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David Skolak

Date of birth: 12-Aug-46
Date of death: June 8, 1967
Place of Birth: Indiana, Gary
Home of record: Gary Indiana
Status: KIA


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 pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Interior Communications Electrician Fireman David Skolak (NSN: B-501783), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with the 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 was attacked without warning by jet fighter aircraft and three motor torpedo boats. 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. Fireman Skolak was performing routine repairs to interior communications when the first strafing attack occurred. Several shipmates in the near vicinity were immediately wounded by the hostile fire. Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own safety, Fireman Skolak fearlessly exposed himself to overwhelmingly accurate rocket and machine-gun fire in an attempt to evacuate the wounded men from the forecastle. While performing these valiant acts, he was fatally wounded. Fireman Skolak's initiative, aggressiveness, courageous actions, and coolness under heavy fire served to inspire all who observed him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: 8-Jun-67

Service: Navy

Rank: Interior Communications Electrician Fireman

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