The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the
Navy Cross Medal to
Sergeant Paul F. McLellan
United States Marine Corps
For extraordinary heroism as Executive Officer of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, from 26 February to 15 March 1945. On 26 February, when his Company Commander was killed during an attack against strongly fortified positions, Captain McLellan immediately assumed command and, in the face of intense hostile fire, skillfully led the attack and permitted his company to overrun an enemy strong point near the second airfield and annihilate the Japanese who had previously held up the advance of three Marine divisions. Again directing his company in an attack against hostile defenses near the third airfield on 3 March, he continually braved intense small-arms fire as he moved from one platoon to another to coordinate the attack and, by his daring leadership and tactical ability, aided materially in destroying forty enemy pillboxes and over two hundred of the Japanese. Throughout this period, he continued to lead his company effectively until seriously wounded on 15 March. His strategic ability, initiative and courageous devotion to duty reflect the highest credit on Captain McLellan and the United States Naval Service.