pilot in Attack Squadron THIRTY-FOUR (VA-34), embarked in U.S.S. INTREPID (CVS-11).

Distinguished Flying Cross       While serving in a surface-to-air missile suppression element as part of a multi-air-wing strike against a boat yard and transshipment point two miles southeast of Hanoi, North Vietnam, Lieutenant Commander Key skillfully evaded hostile anti-aircraft fire and missile attacks to launch an attack at point-blank range against a surface-to-air missile site as two missiles lifted off their launchers. His bombs engulfed the site and caused the lifting missiles to go off course. During his recovery, two missiles from another site were tracking his section. Despite hard evasive maneuvering, Lieutenant Commander Key's aircraft received a direct hit, causing it to burst into flames. As the fire continued to rage, he ejected into enemy territory and was captured. By his accurate weapons deliver, courage, and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Lieutenant Commander Key contributed significantly to the success of the mission, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: November 17, 1967
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Attack Squadron 34 (VA-34)
Division: U.S.S. Intrepid (CVS-11)


CITATION: award of the Legion of Merit (three awards)

      The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" to Lieutenant Commander Wilson Denver Key (NSN: 0-669207/1310), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from June 1968 to January 1973.

Legion of Merit       During this period, although under constant surveillance from his captors, he performed duties involving highly classified material in an exemplary and professional manner. Through his zealousness and ingenuity, he generated new ideas and improvised techniques greatly enhancing covert operations. Although in a hostile environment, he never wavered in his devotion and loyalty to the United States and his fellow prisoners. By his inspiring courage, exceptional skill, and resourcefulness, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces. (Lieutenant Commander Key is authorized to wear the Combat "V".)


Additional Decorations
Prisoner of War Medal
Prisoner of War Medal



John Cecil Bender

Silver Star

CITATION:  award of the Silver Star
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while attached to and serving with Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron TWO as pilot in command of an armored helicopter, flying a search and rescue mission against enemy forces over North Vietnam on 18 July 1967. From a position off the coast of North Vietnam, Lieutenant BENDER was notified that two Navy pilots were downed four miles west of the heavily defended Phu Ly road, river and rail intersection. Fully aware that another helicopter had sustained heavy battle damage the previous day during the rescue of another downed pilot in the same area and realizing that this area would be the focal point of increased enemy opposition, Lieutenant BENDER courageously elected to attempt the rescue. During the 105 mile over- land flight, carefully navigated by Lieutenant Bender, MIG aircraft closed to within 10 miles of the helicopter prior to interception by friendly aircraft. Arriving in the SAR area they descended to a low altitude in order to prosecute the search effectively. Thereupon intense ground fire from three sides laced the area with tracers at such close range that the sound of automatic weapons and small arms firing was audible above the engine and rotor noise. Without regard to his personal safety, Lieutenant BENDER continually exposed himself outside the cockpit window to search for the survivor in the dense jungle growth and rugged karst cliffs and To assist the gunners by effectively directing sub-machine gun fire against the enemy troops. After 12 minutes in the difficult hover under intense gun fire the first crewman was mortally wounded by a bullet which pierced Lieutenant BENDER's window. Knowing that an Air Force rescue helo was standing by, Lieutenant BENDER made the decision to withdraw and seek medical aid for his dying crewman. The rescue was successfully effected, aided in great measure by Lieutenant BENDER's persistence in locating the survivor, and tenacity in remaining in the area, suppressing enemy fire. Lieutenant BENDER's superb courage while in command of the helicopter under fire, his gallantry in pressing the rescue effort, and extraordinary devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."



