The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the
SILVER STAR MEDAL posthumously to
PFC DAVID J. KOEHLER
United States Marine Corps
For service as set forth in the following
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Rifleman with Company I, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 4 June 1969, during Operation VIRGINIA RIDGE, while Company I was conducting a search and destroy operation west of Cam Lo in Quang Tri Province, the Marines came under a heavy volume of small arms fire from a hostile force occupying well-concealed emplacements. During the initial moments of the engagement, the Marines sustained several casualties. Observing that his wounded companions were lying in positions dangerously exposed to the enemy fire, Private First Class Koehler unhesitatingly raced across the fire-swept terrain and pulled one of the men to a covered position just as a hand grenade detonated where his comrade had been. Again braving hostile fire, he re-entered the hazardous area to retrieve another injured man and while he was placing him in a relatively secure location, Private First Class Koehler was mortally wounded by small arms fire. His heroic and bold actions inspired all who observed him and saved the lives of two Marines. By his courage, selfless concern for his fellow men and unswerving devotion to duty, Private First Class Koehler upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."