Navy Cross

Norris, James A.

Citation: For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 13 August 1969, while participating in a search and clear operation in Quang Nam Province, Lance Corporal Norris sighted four enemy soldiers in a camouflaged machine-gun emplacement. Reacting instantly, he shot one of the enemy and simultaneously shouted a warning to the Marines behind him to seek cover. Machine-gun fire immediately erupted from the hostile position, knocking Lance Corporal Norris to the ground and seriously wounding him. Undaunted by the intense enemy fire concentrated upon him, Lance Corporal Norris, despite his painful wounds, managed to get to his feet and wound two more of the enemy as he single-handed assaulted the enemy emplacement. Struck to the ground a second time by the hostile machine-gun fire, he again regained his feet, advanced in the face of the hostile fire and succeeded in accounting for still another enemy casualty before he fell mortally wounded within ten meters of the enemy position. His resolute and heroic actions in drawing the hostile fire upon himself inspired his men to such aggressive action that his Company proceeded to attack and capture the enemy machine-gun position and account for eight additional enemy casualties during the ensuing fight. By his indomitable courage, inspiring valor, and unswerving devotion to duty, Lance Corporal Norris upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.