Peter Wolcott Soverel

Silver Star

CITATION:  award of the Silver Star
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action on 16 August 1968. Lieutenant SOVEREL commanded a column of River Assault Squadron NINE boats conducting operations in support of U.S. Army elements along the Ben Tre River in Kien Hoa Province. Late in the day, after heavy enemy contact was broken, Lieutenant SOVEREL coordinated the landing of a portion of the embarked troops and ordered approximately two-thirds of his boats to establish a defensive position at the beach. He and the remainder of his craft and the embarked infantry were proceeding downstream to another landing zone when a large Viet Cong unit opened fire from ambush position. One of the minesweepers received a direct hit from a recoilless rifle round and careened out of control toward the enemy bunkers. Lieutenant SOVEREL realizing the danger, initiated a devastating barrage of return fire on the enemy positions and ordered the other lead boats to cease minesweeping and take the damaged craft in tow. Lieutenant SOVEREL's accurate fire control succeeded in disrupting the enemy fire thus enabling him to turn the formation into the beach and land the infantry to assault the enemy. Lieutenant SOVEREL noticed that the two lead boats had not turned with the formation and realized they had not heard his command. When further efforts to communicate by radio failed, he instructed the monitor on which he was embarked to overtake the damaged craft and its tow. The intensity of enemy fire increased as the three boats passed deeper into Viet Cong territory, thus requiring Lieutenant SOVEREL to direct the monitor's gunners to engage several enemy positions simultaneously. After several minutes of pursuit, Lieutenant SOVEREL climbed on top a gun mount exposing himself fearlessly to continuing enemy fire to effect visual signals to turn the boats around. He maintained this position until finally gaining contact and reversing their course. On the return transit, he interposed his monitor between the two vulnerable craft and the enemy fire and covered their return. His outstanding professionalism, sense of responsibility and courage under fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."


Additional Decorations
Bronze Star
Bronze Star



Robert Atticks Black, Jr.

Silver Star

CITATION:  award of the Silver Star
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as the Commanding Officer of Company B, First Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Viet Nam. On 6 July 1968, Company B was occupying a defensive position on Hill 881 South in Quang Tri Province when the Marines suddenly came under an intense North Vietnamese mortar attack. Disregarding his own safety, Captain BLACK fearlessly maneuvered about the fire-swept terrain while directing the recovery of friendly casualties. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, he ably supervised the movement of his company to Hill 689, unhesitatingly exposing himself to hostile fire while ensuring that his men were expeditiously embarked aboard the extraction helicopters. Arriving at the designated area, he skillfully established his company in a defensive perimeter and directed his men to positions from which they could effectively support elements of the battalion operating in the area. When the battalion was attacked on the night of 7 July by a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force, he immediately deployed a reinforcing platoon, enabling the Marines to successfully repulse the enemy. Despite a critical shortage of personnel and the imminent danger of hostile attack, Captain BLACK steadfastly refused to withdraw from his vital position. Subsequently, after numerous enemy probes, his company was assaulted by a numerically superior hostile force employing mortars and recoilless rifles. Ignoring the intense fire, he courageously moved about the hazardous area, encouraging his men and directing their fire upon the advancing hostile soldiers. Continuing his determined efforts, he skillfully adjusted extremely close artillery and 81mm mortar fire and aggressively controlled his company until the enemy was forced to flee in panic and confusion. His bold initiative and resolute determination were a source of great inspiration to his men and enabled his company to account for numerous enemy killed. By his courage, agressive leadership and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Captain BLACK contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his unit's mission and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."


Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star
CITATION:  award of the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star

"An excellent officer, rich in the experiences of the battlefield and in commanding, always protecting the freedom of the Republic of Viet Nam.

During the communist attack into Hue City on the Lunar New Year, Captain BLACK performed his demanding dutiesin an exemplary and highly professional manner. He did well to engage violently with the enemy, routing them out of the city. As a result of his diligence and seemingly unlimited resourcefulness, he gained the respect of all who observed him and through his outstanding leadership, professionalism and loyal devotion to duty, he contributed remarkable merit to the glorious victory obtained."



Ronald Joel Calhoun

Silver Star

CITATION:  award of the Silver Star
    "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Patrol Officer of River Patrol Boats 71 and 76, in the Upper Dong Tranh River, Rung Sat Special Zone, Republic of Vietnam, on 22 September 1967.

Lieutenant CALHOUN was proceeding into a hostile area for the purpose of inserting a U. S. Navy SEAL Team in a night ambush position of the north bank of the Upper Dong Tranh River.  Without warning, PBRs 71 and 76 were attacked by enemy automatic weapons, small arms and B-40 rockets.  Lieutenant CALHOUN immediately responded to the surprise Viet Cong attack by closing the initial ambush position and directing a heavy volume of .50 caliber machine gun fire thereby protecting the withdrawal of the cover boat from the area.  Lieutenant CALHOUN then radioed the Tactical Operations Center and requested the assistance of a Helo Fire Team.  Although under fire from enemy positions on three sides, Lieutenant CALHOUN effectively directed his boats in suppressing the enemy fire and assisted the Helo Fire Team by directing them to the heaviest concentration of Viet Cong.  After having cleared the area, Lieutenant CALHOUN was informed that one of the SEAL Team members had fallen overboard.  He immediately returned deep into the kill zone and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, exposed himself to enemy fire and directed the recovery of the man in the water.  Lieutenant CALHOUN's exemplary leadership, courage under fire and devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."



