The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the
SILVER STAR MEDAL to
LCpl ROBERT D. MALLETTE
United States Marine Corps
For service as set forth in the following
"The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lance Corporal Robert D. Mallette, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company H, 3d Combined Action Group, 3d Marine Amphibious Force in connection with combat operations against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam. On 28 November 1967, Lance Corporal Mallette was the Machine Gunner for a squad size ambush patrol operating in the Phu Loc District of Thua Thien Province. Late in the evening, the patrol ambushed ten enemy soldiers and killed them all with claymore mines and a heavy volume of surprise fire. Almost immediately, the Marines came under intense small arms and automatic weapons fire from a numerically superior enemy force which had been following in trace of the ten man Viet Cong unit. As the enemy soldiers deployed around three sides of the Marine patrol, Lance Corporal Mallette realized the seriousness of the situation and immediately began to deliver suppressive fire upon the hostile positions. Exposing himself to the heavy volume of enemy fire, he fearlessly stood up and maneuvered across the fire-swept terrain in order to bring well-aimed machine gun fire to bear on the Viet Cong. Although seriously wounded in the right shoulder and unable to operate the heavy machine gun, he relinquished control of the weapon to another Marine and obtained an M-16 rifle. Utilizing his left arm to fire the weapon, he provided accurate covering fire while the Marines withdrew to more defensible positions. Only after the patrol made contact with a reaction force would he allow his wound to be treated. Largely due to his courageous efforts, the squad accounted for ten enemy soldiers confirmed killed, nine probable killed and seized seven individual weapons and numerous documents and equipment. His aggressive fighting spirit and outstanding professionalism were an inspiration to all who observed him and contributed immeasurably to the accomplishment of his unit's mission. By his courage, unfaltering determination and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of extreme personal danger, Lance Corporal Mallette upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."