On 14 June 1967 during Operation Billings, PFC Lawson was serving as a mortarman on a search and destroy operation in a Viet Cong infested jungle of War Zone D. When his unit became heavily engaged in battle with an insurgent force, air strikes were called onto the enemy position. During the battle, the forward element was in danger of being hit by the friendly air strikes because of a shortage of smoke grenades to mark their position. PFC Lawson volunteered to supply the vital grenades although a restrictive volume of machine-gun fire was being directed on his position by a Viet Cong who had broken through the friendly lines. Crawling toward the insurgent, he fired an accurate burst with his rifle, killing the enemy machine-gunner. Undeterred by the intensifying hostile fire, PFC Lawson ran to the lead element's position and marked its location. His display of courageous determination and devotion to duty saved numerous American lives and contributed to his unit's victory over the Viet Cong. PFC Lawson's unquestionable valor in close combat against hostile forces is in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division and the United States Army.