George Candelori

Silver Star

CITATION:  award of the Silver Star
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain George Candelori (AFSN: FR-70821), United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as a Helicopter Pilot near Duc Yap, Republic of Vietnam, on 12 February 1968. On that date, while flying a helicopter gunship, Captain Candelori aided in the rescue of a six-man long range reconnaissance team that was on the verge of being surrounded and overrun by a hostile force of company size. Captain Candelori made numerous low level firing passes at this hostile position to give the team protection and time to move to a suitable landing zone for rescue. Despite intense automatic weapons fire that damaged his aircraft and wounded one of his gunners, Captain Candelori continued to make low level firing passes to keep the unfriendly forces occupied while an unarmed helicopter made a successful rescue of the team. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Captain Candelori has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Headquarters, 7th Air Force, Special Order G-2518 (August 15, 1968)
Action Date: February 12, 1968
Service: Air Force
Rank: Captain


CITATION: award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

      The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain George Candelori (AFSN: FR-70821), United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as a Helicopter Pilot near Duc Yap, Republic of Vietnam, on 12 February 1968.

Distinguished Flying Cross       On that date, while flying a helicopter gunship, Captain Candelori aided in the rescue of a six-man long range reconnaissance team that was on the verge of being surrounded and overrun by a hostile force of company size. Captain Candelori made numerous low level firing passes at this hostile position to give the team protection and time to move to a suitable landing zone for rescue. Despite intense automatic weapons fire that damaged his aircraft and wounded one of his gunners, Captain Candelori continued to make low level firing passes to keep the unfriendly forces occupied while an unarmed helicopter made a successful rescue of the team. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Captain Candelori has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Headquarters, 7th Air Force, Special Order G-2518 (August 15, 1968)
Action Date: February 12, 1968
Service: Air Force
Rank: Captain



James Edward Gill

Silver Star

CITATION:  award of the Silver Star
(Citation Needed)




Daniel Andrew Hitzelberger

Silver Star

CITATION:  award of the Silver Star
Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain Daniel Andrew Hitzelberger (MCSN: 0-87413), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of Company G, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 22 January 1969, Captain Hitzelberger's company was helicopter lifted to an area in Quang Tri Province with a mission to reconnoiter enemy controlled territory as phase one of Operation DEWEY CANYON. The landing was completed, he rapidly organized his men and immediately commenced an assault along an eight kilometer ridgeline. Encountering numerous hostile reconnaissance patrols during the next several days, he effectively deployed his men and quickly overpowered these units, seizing numerous documents of significant intelligence value in addition to accounting for three North Vietnamese Army soldiers confirmed killed. Directed to occupy commanding terrain farther to the south in preparation for the arrival of additional units, he rapidly reorganized his company and, on the afternoon of 31 January 1969, commenced the most difficult phase of his mission. Quickly overrunning a hostile outpost line, he killed three enemy soldiers and maneuvered his men in the direction of the Da Krong River, crossing it that night and deploying uphill. Continuing the mission early the next morning, Captain Hitzelberger met and defeated sporadic North Vietnamese opposition and, despite heavy rains and thick fog, proceeded to ably lead his men up the increasingly steep mountain. Resolutely determined to attain his objective despite sheer rock cliffs which halted the company's progress, he dispatched patrols to locate alternate routes of advance. Slowly climbing up two thousand exhausting meters of muddy terrain in rapidly deteriorating weather which made re-supply completely impossible, his men met and successfully overcame isolated pockets of hostile resistance, unearthing additional valuable intelligence information. On the fourth morning of the mission, with visibility at twenty meters or less, the company encountered two additional North Vietnamese patrols and, in the ensuing fire fight, killed four enemy soldiers. After attaining the summit, repeated attempts to re-supply the company were thwarted by the adverse weather conditions, and Captain Hitzelberger was directed to return to the valley floor near the Da Krong River. Coming under a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire from a well-concealed hostile force, he found his ability to maneuver severely restricted by the terrain. Undaunted, he fearlessly led an aggressive assault on the hostile position which inflicted numerous casualties on the North Vietnamese unit. The remainder of the descending route was marked by almost impassable terrain which frequently necessitated utilizing ropes to transport casualties down the cliffs. On the evening of 6 February, the company arrived at an area of improved visibility and was reinforced in addition to receiving their first supply of rations and ammunition. Two nights later, under the superb leadership of Captain Hitzelberger, the battle weary but still aggressive company arrived at its final destination. Captain Hitzelberger's foresight in ensuring that his men initially carried extra rations and ammunition, and that they were thoroughly trained in fire discipline, were significant factors in the accomplishment of his unit's mission. By his extraordinary courage, resolute leadership and unfaltering devotion to duty at great personal risk, Captain Hitzelberger upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: January 22 - February 8, 1969
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Captain
Company: Company G
Battalion: 2d Battalion
Regiment: 9th Marines
Division: 3d Marine Division (Rein.), FMF



