UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
The Navy Cross is presented to Mark E. DePlanche, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a fire team leader while serving with Company G, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam on the night of 13 - 14 January 1966. Assigned to lead a patrol set up to help defend his platoon's position, Corporal DePlanche established an ambush in one position, and when ordered to move to a second site, he detected a Viet Cong moving on the ground to his left front. Seconds later he saw 30 to 40 Viet Cong moving into a skirmish line in the same area. Shouting for his fire team to launch the attack, he opened fire, and as they followed his command the four Marines, undaunted by numerical odds, assaulted the Viet Cong force and drove them in retreat to high ground. As the foe fell back they began to deliver heavy automatic weapons fire and a shower of grenades at the patrol, and although Corporal DePlanche was wounded he continued in pursuit and secured the area. Calling by radio, he notified his platoon commander of the situation and requested a reserve squad to be sent. After having repulsed three Viet Cong counter-attacks, he then took part in the assault which drove the insurgents from the hill. His exceptional initiative and aggressive action in assailing a force much larger than his own resulted in the capture of four 60-mm. mortars, 81 rounds of 60-mm. mortar ammunition, 15 rifles, and the death of four Viet Cong. His courageous and daring actions reflected distinct credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.