The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY CROSS to
FIRST LIEUTENANT HENRY WALTER STANKUS
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS (RESERVE)
for service as set forth in the following
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Henry Walter Stankus (0-15865), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service while serving as a Platoon Leader in Company F, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, on 30 December 1943. On combat patrol with his platoon near the airfield when contacting the advance guard of a reinforced company of Japanese, First Lieutenant Stankus immediately engaged the hostile forces, repulsing vicious enemy counterattacks repeatedly in a desperate effort to hold his ground despite serious depletion of his forces by casualties. Resolutely continuing to lead the assault with his one remaining squad when reinforcements arrived, First Lieutenant Stankus maintained his furious offensive action against the enemy until the assault troops had advanced well beyond his position. His conspicuous courage, indomitable fighting spirit and gallant devotion to duty were an inspiration to his men and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Born: 10 March 1921 in Wallingford, Conn…. Enlisted in 1938… Awarded the Bronze Star during Guadalcanal… Wounded in the above actions… Retired as lieutenant colonel… Brother John served with him at Guadalcanal and Cape Gloucester… Wife Eliza served during World War II as a Marine sergeant… Passed: 9 October 2018… Interred: Arlington National Cemetery