Sergeant Jose G. Lopez

For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Patrol Leader with Company B, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, Third Marine Division (Reinforced), in the Republic of Vietnam on 2 September 1967. Sergeant Lopez's patrol was inserted near Khe Sanh into enemy infested and controlled territory. After moving from the landing zone, he spotted several enemy attempting to encircle his position. The patrol was taken under devastating enemy automatic and semiautomatic rifle fire from a numerically superior enemy force. Quickly assessing the situation, he deployed his men and returned accurate fire upon the enemy positions and directed close air support on the enemy, destroying their position. He quickly moved his men from an exposed position and established a hasty defense. Spotting six enemy soldiers approaching his position, Sergeant Lopez and another Marine assaulted them with tear gas grenades and annihilated them with rifle fire. Shortly thereafter, two more enemy attempted to maneuver to his position, but once again, with complete disregard for his own safety, he and a comrade assaulted the enemy with hand grenades and killed them. He then called fixed wing and armed helicopter strikes, sealing off further enemy reinforcements and destroying numerous enemy positions. He then skillfully led his patrol out of the area as gunships and fixed wing aircraft bombarded the enemy positions. By his bold initiative, gallant fighting spirit and loyal devotion to duty, Sergeant Lopez was instrumental in defeating a numerically superior enemy force, reflecting great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.