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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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Hospitalman Richard L. Powell Class of 2010

United States Navy

Navy Cross

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Hospitalman Richard Lee Powell, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism on the morning of 29 August 1968 while serving as a corpsman with Company L, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Hospitalman Powell’s platoon was moving with Company M of the Third Battalion to establish a blocking position near Hill 55 southwest of DaNang, when the lead elements of the company received intense hostile sniper fire. As Hospitalman Powell’s unit maneuvered across a large field in an attack on the enemy’s flank, the Marines came under a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire delivered from three sides by a large North Vietnamese Army force, and sustained numerous casualties. With complete disregard for his own safety, Hospitalman Powell unhesitatingly rushed forward and commenced treating the wounded men. During the ensuing fire fight, he fearlessly maneuvered about the fire-swept terrain from one injured man to another and, on several occasions, moved dangerously close to the hostile emplacements to assist casualties. Although struck by enemy machine-gun fire which immobilized one of his arms, he ignored his painful injuries as he steadfastly continued to render life-sustaining aid to his fallen comrades. Observing a casualty who lay within fifteen meters of an enemy machine-gun position, Hospitalman Powell fearlessly advanced into the hazardous area and was mortally wounded by hostile fire while providing vital medical treatment to the injured Marine. By his outstanding initiative, personal valor, and sincere concern for the welfare of his comrades, Hospitalman Powell served to inspire all who observed him, succeeded in saving the lives of numerous Marines, an upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

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