The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the NAVY CROSS posthumously to
FIRST LIEUTENANT WILLIAM F. RECKUS
U.S. MARINE CORPS (RESERVE)
for service as set forth in the following
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to William F. Reckus (0-17982), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism as a Platoon Leader of Company K, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, from 3 to 9 January 1944. A courageous leader, First Lieutenant Reckus fought with sustained aggressiveness during six successive days of offensive operations, on one occasion fearlessly leading his platoon across a stream to drive the enemy from pillboxes which were holding up the battalion’s advance. Fiercely attacking a hostile bivouac area from which heavy automatic fire was being delivered, he succeeded in executing a withdrawal without casualty to his gallant men despite overwhelming odds. Undaunted by grave hazards, he persisted in his valiant fight, selflessly leading a hand grenade assault against a heavily defended Japanese ridge until he fell, mortally wounded. His daring initiative, forceful leadership, sound judgment and unfaltering devotion to duty in the face of relentless opposition reflect the highest credit upon First Lieutenant Reckus and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Born: 20 January 1916 in Wilkes-Barre, Pa…. Enlisted in August 1940, reaching the rank of sergeant in Guadalcanal before earning a commission in April 1943… Interred: Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.