The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the SILVER STAR posthumously to
JAMES PATRICK WITT
United States Marine Corps
for service as set forth in the following
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 14 February 1969, during a company-sized patrol in Quang Nam Province, the point element took the command post of a North Vietnamese Army company by surprise. One enemy soldier was killed, and the others hastily retreated to the security of fortified positions under cover of protective fire from a bunker emplacement 15 meters to the Marines' front. Realizing the advantage of immediate action, Second Lieutenant Witt deployed the lead squad on line and, while initiating an aggressive assault on the enemy bunker, received multiple wounds as he moved across the fire-swept terrain to direct the fire of his men. When another Marine started to his aid, he yelled for the man to get down as a hostile grenade detonated nearby, injuring him again. Although painfully wounded, Second Lieutenant Witt calmy briefed the Marine and delivered explicit directions regarding the course of action to be followed by his men. Subsequently, he was medically evacuated and succumbed to his wounds. His heroic and timely actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in his unit's killing three hostile soldiers while overrunning the North Vietnamese Army position. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Second Lieutenant Witt upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
For the President,
J. L. Jones
Commandant of the Marine Corps