NAVY CROSS MEDAL to
GUNNERY SERGEANT LOUIS A PICHON Jr.
For extraordinary heroism as Company Gunnery Sergeant with Company I, Third Battalion, Third Marine Division, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 24 March 1967. During a search and clear operation near Cam Lo in Quang Tri Province, Gunnery Sergeant Pichon was advancing with his company when it came under intense small arms and mortar fire from concealed North Vietnamese Army positions. Firing from a series of mutually supporting and well camouflaged bunkers, the enemy inflicted numerous casualties on the left flank platoon. Reacting instantly, Gunnery Sergeant Pichon unhesitatingly advanced to the area of heaviest fighting. With full knowledge of the hazards involved and with complete disregard for his own safety, he rallied the company's flank element and fearlessly charged the enemy bunkers until a heavy volume of grenades halted the advance. Armed only with a pistol and grenades, Gunnery Sergeant Pichon displayed dauntless courage by continuing the charge alone, despite intense hostile fire. Under continuous North Vietnamese fire, he silenced one enemy position and was advancing to a second when he became involved in a hand grenade duel with the enemy. As he lunged to pick up and return an enemy grenade thrown at him, he was mortally wounded by machine gun fire. His aggressive fighting spirit and gallant actions inspired his comrades to launch a determined assault, destroying the enemy positions and resulting in the successful accomplishment of his unit's mission. Gunnery Sergeant Pichon's exceptional leadership, uncommon courage in the face of almost certain death, and loyal devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.