Anthony John Nargi Silver Star
CITATION:  award of the Silver Star
     The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Anthony John Nargi (NSN: 0-669356/1310), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action as a Pilot of a jet aircraft while attached to Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED ELEVEN (VF-111), Detachment ELEVEN, embarked in U.S.S. INTREPID (CVS-11). On 19 September 1968, Lieutenant Nargi briefed and led a section of fighters on a combat air patrol mission over North Vietnam. Lieutenant Nargi's section and a section of fighters form U.S.S. HANCOCK (CVA-19), were vectored to engage two sections of MiGs. Lieutenant Nargi conducted a successful intercept, sighting a MiG just as it commenced an evasive vertical loop. Lieutenant Nargi skillfully led his section through offensive maneuvers which resulted in his section gaining a significant tactical advantage over the MiG. Aggressively pursuing the enemy through violent evasive maneuvers, Lieutenant Nargi improved his tactical advantage, and with calm deliberation, maneuvered into the optimum firing position. He then fired a missile scoring a direct hit that resulted in the destruction of the MiG and the subsequent ejection of the pilot. Lieutenant Nargi's extraordinary airmanship, exemplary courage and determination in aerial combat were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Action Date: September 19, 1968
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Fighter Squadron 111 (VF-111)
Division: U.S.S. Intrepid (CVS-11)


Distinguished Flying Cross

CITATION: award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

      Lieutenant Anthony John Nargi (NSN: 0-669356/1310), United States Navy, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while attached to and serving with Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED ELEVEN (VF-111), Detachment ELEVEN, embarked in U.S.S. INTREPID (CVS-11), in Southeast Asia.
Action Date: Vietnam War
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Fighter Squadron 111 (VF-111)
Division: U.S.S. Intrepid (CVS-11)




Distinguished Flying Cross

CITATION: award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

      The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Anthony John Nargi (NSN: 0-669356/1310), United States Navy, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while attached to and serving with Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED ELEVEN (VF-111), Detachment ELEVEN, embarked in U.S.S. INTREPID (CVS-11). On 1 August 1968, Lieutenant Nargi as flight leader of a two-plane section was vectored off MIGCAP station against a reported eight bandits. While completing his own intercept, Lieutenant Nargi alertly aided another section of fighters to the intercept by relaying all vectors from the controlling agency. Upon engaging a MiG, Lieutenant Nargi skillfully maneuvered his section to provide cover for the other section already engaged. During the course of the battle Lieutenant Nargi courageously closed to quarters with the enemy aircraft damaging it with his 20-mm. cannon. His timely transmissions coupled with his determined pursuit of an enemy aircraft contributed to its final destruction. Lieutenant Nargi's outstanding airmanship, courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Action Date: August 1, 1968
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Fighter Squadron 111 (VF-111)
Division: U.S.S. Intrepid (CVS-11)




Coral Vance Schufeldt

Silver Star

CITATION:  award of the Silver Star

For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight as an attack pilot, serving with Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE, embarked in USS ORISKANY (CVA 34), on 25 October 1967.

