Posted in Real American Heroes

Jonathan W. Gifford Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the NAVY CROSS (posthumously) to

GUNNERY SERGEANT

JONATHAN W. GIFFORD

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Gunnery Sergeant Jonathan William Gifford, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Team Chief with Special Operations Task Force West, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On 29 July 2012, while advising Afghan Commandos conducting an operation into an insurgent stronghold village, Gunnery Sergeant Gifford observed three Commandos become casualties when the force received small arms fire shortly after insertion. Without hesitation he mounted an All-Terrain Vehicle and crossed 800 meters of exposed ground, performed first aid and, with the help of another Marine, moved the causalities several hundred meters to a protected landing zone for medical evacuation. The other Commandos were pinned down under heavy enemy fire and sustained more casualties. Realizing the Afghan force was in jeopardy, Gunnery Sergeant Gifford gathered extra ammunition and accompanied by a fellow Marine, crossed the same open terrain under fire, to reinforce the belabored Afghans. He rallied the Commandos and led an assault on the enemy. After eliminating an insurgent firing from a window, he climbed atop a building from which insurgents were engaging the Commandos, and dropped a grenade down the chimney. He continued to attack until he fell, mortally wounded, but his actions proved decisive in breaking the insurgent defense, and allowing the Commandos to secure the village. By his decisive actions, bold initiative, and complete dedication to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Gifford reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.


Born: Aug. 11, 1977 in Fall River, Mass… Served multiple combat tours

Posted in Real American Heroes

Matthew T. Abbate Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the NAVY CROSS posthumously to

SERGEANT

MATTHEW T. ABBATE

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Sergeant Matthew T. Abbate, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a Scout Sniper Section Leader, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, SECOND Marine Division (Forward), II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) Afghanistan, on 14 October 2010 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. While conducting a dismounted patrol through Sangin’s northern green zone and supporting the patrol as part of a Quick Reaction Force team, the insurgents opened fire from several well-prepared positions. Unknowingly ambushed in a minefield, the patrol members were moving into cover when two Marines and the Corpsman struck explosives in rapid succession. With the patrol leader incapacitated and three severe casualties, Sergeant Abbate took charge of the situation and, with total disregard for his own life, sprinted forward through the unswept minefield to draw fire and rally the dazed survivors. Exposed and personally suppressing the enemy, he directed the remaining squad member’s fires until they effectively suppressed the enemy and could render life-saving aid to the urgent casualties. After coordinating the medical evacuation, he then swept the landing zone for additional explosives before the patrol was again forced to take cover from enemy fire. Sergeant Abbate, knowing the casualties’ survival depended upon their rapid evacuation by helicopter, again rallied the patrol’s able men, and led a counter attack to clear enemy fighters from the landing zone and allow for the critically wounded men to be evacuated. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Sergeant Abbate reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.


Born: Sept. 10, 1984… Served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan… Killed in action on Dec. 26, 2010… Interred at Snelling District Cemetery in Snelling, Calif.

Posted in Real American Heroes

Christopher B. Farias Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY CROSS to

SERGEANT

CHRISTOPHER B. FARIAS

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Sergeant Christopher B. Farias, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as an Assistant Squad Leader with First Battalion, Eleventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) Afghanistan, on 5 October 2010 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. As Sergeant Farias’ squad and another squad were preparing to depart their patrol base on a night patrol in the hotly contested Kajaki region of Helmand Province, Taliban fighters unleashed an ambush of 73 millimeter recoilless rifle fire that inflicted at least seven Marine casualties, four requiring urgent medical attention. A heavy volume of small arms and machine gun fire then poured in on the Marines from three enemy positions. Despite suffering a concussion and neck and shoulder fragmentation wounds from the 73-mm. blasts, Sergeant Farias exposed himself to the unrelenting barrage of enemy fire, climbing onto the roof of the patrol base to engage the enemy with his rifle and grenade launcher and direct suppressive fire from two machine guns onto the enemy positions. His unhesitating actions allowed a reinforcing Marine squad to maneuver into the ambushed compound, clear the kill zone, and transport the friendly casualties to a landing zone 400 meters away. Refusing to seek treatment for his own wounds, Sergeant Farias steadfastly held his position on the roof providing protection for his fellow Marines until he and the last elements safely evacuated the patrol base. By his decisive actions, bold initiative, and complete dedication to duty, Sergeant Farias reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.


Home of record: LaPorte, Texas

Posted in Real American Heroes

Clifford M. Wooldridge Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY CROSS to

CORPORAL

CLIFFORD M. WOOLDRIDGE

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Corporal Clifford M. Wooldridge, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Vehicle Commander, Combined Anti-Armor Platoon White, Weapons Company, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, FIRST Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) Afghanistan, on 18 June 2010 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. When their mounted patrol came under intense enemy fire, Corporal Wooldridge and his squad dismounted and maneuvered on the suspected enemy location. Spotting a group of fifteen enemy fighters preparing an ambush, Corporal Wooldridge led one of his fire teams across open ground to flank the enemy, killing or wounding at least eight and forcing the rest to scatter. As he held security alone to cover his fire team’s withdrawal, he heard voices from behind an adjacent wall. Boldly rushing around the corner, he came face-to-face with two enemy fighters at close range, killing both of them with his M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon. As he crouched back behind the wall to reload, he saw the barrel of an enemy machine gun appear from around the wall. Without hesitation, he dropped his empty weapon and seized the machine gun barrel. He overwhelmed the enemy fighter in hand-to-hand combat, killing him with several blows to the head with the enemy’s own machine gun. His audacious and fearless actions thwarted the enemy attack on his platoon. By his bold and decisive leadership, undaunted courage under fire, and total dedication to duty, Corporal Wooldridge reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.


Home of record: Port Angeles, Wash.

Posted in Real American Heroes

Ademola D. Fabayo Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY CROSS to

FIRST LIEUTENANT

ADEMOLA D. FABAYO

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to First Lieutenant Ademola D. Fabayo, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy as a member of Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. First Lieutenant Fabayo and other members of his team led two platoons of Afghan National Security Forces into Ganjgal Village for a pre-dawn meeting with village elders when the dismounted patrol was ambushed by roughly 50 enemy fighters in fortified positions. With four fellow team members cut off, he pushed forward on foot into the kill zone in an attempt to regain contact, effectively engaging the enemy at close range with his M-4 rifle. When a U.S. Army Advisor was severely wounded, he moved from a covered position under heavy fire to assist in his recovery, helping carry him across several hundred meters of fire-swept ground. He drove back into the kill zone with another U.S. Army Advisor in an unarmored truck, despite enemy rounds impacting the vehicle, in an attempt to reach the separated team members. After treating and evacuating several wounded Afghan Forces, he took the gunner’s position on a gun-truck with three other U.S. personnel as they again drove into the kill zone to recover the bodies of the four fallen team members, providing effective suppressive fires with the vehicle mounted machine guns. By his decisive actions, bold initiative, and complete dedication to duty, First Lieutenant Fabayo reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


Born: Nigeria… Home of record: New York, N.Y.