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Richard John Brooks

Home of record: Brooklyn New York


Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the U.S.S. Liberty Incident

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Chief Machinist's Mate Richard John Brooks (NSN: 4546263), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with the unprovoked and unexpected armed attack on U.S.S. LIBERTY (AGTR), in the Eastern Mediterranean, on 8 June 1967. During the early afternoon hours, U.S.S. LIBERTY, while engaged in peaceful operations in international waters, was attacked without warning by jet fighter aircraft and three motor torpedo boats. The LIBERTY was subjected to intense incendiary, machine gun, and rocket fire and was placed in extreme jeopardy by a torpedo hit below the waterline on the starboard side in the vicinity of the Research compartment. Severe structural damage and extensive personal casualties were incurred. Chief Petty Officer Brooks, serving as Chief Petty Officer in charge of the main machinery spaces, was in main control during the attack. Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own personal safety he fearlessly proceeded throughout the main machinery space to check machinery and equipment to try to keep the ship going at maximum speed possible. Twice he was knocked from one deck to the other by vibration from rocket fire and torpedo explosion. Although wounded himself, he continued re-starting equipment and talking to his men to keep up their morale during the period of time that the machinery space was filled with smoke, steam and illuminated by battle lanterns only. His aggressiveness and coolness under fire was exceptionally effective and his inspirational leadership in an hour of awesome peril. His initiative and courageous actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: 8-Jun-67

Service: Navy

Rank: Chief Machinist's Mate

Division: U.S.S. Liberty (AGTR-5)