Corporal Bryant C. Collins
For extraordinary heroism as a scout team leader in Company A, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, Third Marine Division (Forward), Fleet Marine Force, on 12 July 1965. Deep in Viet Cong insurgent territory on a reconnaissance patrol, Corporal Collins, in the company of another Marine, was serving as point man when the patrol became heavily engaged with enemy forces firing machine guns and automatic weapons from concealed positions. In the opening moments he brought fire to bear and killed three enemy soldiers, then withdrew to the advance party, which consisted of the company commander and three men, two of whom were wounded. In an open field being swept by a hail of small arms fire, the company commander was struck and killed as he was attempting to aid one of the wounded men. Corporal Collins immediately took charge of the situation, and coolly exposing himself to extremely heavy fire, manned an M79 grenade launcher and silenced an enemy machine gun. He bandaged one wounded man and laid down covering fire to enable him to crawl out of range. After having recovered the commander's body, he again advanced to the fire-swept field and carried the remaining wounded man toward cover until met by assistance. He then organized the party and ordered their return to the main body located 100 yards to the rear. He personally carried his dead commander back to the main line through heavy fire received from the flanks. His heroic actions and brave demeanor served as an inspiration to all who observed him and contributed to the successful withdrawal of the other members of the patrol. By his superb leadership and valiant fighting spirit, Corporal Collins reflected distinct credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.