LTCOL Richard E. Romine USMC

navy cross

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting
Lieutenant Colonel Richard E. Romine, 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 Richard E. Romine (0-58482), Lieutenant Colonel [then Major], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Helicopter Pilot, Troop Commander, and Tactical Air Controller with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE (HMM-165), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, in the Republic of Vietnam on 3 and 4 June 1967. When his transport helicopter was hit during an emergency retraction of a besieged combat team from an enemy-surrounded bomb crater, Lieutenant Colonel Romine displayed exceptional aeronautical skill in maneuvering his crippled aircraft away from enemy concentrations prior to crash landing into the mountain forest. Directing his crew to bring all the battle equipment that they could carry, he fought and led them through the almost impassable and enemy-populated forest back to the besieged forces position. With darkness closing, illumination flares were requested and adjusted to pinpoint accuracy. He exposed the advancing enemy, brought them under fire, and prevented surprise attacks. Awake throughout the cold, rainy night, Lieutenant Colonel Romine resumed calling in air strikes at dawn. Without thought of personal risk, he exposed himself along the barren crater rim to direct the strikes within ten meters of his position. Faultlessly, for twenty-four torturous hours, he gallantly controlled air operations and directed his nearly decimated ground forces against insistent, overwhelming enemy attacks until their guns were silent, the enemy beaten, and the trapped men were helicopter-lifted to safety. Lieutenant Colonel Romine’s dynamic leadership, indomitable fighting spirit, and relentless exposure to the enemy to control ground and air operations that saved the lives of his men, reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

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