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U.S. Coast Guard
Awards of the Silver Star

for 
Conspicuous Gallantry in Action During the

Vietnam War

A total of TWELVE members of the U.S. Coast Guard 
were awarded the Silver Star during the Vietnam War. 


EAGAN, LANCE A.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Air Force Award) to Lance A. Eagan, Lieutenant, U.S. Coast Guard, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while attached to the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (USAF), as rescue Crew Commander of an HH-3E helicopter in Southeast Asia on 2 July 1968. On that date Lieutenant Eagan penetrated a heavily defended area of North Vietnam to attempt the rescue of an injured downed pilot after three helicopters had previously been severely damaged and driven off by the intense, hostile ground fire. Lieutenant Eagan with undaunted determination, indomitable courage and professional skill established a hover and deployed a Pararescueman to assist the injured airman. Disregarding the hostile fire that originated from beneath his hovering helicopter, Lieutenant Eagan maintained a stable hover until the downed pilot and Pararescueman were safely recovered from the hostile area. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Lieutenant Eagan reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.
Authority: U.S. Coast Guard Book of Valor and Supplements


GOFF, WILLIS J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Willis J. Goff, Gunner's Mate First Class, U.S. Coast Guard, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving on board the U.S.C.G.C. POINT BANKS (WPB-82327) on 22 January 1969. When his unit was requested to assist nine South Vietnamese Army personnel who were trapped on a beach promontory by two platoons of Viet Cong aggressors, Petty Officer Goff volunteered to pilot the POINT BANKS 14-foot small boat into the beach to rescue the trapped personnel. He made two trips into the beach in heavy surf and was exposed to intense enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire and the additional hazard of close-in gunfire support from three naval patrol units and a C-47 aircraft. The situation was further complicated by darkness and by the fact that the position of the friendly personnel was only generally known. During this time, Petty Officer Goff also manned his M-60 machine gun and directed accurate fire toward the enemy. With courageous disregard for his own safety, Petty Officer Goff was able to rescue nine South Vietnamese Army personnel who would have met almost certain death or capture. His outstanding heroism, professionalism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Commanding in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet


HICKEY, EUGENE J.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Eugene J. Hickey, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Coast Guard, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while Commanding the U.S.C.G.C. POINT WHITE (WPB 82308), in action against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 9 March 1966. In response to the Secretary of the Navy's request for maintaining waterborne surveillance patrols of the inland and coastal waters of Vietnam, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Hickey was assigned as one of the first Commanding Officers to lead a contingent of Coast Guard 82 foot patrol boats assigned to the mission. In January 1966, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Hickey took command of U.S.C.G.C. POINT WHITE with additional duties as Chief Staff Officer for the new Division. Point White had not been in-country a month when she started patrols in a Viet Cong controlled area of the Soi Rap River in the Long An Province. Point White soon spotted a junk crossing the river and attempted to stop it. The junk had 14 Viet Cong aboard who opened fire with small arms and automatic weapons. Point White returned the fire and Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Hickey achieved decisive victory by ramming and sinking the junk. Point White killed eight Viet Cong and captured four. During the engagement, one of the prisoners fell overboard and Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Hickey dove over the side to rescue the wounded man.


MIXON, LONNIE L.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Air Force Award) to Lonnie L. Mixon, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while attached to the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (USAF). Lieutenant Commander Mixon distinguished himself as Rescue Crew Commander of an HH-3E helicopter in Southeast Asia on 1 July 1968. On that date, Commander Mixon penetrated a heavily defended area of North Vietnam to attempt the rescue of an injured downed pilot. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, Commander Mixon twice established a hover in the face of hostile fire to attempt the recovery of the injured airman. Twice Commander Mixon was forced to withdraw due to the intense hostile ground fire that had driven off another rescue helicopter and substantially damaged his own aircraft. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Commander Mixon has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.


MOSHER, CHARLES B.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Charles B. Mosher, Lieutenant (Junior Grade), U.S. Coast Guard, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of the USCGC POINT GREY (WPB-82328), Coast Guard Squadron ONE, engaged in Market Time Operations to interdict Viet Cong infiltration attempts near the mouth of the Co Chien River on 10 May 1966. While on patrol, the POINT GREY engaged an enemy trawler attempting to infiltrate arms and ammunition to the Viet Cong. After forcing the trawler to ground in shoal water near the shoreline, POINT GREY laid down an effective, intermittent barrage along the shore to prevent Viet Cong forces from removing the trawler's cargo. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Mosher twice drove his cutter through a withering blast of enemy gunfire in attempts to put a boarding party on the trawler, He ceased these valiant attempts to put a boarding party on the trawler only after three of his crewmembers were wounded. He then joined with newly arrived friendly forces in destroying the enemy vessel and confiscating part of its cargo. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Mosher's outstanding leadership and professional skill were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.


