MINEMAN EARNS NAVY CROSS
Lt. CECIL H. MARTIN USN Retired
The Troubleshooter No. 2-69
It is not often that the Navy Cross, the nation's second highest medal for
heroism, is awarded. When the recipient is a Mineman, the occasion is rarer still. Mineman
First Class, Cecil H. Martin received the honor at the Naval Schools Mine Warfare,
Charleston, S. C. on 5 September 1969.
Rear Adm. Douglas C. Plate, Atlantic Fleet Mine Force pinned the medal on Martin's jumper.
Petty Officer Martin, with 11 years service in the Navy, played an important role as the commander of a two boat patrol with River Division 531 in Vietnam. While in the Mekong Delta on the night of 21 November 1968 Martin's patrol came under heavy attack from ambush. His cover boat was hit by two rockets aboard and causing the craft to run aground directly in front of enemy positions. Finding himself beyond the center of attack, Mineman Martin ordered his coxswain to reverse course to rescue the besieged crew. Re-entering the ambush area under increasing enemy fire, and while directing effective and tallying counter fire, Mineman Martin directed his boat to position between the helpless cover boat and the blazing enemy shore batteries.
He then directed rescue operations and at crucial intervals personally manned a machine gun to suppress enemy fire. Boarding the disabled craft, he extinguished fire and helped transfer the casualties to his boat. While maintaining contact with the Naval Operations Center, and advising of the attack, he directed a success full withdrawal and rendered first aid to the wounded.
Admiral Douglas C. Plate present. Navy Cross to
Mineman First Martin in Ceremony at
Naval Schools, Mine Warfare, Charleston, SC
Bronze Star - Combat V
Navy Commendation Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
Presidential Unit Citation
Navy Unit Commendation (2)
Good Conduct (3)
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
RVN Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star
RVN Presidential Unit Citation
RVN Meritorious Unit Citation
Vietnam Campaign Medal