Lieutenant SCHUFELDT was a member of a 23-plane Air Wing strike, the third in a series of coordinated, tri-service strikes on the Phuc Yen Airfield located 11 miles north of Hanoi, North Vietnam. He was a wingman in a three-plane element tasked with delivering air-to-ground missiles against the hanger and control tower of this strategically significant target complex. As the strike group approached the target, the element, of which Lieuterant SCHUFELDT was a member, detached and proceeded ahead of the main stiike group. These aircraft were immediately taken under attack by four surface-to-air missiles and were forced to take violent evasive action. Lieutenant SCHUFELDT detached, as planned, and was immediately hit by an 85m flax burst. He rapidly assessed the damage to his aircraft then proceeded to his prebriefed launch position while maneuvering continuously to avoid the increasingly intense anti-aircraft artillery barrage. He circled north of the airfield and delivered his air-to-surface weapon against the control tower, his designated target, scoring a direct hit. Lieutenant SCHUFELDT then positioned himself over the field a second time and attacked the buildings adjacent to the tower, again inflicting heavy damage and rendering the nerve center of the airfield useless. He then recorded the damage inflicted by making several exposures with a hand-held camera. As he egressed from the target area, Lieutenant SCHUFELDT's outstanding aggressiveness and determination in the face of multiple surface-to-air missile firings, damage to his aircraft, and heavy, sustained anti-aircraft artillery barrages were extremely exemplary. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


CITATION: award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

      The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant, Junior Grade Coral Vance Schufeldt (NSN: 0-669508/1310), United States Navy, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as pilot of a jet aircraft attached to Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE, embarked in U.S.S. ORISKANY (CVA-34), during a strike against the Sac Le Petroleum, Oil and Lubricant Storage Area in North Vietnam on 29 September 1966.

Distinguished Flying Cross       . Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Schufeldt was a wingman in the two aircraft flak suppression element of a 13 aircraft strike group assigned to this target. Because of the extremely poor weather conditions en route to and at the target, the strike group was forced to attack in two waves. He proceeded to the target with the first wave and single-handedly attacked and silenced two separate flak sites. Compelled by the obvious threat to the second wave and without personal regard for his own safety, he remained in the target area to support the second wave. Upon their arrival, he tenaciously brought a threatening flak site under attack and was successful in its destruction. Upon retirement from the target area at low altitude he observed and subsequently attacked an automatic weapons site with his one remaining bomb. Again he succeeded in damaging this new threat. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Schufeldt single-handedly silenced three enemy flak sites and severely damaged an automatic weapons site by his judicious use of six VT fuzed bombs, thereby making a significant contribution to the success of the strike without damage to the strike group. His tenacious and heroic actions, professionalism and extraordinary accuracy in the delivery of his weapons were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. Action Date: September 29, 1966 Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
Company: Attack Squadron 163 (VA-163)
Division: U.S.S. Oriskany (CVA-34)


CITATION: award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

      The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Coral Vance Schufeldt (NSN: 0-669508/1310), United States Navy, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as pilot of a jet aircraft attached to Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE, embarked in U.S.S. ORISKANY (CVA-34), in Southeast Asia on 21 August 1967.

Distinguished Flying Cross       . Lieutenant Schufeldt was one of six strike aircraft during a 20 plane attack on the largest thermal power plant in North Vietnam which is located one mile from the center of Hanoi. Because of the target's location and strategic significance, Lieutenant Schufeldt spent many hours assessing the development of a strike plan to ensure success, in spite of the enemy's in depth air defenses. Prior to reaching the target, Lieutenant Schufeldt detached in order to carry out his individual attack. He proceeded 35 miles through a gauntlet of intense anti-aircraft fire of all calibers and repeated attacks by many of the 38 deadly surface-to-air missiles which were launched against the strike force. With utter disregard for his personal safety, he pressed home his final diving attack in the face of a fusillade of barrage and tracking anti-aircraft artillery fire. His bomb impacted precisely at the pre-planned aim point. As Lieutenant Schufeldt pulled off target, he immediately rendezvoused with another strike aircraft which had been hit in order to give assistance. Satisfied that the damaged aircraft would be escorted, he rendezvoused with his wingman whose aircraft had also been damaged. Lieutenant Schufeldt escorted the badly damaged aircraft to the ship and even though he had an extremely low fuel state, would not land until assured that the damaged aircraft would recover safely. Lieutenant Schufeldt's superior airmanship and bravery in the face of massed enemy resistance contributed significantly to the heavy damage inflicted on a critical target and the safe return of all strike aircraft, and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. Action Date: August 21, 1967
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Attack Squadron 163 (VA-163)
Division: U.S.S. Oriskany (CVA-34)


CITATION: award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

      The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Second Gold Star in lieu of a Third Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Commander Coral Vance Schufeldt (NSN: 0-669508/1310), United States Navy, for heroism while participating in aerial flight as a pilot of jet aircraft while attached to Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWELVE (VA-212), embarked in U.S.S. HANCOCK (CVA-19), on 26 May 1972.

