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Medal recipients
   Hospitalman Apprentice Fonseca, Louis E. Navy  
Navy Cross
Hospitalman Apprentice Louis E. Fonseca
United States Navy

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Corpsman, Amphibious Assault Vehicle Platoon, Company C., First Battalion, Second Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2 on 23 March 2003. During Company C's assault and seizure of the Saddam Canal Bridge, an amphibious assault vehicle was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade inflicting five casualties. Without concern for his own safety, Hospitalman Apprentice Fonseca braved small arms, machine gun, and intense rocket propelled grenade fire to evacuate the wounded Marines from the burning amphibious assault vehicle and tend to their wounds. He established a casualty collection point inside the unit's medical evacuation amphibious assault vehicle, calmly and methodically stabilizing two casualties with lower limb amputations by applying tourniquets and administering morphine. He continued to treat and care for the wounded awaiting evacuation until his vehicle was rendered immobile by enemy direct and indirect fire. Under a wall of enemy machine gun fire, he directed the movement of four casualties from the damaged vehicle by organizing litter teams from available Marines. He personally carried one critically wounded Marine over open ground to another vehicle. Following a deadly artillery barrage, Hospitalman Apprentice Fonseca again exposed himself to enemy fire to treat Marines wounded along the perimeter. Returning to the casualty evacuation amphibious assault vehicle, he accompanied his casualties South through the city to a Battalion Aid Station. After briefing medical personnel on the status of his patients, Hospitalman Apprentice Fonseca returned North through the city to Company C's lines and to his fellow Marines that had been wounded in his absence. His timely and effective care undoubtedly saved the lives of numerous casualties. Hospitalman Apprentice Fonseca's actions reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions to the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

LEHEW, JUSTIN D.
Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps
Company A, 1st Battalion, 2d Marines, Task Force Tarawa, 1st MEF
Date of Action: March 23 & 24, 2003
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Justin D. Lehew, Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Amphibious Assault Platoon Sergeant, Company A, First Battalion, Second Marines, Task Force Tarawa, First Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 23 and 24 March 2003. As Regimental Combat Team 2 attacked north towards An Nasiriyah, Iraq, lead elements of the Battalion came under heavy enemy fire. When the beleaguered United States Army 507th Maintenance Company convoy was spotted in the distance, Gunnery Sergeant Lehew and his crew were dispatched to rescue the soldiers. Under constant enemy fire, he led the rescue team to the soldiers. With total disregard for his own welfare, he assisted the evacuation effort of four soldiers, two of whom were critically wounded. While still receiving enemy fire, he climbed back into his vehicle and immediately began suppressing enemy infantry. During the subsequent company attack on the eastern bridge over the Euphrates River, Gunnery Sergeant Lehew continuously exposed himself to withering enemy fire during the three-hour urban firefight. His courageous battlefield presence inspired his Marines to fight a determined foe and allowed him to position his platoon's heavy machine guns to repel numerous waves of attackers. In the midst of the battle, an Amphibious Assault Vehicle was destroyed, killing or wounding all its
occupants. Gunnery Sergeant Lehew immediately moved to recover the nine Marines. He again exposed himself to a barrage of fire as he worked for nearly an hour recovering casualties from the wreckage. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Lehew reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

BITZ, MICHAEL E.
Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps
Company C, 1st Battalion, 2d Marines, Task Force Tarawa, 1st Marine Division, I MEF
Date of Action: March 23, 2003
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Michael E. Bitz, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Crew Chief and Assistant Section Leader, Third Assault Amphibian Vehicle Section, Company C, First Battalion, Second Marines, Task Force TARAWA, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 23 March 2003. During the attack on An Nasiriyah, Iraq, Sergeant Bitz's vehicle sustained a direct hit from a rocket-propelled grenade, setting it on fire. Aware that there were several casualties on board, he maneuvered his vehicle to the company's defensive perimeter. He immediately assisted in moving the wounded to the casualty collection point. Without an amphibious assault vehicle to command and under unrelenting enemy small-arms and artillery fire, he picked up his rifle and joined a squad of the Third Platoon in a deliberate assault. His efforts substantially aided the platoon and, after the squad sustained several casualties, Sergeant Bitz ignored his own wounds and helped in loading the others onto an evacuation vehicle. Despite receiving unrelenting fire, Sergeant Bitz mounted a different vehicle to provide security for the casualties. While escorting the wounded during movement, Sergeant Bitz was mortally wounded by enemy fire when his vehicle sustained a direct hit from a rocket-propelled grenade. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Sergeant Bitz reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest tradition of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

