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Peter Allen Wickwire

Home of record: Mountain Lakes New Jersey


Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel Peter Allen Wickwire (MCSN: 0-51969), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as the Commanding Officer of the First Battalion, Third Marines, Ninth Marine Amphibious Force, in connection with combat operations against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam. On 6 July 1967, while Lieutenant Colonel Wickwire's battalion was deployed in defensive positions in the vicinity of Hoa Son in Quang Tri Province, it came under intense enemy artillery and mortar fire followed by a large infantry assault. With artillery rounds exploding within a few feet of his open trench position and the enemy infantry advancing, Lieutenant Colonel Wickwire remained composed and decisive, instilling confidence in his officers and men. Displaying the highest degree of military proficiency, he coordinated all friendly defensive supporting arms fire, provided expert direction and encouragement to his company commanders, radioed situation reports to higher headquarters and supervised the formation of a reaction force to blunt any enemy penetration of his position. When, after an hour and a half of heavy artillery bombardment, his position was penetrated by enemy assault troops, Lieutenant Colonel Wickwire unhesitatingly committed his reaction force and restored the perimeter line. Simultaneously, as the enemy threatened the movement of a platoon size Marine combat patrol from a company into the battalion perimeter, he skillfully directed a screen of protective artillery fire which decimated the advancing enemy and permitted the exposed unit to reach safety. Throughout the four-hour engagement, Lieutenant Colonel Wickwire constantly disregarded his own safety to control the activities of his ground forces and direct supporting fires. Under his dynamic leadership, his men thwarted the enemy's attempt to overrun the battalion's position and killed 200 enemy soldiers while sustaining minimum friendly casualties. His bold initiative and expert employment of military tactics inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in the overwhelming defeat of the aggressive enemy force. By his extraordinary determination, resolute courage and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Lieutenant Colonel Wickwire upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: July 6, 1967

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 3d Marines, 9th Marine Amphibious Force