The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Terry J. Ebbert (0-91101), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy while serving as Commanding Officer of Company E, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 24 December 1966. When Company G was encircled by a Viet Cong force near the village of Phu Tay (1), First Lieutenant Ebbert's company was assigned the mission of conducting a relief operation to assist the beleaguered unit. After landing on the beach by assault boats, his company was entering the village when the point platoon came under heavy enemy machine gun, mortar, recoilless rifle and small arms fire. The platoon sustained several casualties and was unable to advance due to the intense enemy fire. With complete disregard for his own safety, First Lieutenant Ebbert courageously moved forward, under the observation and fire of the enemy, to evaluate the situation and lead the attack. Under his inspiring leadership, his unit quickly gained fire superiority and forced the enemy to withdraw from the area. He directed his company to resume its advance, but almost immediately, the point platoon was halted by intense automatic weapons fire and mortars from elements of a Viet Cong battalion. Once more, First Lieutenant Ebbert daringly moved to the front of his unit, directing return fire, rallying and encouraging his men, and supervising the evacuation of the wounded to a position of safety. Observing an opportunity to envelop the well entrenched enemy force, he aggressively led a squad of Marines across fifty meters of fire-swept, open terrain and flanked the enemy positions, forcing them to halt their firing and retreat. As he directed artillery fire on the Viet Cong force, First Lieutenant Ebbert was seriously wounded in the chest by enemy fire. But he steadfastly remained at his exposed vantage point, continuing to direct his company's efforts in inflicting heavy losses on the enemy, until he fell unconscious from his wounds. First Lieutenant Ebbert's daring initiative, indomitable fighting spirit, and loyal devotion to duty at great personal risk reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals Home Town: Chicago, Illinois