The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY CROSS to
PLATOON SERGEANT THOMAS C. DOHERTY,
U.S. MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Thomas C. Doherty (258649), Platoon Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Cape Gloucester on 23 January 1944. During a combat patrol to Talasea, Platoon Sergeant Doherty’s patrol came under heavy enemy assault. The advance of the patrol was held up by a steady barrage of Japanese rifle, machine gun and high velocity 37-mm. fire. Notwithstanding the intense enemy fire and determined to break through the enemy’s defenses, Platoon Sergeant Doherty crossed 40 yards of open ground and, at point blank range, silenced a machine gun with hand grenades. He killed four snipers and fearlessly exposed himself to locate and destroy the rest of the enemy. He then rallied his men and pressed a full attack with an aggressiveness which resulted in neutralizing all resistance and permitted his patrol to continue on their mission. An inspiring leader and courageous fighter, Platoon Sergeant Doherty’s gallant initiative and personal valor were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Born: 12 May 1920 in Donegal, Ireland… Earned a battlefield commission, then served during the Korean and Vietnam Wars… Earned the Silver Star for actions on the following day, plus the Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts… Served with the OSS in China… Briefly held as a POW by the Japanese… Parachuted into the South China Sea when his plane was shot down and rescued by an American ship… Retired from the Marine Corps as a colonel, then served with the CIA during the Bay of Pigs operation… Passed: 21 August 2007… Interred: South Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth, Fla.