NAVY CROSS MEDAL to
LANCE CORPORAL JAMES E. McWHORTER
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
Co L, 3rd Battalion., 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division
For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader with Company L, Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 22 August 1969, the Third Platoon of Company L was conducting a patrol in the northern sector of I Corps Tactical Zone. As the Marines proceeded toward their objective, they came under a heavy volume of small-arms and automatic-weapons fire from a large enemy force occupying a well-concealed bunker complex. Although painfully wounded during the initial moments of the fire fight, Lance Corporal McWhorter resolutely refused medical attention and skillfully deployed his squad into a more tactically advantageous location. Moving throughout the fire-swept terrain, he shouted instructions and encouraged his men as he ably directed their fire, enabling the more seriously-wounded Marines to be evacuated to a position of relative safety. When he observed three of his wounded companions lying dangerously exposed to the intense hostile fire, Lance Corporal McWhorter rushed across the hazardous area to the casualties. After evacuating two of the wounded Marines to a covered position, he attempted to rescue the third casualty but was mortally wounded by a burst of hostile rifle fire. His heroic and timely actions and sincere concern for the welfare of his fellowman inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of several Marines. By his courage, determination and selfless devotion to duty, Lance Corporal McWhorter contributed significantly to the subsequent defeat of the hostile force and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.