The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the SILVER STAR Medal to

CORPORAL MICHAEL D. STOPPA
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

 

for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Rifleman with Company M, Third Battalion, Twenty-Seventh Marines, First Marine Division in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the afternoon of 24 May 1968, during Operation Allen Brook, Company M was assigned to assist a friendly unit which was pinned down by intense small arms and automatic weapons fire from a large North Vietnamese Army force near the village of Le Bac (1) in Quang Nam Province. As the Marines neared the besieged unit, they were suddenly halted by a heavy volume of fire from concealed enemy positions which inflicted numerous casualties. Alertly observing a hostile automatic weapon emplacement, Corporal STOPPA seized a satchel charge and, with complete disregard for his own safety, began maneuvering across the fire-swept terrain toward the enemy position. Ignoring the intense fire impacting around him, he fearlessly crawled next to the fortified emplacement and hurled the explosive charge inside, killing several North Vietnamese soldiers and silencing their automatic weapon. Upon returning to his unit's position. he boldly moved about the hazardous area administering first aid to his wounded comrades and evacuating them to positions of relative safety, until he was seriously wounded by the hostile fire. His bold initiative and sincere concern for the welfare of his comrades inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in the accomplishment of his unit's mission. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Corporal STOPPA upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.