The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the
SILVER STAR MEDAL to
Sgt DONALD E. MARA
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 Sergeant Donald E. Mara, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Platoon Sergeant with Company M, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 11 November 1968, Company M was conducting a search and destroy operation south of Con Thien in Quang Tri Province when it came under intense mortar, small arms, and automatic weapons fire from a large North Vietnamese Army force, and several Marines were wounded. Although injured during the initial burst of fire, Sergeant Mara ignored his own painful wounds as he skillfully deployed his men to defensive positions and assisted in establishing a landing zone to evacuate the casualties. With complete disregard for his own safety, he boldly moved into the fire-swept area to carry the injured men to covered positions in preparation for movement to the landing zone. Organizing a litter bearer team, he aided in carrying one of the most seriously wounded Marines down the hillside until halted and pinned down by an extremely heavy volume of enemy fire. Realizing the urgency of evacuating his injured comrade, Sergeant Mara, undaunted by the hostile rounds impacting near him, fearlessly ran across 200 meters of open terrain to the company's mortar position. Swiftly orienting the mortars, he directed and adjusted such accurate fire that the North Vietnamese fire was silenced. Returning to the litter team, he then assisted in carrying the Marine the remaining distance to the medical evacuation zone. By his courage, bold initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Sergeant Mara was instrumental in saving the life of a fellow Marine and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."