In the name of the President of the United States, the Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific takes pleasure in presenting the
SILVER STAR MEDAL to
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
For service as set forth in the following
CITATION: "The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to First Lieutenant John W. Lyon (MCSN: 0-875797), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Headquarters and Service Company, Battalion Landing Team, Second Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam. On 10 December 1965, while serving as the 81-mm. Mortar Platoon Commander assigned to Command Group Alpha, First Lieutenant Lyon and his team were inadvertently landed in a stretch of open rice paddies which was being swept with intense small arms and automatic weapons fire from Viet Cong in well concealed positions. Although painfully wounded while leaving the helicopter, First Lieutenant Lyon completely disregarded his injury and the savage enemy fire, and proceeded to establish contact with close air support elements. For the next five hours, he expertly directed air strikes against enemy positions. His composure under the withering fire and his exceptional professionalism were instrumental in relieving the pressure on Company F and inflicting heavy casualties on the Viet Cong. When adverse weather precluded the immediate evacuation of casualties, First Lieutenant Lyon moved among the wounded Marines, offering encouragement and reassurance throughout the cold, rainy night, although suffering himself from a severe wound. After treatment aboard a helicopter aircraft carrier, he displayed inspiring dedication to duty, returning to assist his Battalion in the combat mission until complications from the wound forced him to accept evacuation. His exceptional performance undoubtedly saved the lives of many Marines participating in the action, and contributed in large measure to the overall success of Operation HARVEST MOON. By his superb professional skill, concern for the welfare of others and devotion to duty throughout, First Lieutenant Lyon upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."
LIEUTENANT GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS