The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the
SILVER STAR MEDAL posthumously to
PFC LESLIE H. SHAFER
United States Marine Corps
For service as set forth in the following
" The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Private First Class Leslie H. Shafer, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company K, Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 22 February 1969, during Operation Taylor Common near An Hoa in Quang Nam Province, Private First Class Shafer's team was riding on an armored personnel carrier while conducting a search and destroy operation. As the vehicle approached a tree line, Private First Class Shafer ordered his team to dismount and provide rear security while he stayed aboard and manned a machine gun. Passing between two hedgerows, the vehicle came under intense small arms and machine gun fire from well-concealed hostile positions. In the initial burst of fire, the driver and the .50 caliber machine gunner were mortally wounded, and the vehicle veered out of control into a ditch, throwing Private First Class Shafer from his position. Reacting instantly, he fearlessly manned the .50 caliber machine gun. Discovering that the weapon was inoperable, he then quickly retrieved his M-60 machine gun and commenced firing at the advancing enemy. Although hit once by the hostile fire, he steadfastly continued directing accurate and effective fire upon the enemy until he was mortally wounded. His heroic and timely actions inspired all who observed him and contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his unit's mission. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty, Private First Class Shafer upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country."