The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the
Navy Cross Medal to
Sergeant Walter Charles Holmes
United States Marine Corps
For outstanding heroism as a 60-mm. Mortar Section Leader serving with Company B, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 27 December 1965. Sergeant Holmes was providing support for a combat patrol in the vicinity of DaNang when a force of sixty to eighty well-armed Viet Cong opened fire from concealed positions about fifteen meters away. Situated thirty meters to the rear from where the intense fire immediately felled several Marines, he fearlessly advanced toward the guerrillas, who were positioned along high sand dunes. When the Viet Cong attempted to overrun the patrol, Sergeant Holmes, with relentless fighting spirit, stood his ground and fired with an accuracy that drove back the enemy and provided cover for Marines who were maneuvering forward. Taking a mortar and all the rounds he could carry from a casualty, he aggressively moved to higher ground, directing twelve rounds, in a matter of seconds, at the fleeing Viet Cong. With continued presence of mind, he organized a hasty defense and prepared for medical evacuation and relief forces. By his exceptional courage in the face of extreme peril, Sergeant Holmes saved the patrol from further casualties and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.