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James Henry Webb , Jr.

Date of birth: 9-Feb-46
Place of Birth: Missouri, St. Joseph
Home of record: St. Joseph Missouri

James Webb graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Class of 1968. Following military service, he subsequently served as Secretary of the U.S. Navy. He later entered elective public service and was elected to represent Virginia in the United States Senate.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

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 First Lieutenant James H. Webb, Jr. (MCSN: 0-106180), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 10 July 1969, while participating in a company-sized search and destroy operation deep in hostile territory, First Lieutenant Webb's platoon discovered a well-camouflaged bunker complex which appeared to be unoccupied. Deploying his men into defensive positions, First Lieutenant Webb was advancing to the first bunker when three enemy soldiers armed with hand grenades jumped out. Reacting instantly, he grabbed the closest man and, brandishing his .45 caliber pistol at the others, apprehended all three of the soldiers. Accompanied by one of his men, he then approached the second bunker and called for the enemy to surrender. When the hostile soldiers failed to answer him and threw a grenade which detonated dangerously close to him, First Lieutenant Webb detonated a claymore mine in the bunker aperture, accounting for two enemy casualties and disclosing the entrance to a tunnel. Despite the smoke and debris from the explosion and the possibility of enemy soldiers hiding in the tunnel, he then conducted a thorough search which yielded several items of equipment and numerous documents containing valuable intelligence data. Continuing the assault, he approached a third bunker and was preparing to fire into it when the enemy threw another grenade. Observing the grenade land dangerously close to his companion, First Lieutenant Webb simultaneously fired his weapon at the enemy, pushed the Marine away from the grenade, and shielded him from the explosion with his own body. Although sustaining painful fragmentation wounds from the explosion, he managed to throw a grenade into the aperture and completely destroy the remaining bunker. By his courage, aggressive leadership, and selfless devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Webb upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

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

Action Date: 10-Jul-69

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: First Lieutenant

Company: Company D

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 5th Marines

Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.) FMF

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 First Lieutenant James Henry Webb, Jr. (MCSN: 0-106180), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 9 May 1969, during Operation Muskogee Meadow, a six-man reconnaissance patrol from First Lieutenant Webb's platoon was ambushed and temporarily pinned down by a large North Vietnamese Army force concealed in a tree line four hundred meters in front of Company D's night defensive position. Immediately upon learning of the dangerous situation, First Lieutenant Webb organized a reaction force and proceeded to the point of contact to aid his beleaguered Marines. When his reaction unit came under enemy automatic weapons and rocket fire as it approached the ambush site, he executed a skillful evasive maneuver, established a base of fire, and continued to advance across the fire-swept terrain to the patrol's position. Rallying and encouraging his men, he directed his base of fire forward to a more advantageous position and led his assault team one hundred and fifty meters across on an open rice paddy in a bold attempt to recover several casualties lying in an open area directly in the line of enemy fire. As his Marines delivered a heavy volume of fire at hostile positions, First Lieutenant Webb repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire as he dashed into the open and pulled the casualties, one at a time, back to friendly lines. Then, consolidating his platoon, he initiated a sudden, vigorous attack which routed the enemy soldiers from their bunkers, disorganized their fire plan, and forced them to retreat from the area. His determination and bold fighting spirit inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of at least two Marines and undoubtedly thwarting the enemy's plan to launch a major attack against his unit's night position. By his leadership, extraordinary courage, and unflagging devotion to duty at great personal risk, First Lieutenant Webb upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: 9-May-69

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: First Lieutenant

Company: Company D

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 5th Marines

Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.), FMF