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Dale Duane Larkins

Home of record: Lincoln Nebraska

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

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 Seaman Dale Duane Larkins (NSN: 9294893), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with the unprovoked and unexpected armed attack on U.S.S. LIBERTY (AGTR-5), 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. Seaman Larkins, serving as loader and telephone talker on machine gun 54, arrived on station shortly after the initial strafing attack. The station was untenable due to intense flames coming from burning gasoline cans on the deck below. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, he fearlessly exposed himself to overwhelmingly accurate rocket and machine gun fire from the attacking aircraft and proceeded to machine gun 53 to assist. Machine gun 53 was soon enveloped in flames from the burning motor whale boat. Seaman Larkins then courageously helped extinguish fires while the aircraft were still attacking. Still with complete disregard for his own personal safety, he single-handedly manned mount 51 and fired on the attacking torpedo boats until he received the order to "cease fire." He then helped carry several of his wounded shipmates to where they could be given medical aid. His aggressiveness and coolness under fire undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his shipmates and was exemplary in an hour of awesome peril. Seaman Larkins' 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: Seaman

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