By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States and as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, I have today awarded




    For extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in action against an armed enemy in the Republic of Vietnam from 24 June 1969 to 28 February 1970. During this period, the Rung Sat Special Zone River Patrol Group operated throughout the 405-square-mile maze of rivers, canals, waterways and mangrove swamps of the Rung Sat Special Zone and on the upper Saigon River. When enemy sappers mounted an aggressive offensive against free-world merchant shipping in late spring of 1969, the Rung Sat Special Zone River Patrol Group, in conjunction with South Vietnamese forces, commenced a unique, unrelenting campaign of combined counter-offensive operations. Over two hundred successful combined operations with the United States Army, Air Force and South Vietnamese ground, air and waterborne units were conducted, which routed the enemy from his sanctuaries, denied him access to his source of food, restricted his freedom of movement, and established security for the safe passage of 4,800 free-world merchant ships on the vital Long Tau shipping channel to Saigon. Concurrent with operations in the Rung Sat Special Zone, The task group demonstrated great flexibility and response by initiating counter-offensive operations against threatening enemy forces on the upper Saigon River. Despite extremely limited support facilities, incessant heat, and torrential monsoon rains, units of the task force fought a series of savage battles, repeatedly distinguishing themselves, and inflicting great losses on the enemy, denying him further use of a major infiltration route threatening the city of Saigon. The outstanding courage, resourcefulness, and perseverance displayed by the officers and men of the Rung Sat Special Zone River Patrol Group were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United Naval Service.