Mike & H&S Companies
Third Battalion, Fifth Marines
the name of the
President of the United States, the Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force,
Pacific takes pleasure in presenting the SILVER STAR MEDAL
CAPTAIN JAMES RUSSELL MCELROY, JR.
STATES MARINE CORPS
service as set forth in the following
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of Company M, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 13 May 1967, during Operation Union, Captain MCELROY displayed exceptional professional skill and heroism when he led his 142 man company to relieve a beleaguered unit which had sustained heavy casualties from a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force. After arriving in the area, the company came under intense fire and in the initial moments of the attack, Captain MCELROY was wounded in the shoulder by machine gun fire. Refusing medical aid and ignoring his painful wound, he unhesitatingly supervised the evacuation of the other casualties, skillfully directed effective suppressive fire on the hostile positions and then maneuvered his men into a night defensive position. At midnight, when the units again came under intense mortar fire followed by a ground attack, Captain MCELROY, disregarding his own safety and constantly exposing himself to the heavy fire, calmly and aggressively directed reaction forces and supporting arms fire throughout the night until the assault had been repelled. After the attack, he personally supervised the expeditious evacuation of casualties, including a wounded enemy soldier and only after all the other wounded had received aid and had been evacuated and the mission successfully accomplished did he allow treatment of his wounds and subsequent evacuation. During a search on the following morning, over 120 enemy dead were counted and a large quantity of weapons, ammunition and other abandoned equipment were seized. His superior leadership and concern for the welfare of his men were an inspiration to all who served with him. By his outstanding professionalism, uncommon courage and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Captain MCELROY upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."
FOR THE PRESIDENT
V. H KRULAK
LIEUTENANT GENERAL, U. S. MARINE CORPS