Distinguished Flying Cross       . Lieutenant Commander Schufeldt was a division leader in a major air wing strike against the Vong Bi highway bridges, strategic elements in the enemy's logistic network spanning North Vietnam. On numerous occasions, Lieutenant Commander Schufeldt was forced to maneuver his division to evade volleys of lethal surface-to-air missiles and a relentless hail of anti-aircraft artillery fire. Despite these adversities, he maintained division integrity and placed his division in optimum position to place the ordnance on target. His aerial aggressiveness and leadership proved to be enhancing factors in the outstanding level of success achieved by the main strike force. Lieutenant Commander Schufeldt's superior airmanship and courage in the face of the enemy reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: May 26, 1972
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Attack Squadron 212 (VA-212)
Division: U.S.S. Hancock (CVA-19)



Joel Marvin Warshaw
Captain, USMC

CITATION:  award of the Silver Star

      For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 242, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 31 October 1967.

Silver Star       Captain Warshaw launched as Flight Leader of two A-6 attack aircraft assigned a night interdiction mission against a vital highway and railroad bridge in the midst of a heavily defended area in North Vietnam. Despite the lack of radar significant checkpoints, he effectively utilized his aircraft's complex navigational system to fly by instruments through the darkness to arrive at the initial point of approach to the target area. Aware that his aircraft had come under hostile radar surveillance, he skillfully flew his aircraft in a high speed low altitude approach, often descending to seventy-five feet, in order to break the North Vietnamese radar lock on his plane and to avoid the antiaircraft fire as he approached the target. Undaunted by the enemy's surface-to-air missile defense, radar-controlled antiaircraft weapons, large barrage balloons trailing cables to the ground throughout the target area and the threat of hostile aircraft, Captain Warshaw courageously maintained his low level approach to the target. Less than a minute from the target release point, he observed a surface-to-air missile launched against his aircraft. Instantly, he maneuvered his aircraft in evasive action that succeeded in eluding the missile. At tree top level, he rapidly made precise heading corrections and climbed to 500 feet to deliver his ordnance with pinpoint accuracy on the target. Returning to a low level flight pattern, often at only fifty feet altitude he maneuvered his aircraft through extremely intense fire as he departed the area. By his bold initiative, dauntless courage and superb airmanship, Captain Warshaw was instrumental in the destruction of a vital target, reflecting great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


CITATION: award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

      For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving as a Pilot with Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 242, Marine Aircraft Group Eleven, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with operations against the enemy.

Distinguished Flying Cross       On the night of 12 April 1967, Captain WARSHAW launched as Pilot of an A-6A Intruder aircraft, armed with sixteen 500 pound bombs and four Zuni rocket pods, on a mission over North Vietnam. Despite the fact that the enemy targets were heavily defended and that turbulent weather conditions over the target area required navigation by instruments, Captain WARSHAW displayed exceptional professionalism and determination in locating and attacking the enemy. As a result of his superior airmanship and courage, he delivered his ordnance against five moving targets. After expending all of his ordnance, Captain WARSHAW continued to reconnoiter the target area to ensure the successful completion of his mission. Captain WARSHAW's exceptional aeronautical ability, daring initiative and selfless devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.



