The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the

SILVER STAR MEDAL (Posthumously) to

Private First Class STEPHEN BELA

United States Marine Corps

For service as set forth in the following


    "The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Private First Class Stephen Bela, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving with the Third Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Asan-Adelup Beachhead Area, Guam, Marianas Islands, on 22 July 1944. At 0230 on the morning of 22 July 1944, Private First Class Bela's platoon was attacked by a force of about twenty Japanese from the rear of their position. On his own initiative, in an effort to destroy the enemy and protect his own platoon, Private First Class Bela attacked the enemy with hand grenades and an automatic weapon, killing eight and inflicting mortal wounds one three others, completely disorganizing the enemy assault. As a result of his brave conduct, the enemy was forced to withdraw and Private First Class Bela's life was lost. His valiant fighting spirit and gallant conduct in the face of grave peril were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."