The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the


Lieutenant Colonel Ralph M. King
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 Lieutenant Colonel Ralph M. King, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as Commanding Officer of the Third Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands Area on November 20 and 24, 1943. Assuming a position in advance of his battalion when ordered to occupy a Japanese-held ridge on November 20, Lieutenant Colonel King personally led his men across the Piva River through difficult jungle terrain and up the side of the ridge, where he engaged in a fierce surprise attack, driving the enemy forces in disorder from the position. Again placing himself with the assault troops when his advancing battalion encountered hostile opposition on November 24 in the Piva Forks Area, he led them in a determined and aggressive attack, securing the battalion's objective and inflicting severe losses upon the enemy. His inspiring and forceful leadership, resolute courage and stout-hearted devotion to duty throughout this operation were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

                                        W. F. Halsey
                                         Admiral USN