2023 // Silver Star
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Ensign William R. Hess, United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy from 27 March 1945 to 1 April 1945, as a member of Underwater Demolition Team SEVENTEEN (UDT-17) assault unit participating in the assault landing in the Okinawa Gunto (pronounced Goon-too). In the face of enemy rifle, machine gun and mortar fire, he bravely prepared the way for the operations of combat troops. His courageous devotion to duty contributed greatly to the success of this hazardous mission. His courage and conduct throughout were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.