The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the



United States Marine Corps

For service as set forth in the following


    " The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain Pasquale W. Demartino United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of Company L, Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in action against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam. On 9 December 1965, Captain Demartino's Company was engaged as advance guard in a mission assigned to reinforce elements of the Vietnamese Army which had sustained heavy casualties and had been surrounded by the Viet Cong in Ting Quang Tin Province. As the Battalion approached the designated area late in the afternoon, Captain Demartino wisely determined that a change in the terrain presented the probability of an enemy ambush, and, personally moving forward, changed the direction of movement to avert a surprise attack. His foresight proved of inestimable value shortly after the maneuver was completed. Approximately two hundred Viet Cong located on three sides of the area which Captain Demartino had avoided opened attack with automatic weapons, recoilless rifles and 81-mm. mortar fire. Although painfully wounded by mortar fragments, Captain Demartino calmly exposed himself to the direct line of enemy fire and immediately organized and directed an assault on one flank of the ambush position, which was located on high ground across two hundred meters of open rice paddies. With complete disregard for his own safety, Captain Demartino repeatedly exposed himself to the intense hostile fire in order to maintain the momentum of the attack and to personally supervise the fire and maneuver of his command, as well as that of the supporting air and artillery. As the battle progressed across the fire raked rice paddy, with enemy fire increasing in intensity, he fearlessly moved from position to position, encouraging his men and displaying an intrepid fighting spirit and continued aggressiveness until the Viet Cong were driven from the hill. As a direct result of his brilliant professional abilities and inspiring leadership, the planned effect of the Viet Cong ambush was not realized, more than seventy-five of the enemy were killed and the beleaguered Vietnamese unit was saved from probable annihilation. By his extraordinary military proficiency, resolute determination and selfless dedication to duty, Captain Demartino upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."