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 Lance Corporal Raymond Lee Huckins, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company K, Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with operations against insurgent communist forces in the vicinity of Khe Sanh, Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 25 April 1967. Lance Corporal Huckins displayed exceptional valor and initiative in the performance of his duties. Engaged in a search and destroy mission against well trained and equipped North Vietnamese Army units, Lance Corporal Huckins' squad was leading the company assault on Hill 861, a strategic area commanding the approaches to Khe Sanh. As the assault commenced and approached the crest of the hill, the company became subjected to intense enemy small arms, automatic weapons and grenade fire. Well concealed and strongly fortified enemy emplacements defended the hill and rendered the mission of seizing the objective a difficult task. Surprise enemy fire in the initial moments of the conflict produced heavy Marine casualties, one of which was Lance Corporal Huckins' squad leader. Unhesitatingly, Lance Corporal Huckins immediately assumed command of the squad. Reforming the assault line and directing his men, he continued the assault. The increasing intensity of the battle and additional casualties caused Lance Corporal Huckins to temporarily halt his squad. Quickly evaluating the situation, he discovered a critical ammunition shortage and proceeded to redistribute ammunition among his men. Exposing himself to withering enemy fire, Lance Corporal Huckins continually moved among his men to check their equipment, give encouragement and assist in medically treating the wounded. As he advanced among his men, an enemy grenade was thrown within a few feet of Lance Corporal Huckins and two other Marines. Heedless of his own personal safety, Lance Corporal Huckins quickly grasped the grenade and hurled it away seconds before it exploded. His heroic act was responsible for preventing serious injury and possible death to those in the area. His calm presence of mind and courage under the most dangerous of circumstances were an inspiration to all who served with him. Lance Corporal Huckins' valor and initiative in combat, combined with his professionalism and acceptance of responsibility, upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."