RITCHIE, ROBERT T.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Air Force Award) to Robert T. Ritchie, Lieutenant (Junior Grade), U.S. Coast Guard, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while attached to the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (USAF). Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Ritchie distinguished himself as Aircraft Commander of an HH-3E rescue helicopter in Southeast Asia on 24 October 1969. On that date, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Ritchie repeatedly penetrated an area of intense hostile fire in an effort to rescue three downed airmen before battle damage rendered his aircraft incapable of further rescue operations. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Ritchie has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


*RITTICHIER, JACK COLUMBUS (MIA-KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Air Force Award) (Posthumously) to Jack Columbus Rittichier (68068148), Lieutenant, U.S. Coast Guard, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while attached to the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, United States Air Force, as rescue crew commander of an HH-3E helicopter in Southeast Asia on 9 June 1968. On that date, Lieutenant Rittichier attempted the rescue of a downed pilot from one of the most heavily defended areas in Southeast Asia. Despite intense accurate hostile fire, which had severely damaged another helicopter, Lieutenant Rittichier, with undaunted determination, indomitable courage and professional skill, established a hover and persisted in the rescue attempt until his aircraft was downed by hostile fire. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Lieutenant Rittichier reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.
Heaquarters, Pacific Air Forces, Special Order G-299 (December 17, 1968)
Born: August 17, 1933 at Akron, Ohio
Home Town: Barberton, Ohio


THOMSON, BARHAM F., III
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Barham F. Thomson, III, Lieutenant (Junior Grade), U.S. Coast Guard, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of the USCGC POINT SLOCUM (WPB-82313), Coast Guard Squadron ONE, engaged in Market Time Operations to interdict Viet Cong infiltration attempts near the mouth of the Co Chien River on 20 June 1966. POINT SLOCUM went to the assistance of Coast Guard Cutter POINT LEAGUE, which was engaged in a fierce fire fight with a vessel attempting to infiltrate 100 tons of arms and ammunition to the Viet Cong. Upon arrival on the scene, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Thomson found that the infiltrator had been forced aground by POINT LEAGUE and that Viet Cong forces concealed on the shore were attempting to drive off the cutter so that the cargo could be retaken. When friendly air support arrived, he made passes close to the shoreline in order to draw enemy fire and force the Viet Cong to disclose their positions to the aircraft. During these valiant maneuvers, POINT SLOCUM received several hits from small arms fire and two near misses from recoilless rifles. When the grounded trawler was set afire, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Thomson put POINT SLOCUM along side and proceeded to extinguish the fire. His bravery and skill in risking his vessel, first to draw the enemy fire, and then to save the captured ship and its cargo greatly contributed to the United States efforts against insurgent forces in the Republic of Vietnam and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Armed Forces.


ULMER, STEPHEN T.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Stephen T. Ulmer, Lieutenant (Junior Grade), U.S. Coast Guard, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of the USCGC POINT LEAGUE (WPB-82304), Coast Guard Squadron ONE, engaged in Market Time Operations to interdict Viet Cong infiltration attempts near the mouth of the Co Chien River on 20 June 1966. While on night patrol, POINT LEAGUE engaged a 100-foot armed supply vessel attempting to deliver a large cargo of arms and ammunition to the Viet Cong. For hours, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Ulmer directed his command in a short-range gun battle with the infiltrator and forced her to ground on the beach. The enemy crew abandoned the vessel and made their way to the shore where they joined with Viet Cong forces. The fight then shifted to the beach where the Viet Cong forces, equipped with machine guns and heavier weapons, attempted to destroy the cutter and recoup the grounded vessel and its cargo. POINT LEAGUE, at first by itself and later joined by POINT SLOCUM and POINT HUDSON, raked the enemy forces with machine gun and mortar fire in exposing their positions to friendly aircraft support. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Ulmer remained calm and in control despite his exposed position in the pilot house which took several hits, all of them penetrating the aluminum bulkheads. When a fire broke out in the grounded vessel, he organized a damage control party to suppress the flames to the point where POINT LEAGUE was able to come alongside and fight the fire. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Ulmer's valor, determination, and leadership were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.


