CPL Bobby Wayne Abshire USMC
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting
The NAVY CROSS to
Corporal Bobby Wayne Abshire, United States Marine Corps
For service as set forth in the following
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Bobby Wayne Abshire (1979928), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Crew Chief of a UH-1E helicopter while serving with Marine Observation Squadron TWO (VMO-2), First Marine Aircraft Wing, during operations against the enemy in the vicinity of DaNang, Vietnam on 21 May 1966. When a platoon from Company A, First Battalion, Ninth Marines was pinned down in an open rice paddy by heavily armed North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces, Corporal Abshire’s medical evacuation helicopter was assigned the mission of recovering the casualties, which included over half of the men of the platoon. Despite vicious incoming fire which damaged the helicopter, a successful landing was made on the second attempt. Since remnants of the platoon were too heavily committed to assist in the evacuation, Corporal Abshire jumped from the helicopter and gallantly carried two wounded Marines into the aircraft while enemy rounds struck all around him. When it became necessary to return to the home field to replace the battle-damaged helicopter, he quickly transferred equipment to a new aircraft and volunteered to return. On each of the eight trips by his aircraft into the besieged zone, Corporal Abshire ignored enemy fire to assist in loading wounded and dead Marines. On one occasion, he swiftly silenced an enemy machine gun with accurate fire from a grenade launcher. His fearless and determined efforts contributed in large measure to the success of the mission, in which twenty-three casualties were evacuated. His courage in the face of hostile fire and his compassion for his wounded comrades were an inspiration to all who observed him. By his daring actions and devotion to duty in spite of great personal risk, Corporal Abshire reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
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