The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the
Navy Cross Medal to
Second Lieutenant William H. Bates
United States Marine Corps
For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as a Platoon Leader of Company H, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Korea on the night of 24 - 25 July 1953. With the outpost commander severely wounded when the position, located well in advance of the main line of resistance, was subjected to constant assault by a numerically superior enemy force supported by intense mortar and artillery barrages, Second Lieutenant Bates carried the wounded officer to a defiladed position to prepare him for evacuation, and immediately assumed command of the outpost. Due to heavy casualties and the overwhelming odds, he ordered the remaining men to withdraw to the reverse slope of the outpost where he reorganized the unit and prepared to counterattack. Leading the movement to clear the enemy from the trenches, he succeeded in regaining complete control of the vital combat outpost after several hours of bitter hand-to-hand fighting. Throughout the engagement he inspired his men to heroic efforts by his personal valor, frequently moving from man to man to lend words of encouragement and to direct the evacuation of casualties. By his courageous leadership and intrepid fighting spirit in the face of heavy enemy fire, Second Lieutenant Bates upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.