Lance Corporal Paul L. Smith

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to

LANCE CORPORAL PAUL L. SMITH

UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

 

For service as set forth in the following citation:

 

            For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Squad 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 11 September 1969, Company I was assaulting enemy positions in a tree line about one mile west of the An Hoa Combat Base when the Marines came under intense small arms, machine gun, and automatic weapons fire.  Fearlessly maneuvering his squad to within fifteen meters of the enemy positions, Lance Corporal Smith directed his men to provide covering fire for an adjacent squad which was moving into the tree line.  Although he and his squad members were pinned down by hostile fire, he single handedly advanced toward an enemy machine gun position and, in the face of a heavy volume of hostile fire, rushed the position, throwing grenades and firing his rifle.  With his last hand grenade, Lance Corporal Smith killed two enemy soldiers, then, as a third soldier approached the machine gun, he killed the hostile soldier, utilizing the last of his rifle ammunition.  Quickly rearming himself with enemy grenades he found at the machine gun position, Lance Corporal Smith valiantly moved into the tree line.  After silencing another hostile position and killing one more enemy soldier with the enemy grenades, he led his squad through the tree line and secured the left flank, enabling the Marines to overrun their objective.  His heroic and timely actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in the defeat of the hostile force.  By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty at great personal risk, Lance Corporal Smith upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. 

 

FOR THE PRESIDENT

 

 

H. W. BUSE, JR

LIEUTENANT GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS

COMMANDING GENERAL, FLEET MARINE FORCE, PACIFIC