The Presidential Unit Citation (Navy)


             The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to


For service as set forth in the following


    For extraordinary heroism in action against North Vietnamese Army forces during the battle for Khe Sanh in the Republic o Vietnam from 20 January to 1 April 1968.  Throughout this period, the 26th Marines (Reinforced) was assigned the mission of holding the vital Khe Sanh Combat Base and positions on Hills 881, 861-A, 558 and 950, which dominated strategic enemy approach routes into Northern I Corps.  The 26th Marines was opposed by numerically superior forces - two North Vietnamese Army divisions, strongly reinforced with artillery, tank, anti-aircraft artillery and rocket units.  The enemy, deployed to take advantage of short lines of communications, rugged mountainous terrain, jungle, and adverse weather conditions, was determined to destroy the Khe Sanh Combat Base in conjunction with large scale offensive operations in the two northern provinces of the Republic of Vietnam.  The 26th Marines, occupying a small but critical area, was daily subjected to hundreds of rounds of intensive artillery, mortar and rocket fire, in addition, fierce ground attacks were conducted by the enemy in an effort to penetrate the friendly positions. Despite overwhelming odds, the 26th Marines remained resolute and determined, maintaining the integrity of its positions and inflicting heavy losses on the enemy.  When monsoon weather greatly reduced air support and compounded the problems of aerial resupply, the men of the 26th Marines stood defiantly firm, sustained by their own professional esprit and high sense of duty.  Through their indomitable will, staunch endurance, and resolute courage, the 26th Marines and supporting units held the Khe Sanh Combat Base.  The actions of the 26th Marines contributed substantially to the failure of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army winter/spring offensive.  The enemy forces were denied the military and psychological victory they  so desperately sought.  By their gallant fighting spirit and their countless individual acts of heroism, the men of the 26th Marines (Reinforced) established a record of illustrious courage and determination in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

/s/ Lyndon B. Johnson
President of the United States