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Thomas D. Ryan


Navy and Marine Corps Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Gulf War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy and Marine Corps Medal to Corporal Thomas D. Ryan, United States Marine Corps, for heroism while serving as Training Noncommissioned Officer in Charge, Third Battalion, First Marine Regiment, FIRST Marine Division, while deployed to Al Mishab Airfield, Saudi Arabia, during Operation DESERT STORM on 21 March 1991. Upon the crash of a Saudi C-130 aircraft, Corporal Ryan instinctively assisted in the organization and dispatch of a rescue party to facilitate the rescue and evacuation of personnel from the aircraft crash site. Although the aircraft was engulfed in flames, Corporal Ryan, with total disregard for his own safety, quickly approached the aircraft to determine if any personnel survived the crash. Realizing that the interior of the aircraft was an inferno, he quickly recognized the grave peril of any surviving personnel and immediately initiated and assisted in the rescue of several passengers. In an effort to expedite the rescue effort, he personally entered the aircraft through holes in the fuselage to search for and remove survivors. Time and time again, he placed himself in great personal danger, concerned only with saving as many of the victims' lives as possible. His tremendous efforts resulted in saving the lives of seven Saudi and Senegalese personnel. Corporal Ryan's courageous and prompt actions in the face of great personal risk reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: March 21, 1991

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Corporal

Battalion: 3d Battalion

Regiment: 1st Marines

Division: 1st Marine Division