VILLARREAL, LARRY D.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Larry D. Villarreal, Engineman Second Class, U.S. Coast Guard, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Operation MARKET TIME forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 22 January 1969. Petty Officer Villarreal was serving aboard the U.S.C.G.C. POINT BANKS (WPB-82327) when his unit was requested to assist nine South Vietnamese Army personnel trapped on a beach by two platoons of Viet Cong. The sea was the only means of escape. Petty Officer Villarreal, along with a fellow crewman, volunteered to pilot the POINT BANKS' 14-foot Boston Whaler into the beach to rescue the trapped personnel. Petty Officer Villarreal, acting as small boat coxswain, made two trips into the beach in heavy surf while exposed to intense enemy small arms, automatic weapons fire and the additional hazard of close-in gunfire support from three naval patrol units and a C-47 aircraft. The situation was further complicated by darkness and the fact that the position of the friendly personnel was known only generally. At one point during the evacuation the Boston Whaler outboard motor died, but Petty Officer Villarreal, with outstanding professionalism and composure under fire, restarted the motor and continued with the rescue. With courageous disregard for his own safety, Petty Officer Villarreal and his fellow crew member wee able to rescue the trapped personnel. Petty Officer Villarreal's heroic action, professionalism, and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Commanding in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet


YERED, ROBERT J.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Robert J. Yered (CG320 644), Engineman First Class, U.S. Coast Guard, for gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Engineman First Class Yered distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on the morning of 18 February 1968 as the safety advisor to the Unites States Army Terminal Cat Lai. The terminal was subjected to an intense enemy rocket, mortar and small arms attack. One of the rocket rounds struck a barge on which there were several hundred tons of mortar ammunition and immediately ignited a fire. The blazing barge threatened to destroy three other ammunition ships on which there were in excess of fifteen thousand tons of high explosives. Engineman Yered, without regard for his personal safety, exposed himself to the enemy fusillade as he helped extinguish the fire on the burning barge. His courageous act averted total destruction of the ammunition ship, and the United States Army Terminal. Engineman First Class Yered's gallantry in action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Coast Guard.
Headquarters: US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 4309 (September 11, 1968)


YOST, PAUL ALEXANDER, JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Paul Alexander Yost, Jr., Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with naval forces engaged in armed conflict with the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Communist aggressors in the Republic of Vietnam. On 12 April 1969, Commander Yost was Officer in Tactical Command of a PCF (Patrol Craft Fast), UDT and Vietnamese Marine Corps movement unit into the Duong Keo River in An Kuyen Province as part of Operation SILVER MACE II. The five boats inserted their embarked troops at the mouth of the river and commenced a sweep up the river while the remaining eight boats proceeded up river to insert their embarked troops at a point several kilometers north of the first troop insertion. Commander Yost was embarked in PCF 31 in the second group of boats. As the PCF's were proceeding up river in a column formation, they encountered an enemy ambush. The enemy forces used claymore mines, recoilless rifles, B40 rockets, 50 caliber machine guns and small arms. The two lead boats took severe damage but all boats returned fire until clear of the ambush area. Upon discovering that PCF 43 had lost control and was aground in the middle of the ambush site, Commander Yost personally returned to rescue the UDT personnel and crew of PCF 43 with two boats while the remaining boats beached out, set a defense perimeter and called in Medevac helicopters. Upon arriving at the point where PCF 43 was aground, Commander Yost discovered the survivors engaged in battle with enemy forces only 20 feet from their positions. In spite of heavy enemy fire, he brought the two rescuing PCF's to the river bank and brought aboard the survivors and the bodies of the Officer in Charge of PCF 43 and one UDT Chief Petty Officer who had been killed in the action. Upon clearing all personnel from PCF 43, a series of explosions totally destroyed the craft. Commander Yost returned to the area where a perimeter defense had been set up, coordinated a Medevac for the wounded and dead and prepared his forces for the completion of the mission. Commander Yost exhibited tenacious and inspirational leadership. His valiant actions under fire saved the lives of the fifteen USN personnel rescued from PCF 43 and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Born: at St. Petersburg, Florida
Home Town: St. Petersburg, Florida
Personal Awards: 2@ Distinguished Service Medals, Silver Star (Vietnam), Legion of Merit w/V

 

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