The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lance Corporal Patrick Gallagher (MCSN: 2170557), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as an ammunition carrier in a machine-gun team with Company H, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, near Cam Lo, Republic of Vietnam, in the early morning of 18 July 1966.
The company was set in defensive positions at 0145, when enemy soldiers who had infiltrated the area threw a grenade into the position which Lance Corporal Gallagher and three other Marines were manning. Lance Corporal Gallagher, awake and displaying keen presence of mind, immediately kicked the grenade out of the position where it exploded at a safe distance. Another enemy grenade followed and landed in the position between two of his comrades. Without hesitation, in a valiant act of self-sacrifice, Lance Corporal Gallagher threw himself upon the deadly grenade in order to absorb the explosion and save the lives of his comrades. The other three Marines moved to safety while two other grenades landed in the position and exploded, miraculously injuring no one.
Lance Corporal Gallagher's Squad Leader then ordered him to throw the grenade into the nearby river where it exploded upon hitting the water. Through his extraordinary heroism and inspiring valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved his comrades from probable injury and possible loss of life. His daring actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.