Lance Corporal Daniel J. Hayes, Lima Company

Citation:    For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader with Company L, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 28 November 1968, Lance Corporal Hayes was directed to escort a snipe to a tree line some distance forward of the company's defensive perimeter and to provide security for the man while he was in position. Utilizing what little natural cover was available, Lance Corporal Hayes skillfully maneuvered his eight-man squad across an open rice paddy and was into the tree line when the Marines came under a heavy volume of small arms and automatic weapons fire from a numerically superior hostile force occupying well concealed emplacements. In the initial burst of fire, five Marines were seriously wounded, including Lance Corporal Hayes. Ignoring his painful injuries, he refused medical attention and provided covering fire while his wounded companions were treated. Quickly deploying his men into covered fighting positions, he directed their suppressive fire upon the enemy soldiers.  Observing a casualty being further subjected to hostile fire, he unhesitatingly threw himself across the man's body to protect him from additional injury. With exceptional tactical skill, he then regrouped his men fro an orderly withdrawal across the open terrain to the company lines and, disregarding his own safety, provided covering fire for his squad. His heroic and timely actions inspired all who observed him and undoubtedly saved the lives of his Marines. By his courage, bold initiative, and selfless devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Lance Corporal Hayes upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.