CAPT Laurence R. Adams III USMCR

navy cross

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting
Captain Laurence R. Adams III, United States Marine Corps Reserve
For service as set forth in the following


The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Laurence R. Adams, III (0-92937), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism on 12 January 1969 as a Pilot in Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE (HMM-165), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. Assigned the emergency mission of extracting an eight- man reconnaissance team which had been engaged in combat with a numerically superior hostile force for twenty-four hours in a densely-jungled, mountainous area southwest of An Hoa, Captain Adams piloted his transport helicopter to the designated area and maintained his craft in a hover above tall trees while a cable ladder was lowered to the ground. Undaunted by the extremely heavy volume of enemy fire which caused extensive damage to his helicopter, he remained in this dangerously exposed position and then inadvertently lifted out of the hazardous area with only five of the eight members of the reconnaissance team on the ladder. Informed that three Marines still remained on the ground, Captain Adams resolutely elected to return to the perilous area after disembarking the five patrol members. Despite deteriorating weather conditions, approaching darkness, and a lack of adequate support from the helicopter gunships which had expended nearly all their ordnance, he established a hover on his third approach, after twice being driven back by the intense enemy fire, and succeeded in rescuing the three remaining Marines. A subsequent investigation revealed that his aircraft had sustained a total of twenty-three hits and over eighty grenade fragment holes from its extended exposure to the enemy fire. By his courage, superior airmanship, and dedication, captain Adams was directly instrumental in saving the lives of eight fellow Marines and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

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