Silver Star to
1st Lieutenant DAVID I. ZEITLIN
United States Marine Corps
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to First Lieutenant David I. Zeitlin, United States Marine Corps Reserve, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while attached to the THIRD Marine Division during an engagement against enemy Japanese forces at Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands, 1 October 1943. Although the invasion area was continually subjected to heavy bombardment by hostile planes, First Lieutenant Zeitlin directed the landing operations of his unit with unfaltering courage and skillful determination. When a beached landing ship was bombed and then exploded, igniting fuel and ammunition, he swam to the rescue of wounded men in the water despite the danger from strafing Japanese aircraft and burning oil. Quickly organizing a party of volunteers, he boarded the flaming ship and was directing rescue operations when the vessel was again struck by aerial bombs. With utter disregard for his own personal safety, he supervised the removal of the injured from the blazing craft while his men valiantly fought their antiaircraft guns against the attacking planes. First Lieutenant Zeitlin's heroic leadership and outstanding efficiency in the face of extreme danger contributed to the saving of many lives and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.