James Hutchings Cunningham

Silver Star

CITATION:  award of the Silver Star
[research requested:  the Class would appreciate any information that can be provided on James Cunningham, a non-graduating classmate awarded the Silver Star]



Frederick Eugene Trani, Jr
Lieutenant, USN

Silver Star
CITATION:  award of the Silver Star

      For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against Communist insurgent forces on the hostile island of Cu Lao Dung, Ba Xuyen Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 26 July 1967. While leading a small combat patrol, Lieutenant TRANI, serving with SEAL Team Detachment ALFA, encountered and subsequently was surrounded by a numerically superior enemy force. Unable to maneuver out of the enemy encirclement, Lieutenant TRANI attempted to contact supporting helicopters by radio, but before he could effectively communicate his unit's position, he experienced radio failure. Undaunted by lack of communications with supporting arms, he maneuvered his small unit into a tight defensive position. Though pinned down by constant enemy automatic weapons and rifle fire in a position that afforded only minimal protection for himself and his squad, and despite growing uncertainty of the arrival of assistance, Lieutenant TRANI courageously moved among his men and succeeded in keeping morale high. Faced with a limited supply of ammunition and the imminent threat of a coordinated enemy attack that might easily overrun his small unit, he methodically employed every conceivable means to attract the attention of armed helicopters which he could hear operating in the distance. Four unnerving hours passed before the armed helicopters arrived to assist his beleaguered unit. Able to employ only primitive methods, he succeeded in marking his position for the helicopters and directed their fire onto part of the Viet Cong forces surrounding him. He directed another helicopter to a safe location to land for extraction of his unit. He then organized his men and maneuvered them under continuing enemy fire to the extraction craft without casualties or loss of a prisoner who later yielded valuable intelligence information. Through his exemplary and professional leadership, unwavering courage under fire and inspiring conduct throughout a desparate situation, Lieutenant TRANI upheld the highest tradition of the United States Naval Service.


Legion of Merit
CITATION:  award of the Legion of Merit (with Combat Distinguishing Device)

     The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Frederick Eugene Trani, Jr. (NSN: 0-669618), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States while serving in the Republic of Vietnam from 15 May to 26 September 1968. As the Senior Advisor to the Vietnamese Navy SEALS, Lieutenant Trani provided advice and assistance to the SEALS in all matters pertaining to their training, utilization and administration. He participated in numerous combat operations and was often subjected to direct enemy fire. Through Lieutenant Trani's keen insight and outstanding professionalism, the Vietnamese Navy SEALS were reorganized, equipped and trained to conduct unconventional warfare type missions throughout the Republic of Vietnam. Their motivation and performance during many difficult and dangerous assignments is directly attributable to Lieutenant Trani's efforts. His devotion to duty, courage under fire and sense of responsibility were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. (Lieutenant Trani is authorized the Combat "V".)

Action Date: May 15 - September 26, 1968
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant


Additional Decorations
Bronze Star Purple Heart
Bronze Star Purple Heart



James Kelly Patterson
Lieutenant Commander, USN

Distinguished Flying Cross
CITATION:  award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

      For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight on 10 April 1967 as a naval flight officer serving with Attack Squadron THIRTY-FIVE, embarked in USS ENTERPRISE (CVAN-65), during aerial combat operations in Southeast Asia, Lieutenant Commander (then Lieutenant) Patterson flew as leading bombardier/navigator on a pre-dawn air strike against a vital and heavily defended steel mill in the heart of North Vietnam. By navigating his aircraft at dangerously low altitude in instrument flight conditions, over mountainous terrain, he successfully evaded enemy defenses until within six miles of the target. Disregarding four surface-to-air missiles fired at his aircraft and numerous antiaircraft-artillery shells bursting around and ahead of him, he maintained steady radar tracking of the target until bomb release, ensuring an optimum bombing solution. Because of his superb navigational and radar-bombing skill, his bombs found their mark and inflicted heavy damage upon the target. Lieutenant Commander Patterson's performance contributed materially to the disruption of enemy war materials production and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.



Carl Louis Doughtie
Lieutenant (jg), USN

Distinguished Flying Cross
CITATION:  award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

      Awarded posthumously for actions during the Vietnam War

     The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant, Junior Grade Carl Louis Doughtie, United States Navy, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Pilot of an aircraft in Attack Squadron TWENTY-FIVE (VA-25), aboard U.S.S. MIDWAY (CVA-41), during operations against enemy aggressor forces in North Vietnam on 10 June 1965. Participating in a mission against the Than Hoi power plant, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Doughtie pressed home damaging attacks in the face of heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire, which ultimately cost him his life. His airmanship, courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: All Hands (August 1966)
Action Date: June 10, 1965
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
Company: Attack Squadron 25 (VA-25)
Division: U.S.S. Midway (CVA-41)


Additional Decorations
Air Medal Purple Heart
Air Metal Purple Heart



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