Corporal Charles W. Bryan

For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Patrol Leader with Company B. Third Reconnaissance Battalion, Third Marine Division (Reinforced), in connection with operations against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) in the Republic of Vietnam. On 20 January 1968, a seven man reconnaissance patrol led by Corporal Bryan was maneuvering with an infantry company toward Hill 881 North near the Khe Sanh Combat Base. The patrol was assigned to detach itself from the unit inconspicuously and reconnoiter the terrain surrounding Hill 881 North. In addition, Corporal Bryan was instructed to abort the mission and withdraw if the infantry unit became engaged with the enemy. As the unit approached the designated area, the Marines suddenly came under intense hostile small arms and automatic weapons fire, sustaining several casualties. Reacting instantly, Corporal Bryan deployed his men to establish an emergency helicopter landing zone to evacuate the wounded men. Subsequently, the infantry unit was directed to attack the hostile emplacements, and realizing the unit was greatly depleted by casualties, Corporal Bryan requested permission from his unit to reinforce the infantry company with his patrol. Quickly integrating his men with an infantry squad, he was assigned as Squad Leader and skillfully maneuvered his unit toward its assigned objective. Upon approaching the designated area, the Marines began receiving intense fire from an enemy machine gun position. Undaunted by the hostile fire, he maneuvered his men around the flank of the emplacement and launched an aggressive attack which silenced the position. Alertly observing one of his men fall wounded in an area dangerously exposed to enemy fire, he fearlessly ran across the fire swept terrain to the side of his comrade. While skillfully administering first aid to the casualty, Corporal Bryan was mortally wounded. His heroic and timely actions inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in the subsequent defeat of the enemy force. By his courage, superb leadership and selfless devotion to duty, Corporal Bryan upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.