MAJ William Joseph Goodsell USMCR

navy cross

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting
Major William Joseph Goodsell, United States Marine Corps Reserve
For service as set forth in the following


The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to William Joseph Goodsell (0-55282), Major, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving with Marine Observation Squadron SIX (VMO-6), Marine Aircraft Group SIXTEEN, First Marine Aircraft Wing, in the Republic of Vietnam on 16 June 1966. Serving as Tactical Air Coordinator (Airborne) in an armed UH-1F helicopter, Major Goodsell made repeated rocket and machine gun attacks against an enemy battalion that had encircled and trapped a Marine reconnaissance unit. When a relieving force was airlifted into the battle, he guided the transport helicopters to the landing zone and delivered such devastating attacks on the enemy positions that only one aircraft in the assault force was struck by hostile fire. He then proceeded to fly dangerously low to seek out enemy positions and aid the assault force in their rescue of the beleaguered reconnaissance unit. When a juncture of the units was accomplished, he guided the medical evacuation helicopters to the friendly positions where eighteen wounded Marines lay waiting. Realizing the necessity to accurately mark the Marine positions because of the close proximity of the enemy, he courageously elected to fly very low and slow over the position to mark it with a smoke grenade. As his mark landed directly on target, he was taken under fire by several automatic weapons positions and although mortally wounded he maintained control of his aircraft until relieved by his copilot. By his bravery and fearless devotion to duty, Major Goodsell reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.

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