The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY CROSS to
LEWIS WILLIAM WALT, 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 Navy Cross to Lieutenant Colonel Lewis William Walt (MCSN: 0-5436), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while attached to the Third Battalion, Fifth Marines (Reinforced), FIRST Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Borgen Bay Area, Cape Gloucester, New Britain, on 10 January 1944. When all six members of a 37-mm. gun crew were killed or wounded while moving the weapon up the steep slope of a ridge to provide support for advanced assault units pinned down by heavy enemy fire, Lieutenant Colonel Walt unhesitatingly rushed forward alone and, completely disregarding his own personal safety, began to push the gun up the hill. Inspired by his initiative and valor, several other men came to his assistance and laboriously worked their way up the slope in the face of terrific hostile fire until the gun was in position to enfilade the enemy lines. Courageously leading his men against five counterattacks made by the Japanese during the night in an effort to regain control of one end of the ridge, Lieutenant Colonel Walt enabled his forces to repulse the attacks with great losses to the enemy and, resuming the battle the next morning, skillfully directed the battalion in the capture of the entire ridge. By his brilliant leadership and expert tactical knowledge, Lieutenant Colonel Walt contributed materially to the success of our forces in this area and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Born 16 February 1913 in Waubansee, Ks…. Enlisted in National Guard at 17, then earned a commission in field artillery… Declined commission for appointment as a Marine second lieutenant… Was star football player at Colorado State University… Volunteered for the Marine Raiders… His many decorations include two Navy Crosses, a Silver Star, Bronze Star with “V,” and two Purple Hearts… Also served in Korea and Vietnam… Was first Marine Corps Assistant Commandant to pin on four stars, retiring as general in 1971… Passed 26 March 1989… Interred at Quantico National Cemetery in Quantico, Va.