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David George Lucas

Home of record: Pekin Illinois


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 Ensign David George Lucas (NSN: 0-710515/1105), United States Naval Reserve, 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 personnel casualties were incurred. Ensign Lucas, serving as Gunnery Officer, arrived on the bridge within moments of the initial strafing attack. A brief period of time before he reached the gun control station a large explosion occurred on the starboard wing of the bridge which incapacitated the Executive Officer, the Officer of the Deck, the sound powered telephone talkers and lookouts, and caused the instantaneous demise of the Intelligence Officer. The need to assist the Commanding Officer was immediately apparent to him. With complete disregard for his own personal safety and though already wounded he continued to fearlessly expose himself to intense, overwhelmingly accurate rocket and machine gun fire to assist the Commanding Officer in maintaining ship control and communications with other vital battle stations throughout the attack. His aggressiveness and coolness under fire was exceptional for a young junior officer with limited afloat experience and inspired his seniors and subordinates alike in an hour of awesome peril. By his daring actions and loyal devotion to duty in the face of personal risk, Ensign Lucas upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: June 8, 1967

Service: Navy

Rank: Ensign

Company: Gunnery Officer

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