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Joseph R. Crockett , Jr.

Home of record: Richmond Virginia


Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Sergeant Joseph R. Crockett, Jr. (MCSN: 2257776), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Team Leader with First Force Reconnaissance Company, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 23 April 1969, Sergeant Crockett's team was clandestinely observing a major North Vietnamese Army supply route west of An Hoa in Quang Nam Province when the Marines came under a ground assault by an estimated hostile platoon supported by a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire, and in the initial moments of the attack sustained several casualties. Sergeant Crockett seized a grenade launcher from one of his wounded men and moved across 50 meters of exposed terrain to deliver fire upon the enemy. As a group of North Vietnamese soldiers approached his team's defensive perimeter, he quickly killed one and wounded four others; then, having exhausted his ammunition, utilized a radio to adjust supporting artillery fire to within 50 meters of his men. He then ran from one Marine position to another gathering grenades, which he hurled at the hostile soldiers, forcing them to regroup and withdraw. As the enemy soldiers retreated they lighted several brush fires that rapidly spread toward the team's emplacement. Unable to extinguish the flames with his jacket, Sergeant Crockett repeatedly assisted in moving his injured Marines to safety, stopping only to render first aid and deliver suppressive fire upon the North Vietnamese force. In order to expedite evacuation of his critically injured men, he tied an air panel to his back and boldly moved into an open clearing where he stood in full view of the enemy to mark the landing zone for the helicopters and gunships as they arrived on station. Although nearly exhausted, Sergeant Crockett refused to be extracted, and assisted in a search of the vicinity. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit, and selfless devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Sergeant Crockett upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

Action Date: April 23, 1969

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Sergeant

Company: 1st Reconnaissance Company

Battalion: 1st Reconnaissance Battalion

Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.) FMF