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The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the SILVER STAR MEDAL to

CORPORAL HIAWHAHNAH R. NEAL
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

 

for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Machine Gunner with Company M, Third Battalion, Twenty-Seventh Marines First Marine Division in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 24 May 1968 while participating in Operation Allen Brook in Quang Nam Province, Corporal NEAL's squad was directed to relieve a squad from Company K which had been ambushed by North Vietnamese Army forces and was pinned down near the hamlet of Le Bac (1). As his squad approached the beleaguered unit's position, it immediately came under a heavy volume of automatic weapons and small arms fire from numerous well concealed enemy bunkers within a tree line. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Corporal NEAL obtained a supply of ammunition, seized his machine gun and ran to the top of a deserted enemy bunker. Exposed to the enemy fire, he manned his weapon and began delivering a heavy volume of suppressive fire into enemy positions until his machine gun malfunctioned. Observing an unmanned machine gun, Corporal NEAL ran fifty meters to the position, seized the weapon and an ammunition resupply and returned to his position. Immediately bringing accurate fire to bear against the enemy, he quickly gained fire superiority. Subsequently, after expending all his ammunition, he ran across the fire-swept area to the side of a wounded ammunition carrier, seized the resupplies and returned to his bunker. Although constantly exposed to enemy fire, he ignored the rounds striking around him as he steadfastly sustained his position and continued to deliver effective machine gun fire against the enemy. Observing several casualties awaiting evacuation, he assisted in expediting their movement from the hazardous area. By his extraordinary courage, bold initiative and selfless devotion to duty, Corporal NEAL inspired all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.