The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the
SILVER STAR MEDAL to
LESTER R. CALHOUN, JR.
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as a M-79 Grenadier with Company M, Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 30 April 1967. Lance Corporal Calhoun’s company (-) was advancing to secure Hill 881 South in the first Battle of Khe Sanh when a numerically superior enemy force attacked and inflicted heavy casualties on his platoon. Advancing with the Platoon Headquarters, Lance Corporal Calhoun was rendered temporarily unconscious from an enemy mortar barrage that killed the Platoon Leader and severely wounded the Radio Operator. When he regained consciousness he assisted in medevacing casualties to a bomb crater and providing effective counter-fire. Repeated enemy attacks inflicted heavy casualties and created a gap in the Marine defensive line. Recognizing the danger of possible enemy penetration, he attacked an enemy bunker complex and destroyed four positions with accurate M-79 fire. He then advanced to a position too close to fire his M-79, but delivered M-16 suppression fire and threw grenades into more enemy bunkers, thus preserving the line. As Marine artillery strikes temporarily prevented an enemy counterattack, Lance Corporal Calhoun again exposed himself to danger by moving throughout the battlefield to assist the wounded, collect and redistribute weapons and ammunition, and secure battle dressings from the dead to treat the wounded. Lance Corporal Calhoun persevered despite grenade and mortar explosions until receiving a severe head wound that rendered him unconscious for a second time. Amazingly, he recovered yet again and continued to fight the enemy. Lance Corporal Calhoun’s courageous actions in disregarding his own safety and collecting and redistributing critical resources enabled his platoon to continue to fight and directly led to the Marine line holding. By his resolute determination, selfless sacrifice, and unwavering dedication to duty, Lance Corporal Calhoun reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps the United States Naval Service.
For the President,
Donald C. Winter
Secretary of the Navy