The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY CROSS to
LEWIS B. “CHESTY” PULLER, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Third Gold Star in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Colonel Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller (MCSN: 0-3158), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service while serving as Executive Officer of the Seventh Marines (Reinforced), FIRST Marine Division, serving with the SIXTH United States Army, in combat against enemy Japanese forces at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, from 26 December 1943 to 19 January 1944. Assigned temporary command of the Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, from 4 to 9 January, Lieutenant Colonel Puller quickly reorganized and advanced his unit, effecting the seizure of the objective without delay. Assuming additional duty in command of the Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, from 7 to 8 January, after the commanding officer and executive officer had been wounded, Lieutenant Colonel Puller unhesitatingly exposed himself to rifle, machine-gun and mortar fire from strongly entrenched Japanese positions to move from company to company in his front lines, reorganizing and maintaining a critical position along a fire-swept ridge. His forceful leadership and gallant fighting spirit under the most hazardous conditions were contributing factors in the defeat of the enemy during this campaign and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Born 26 June 1898 in West Point, Va…. A Marine Corps legend, having earned a record five Navy Crosses and a Distinguished Service Cross from the Army… Other valor awards include the Silver Star, Bronze Star (with “V” Device), and the Purple Heart… Served in China, Hayti, Nicaragua, and Korea… Passed 11 October 1971… Posthumously promoted to lieutenant general… Interred Christchurch Parish Cemetery in Christ Church, Va.