DORAN, JASON K.
Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps
Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 2d Marines, RCT 2, Task Force Tarawa, 1st Marine Division, I MEF
Date of Action: March 23, 2003
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Jason K. Doran, Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Company Operations Chief, Weapons Company, First Battalion, Second Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, Task Force TARAWA, I Marine Expeditionary Force while deployed to Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 23 March 2003. During the battle of An Nasiriya, Gunnery Sergeant Doran demonstrated extraordinary valor as he led a rescue team to locate and recover isolated Marines. In order to safely transport Marines who were stranded, he commandeered four additional vehicles. Under constant small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire, he navigated the convoy and directed combined anti-armor team vehicle's suppressive fires on the enemy. After the stranded Marines were rescued and the convoy was returning to safety, Gunnery Sergeant Doran realized a combined anti-armor team vehicle had been left behind. With total disregard for his own safety, he returned to the last known position of the vehicle and found its crew heavily engaged with the enemy. His vehicle's direct fire halted the
enemy attack and allowed the combined anti-armor team vehicle to safely proceed out of the city. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Doran reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

DUNFEE, DAVID R.
Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Marine Corps
1st Battalion, 2d Marines, RCT 2, Task Force Tarawa, I MEF
Date of Action: March 23 - 25, 2003
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to David R. Dunfee, Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Battalion Gunner with the First Battalion, Second Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, Task Force TARAWA, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM from 23 to 25 March 2003. On 23 March during the assault on enemy defenses in An Nasiriyah, Chief Warrant Officer Dunfee dismounted and moved to an exposed position while under enemy fire in order to determine the composition and disposition of the enemy. He provided the Battalion Command an accurate assessment of the enemy action, recommendations on how to employ organic fires, and he directed fires against enemy positions. As a result, nine enemy T-62 Maine Battle Tanks were destroyed. On 25 March, while the battalion conducted a Forward Passage of Lines, the moving battalion mistakenly engaged a friendly unit with direct fire. From his location, he sprinted over open terrain to a position between the two units, and using voice, hand, and arm signals, he was successful in ceasing
all fires. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Chief Warrant Officer Dunfee reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

HANEY, TIMOTHY P.
Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps
Weapons Company, 2d Battalion, 8th Marines, Task Force Tarawa, I MEF
Date of Action: March 20 - April 3, 2003
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Timothy P. Haney, Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Platoon Sergeant, Combined Anti-Armor Platoon, Weapons Company, Second Battalion, Eighth Marines, Task Force TARAWA, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 20 March to 3 April 2003. Gunnery Sergeant Haney's leadership, personal sacrifice, and calming influence enabled his platoon to repeatedly engage and defeat enemy forces in close combat. From 23 to 26 March 2003, Gunnery Sergeant Haney participated in firefights with Iraqi Military and Paramilitary Forces in An Nasariya, Iraq, during which his personal example while under fire set the tone for the platoon's tactical success. During a direct fire engagement against a heavy machine gun, he dismounted his vehicle to gain awareness of the enemy's positions, exposed himself to enemy fire, and provided higher headquarters with vital situational awareness. On 26 March 2003, while the Battalion's Main Command Operations Center came under attack from two directions, Gunnery Sergeant Haney raced through intense fire to emplace Marines in defensive positions and orient their fires. After an explosion riddled Gunnery Sergeant Haney's body with 60 pieces of shrapnel, he ignored his wounds and continued to transport injured Marines to the Battalion Aid Station. He refused medical attention until everyone else had been treated. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Haney reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

POKORNEY, FREDERICK E., JR.
First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps
Company C, 1st Battalion, 2d Marines, Task Force Tarawa, I MEF
Date of Action: March 23, 2003
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Frederick E. Pokorney, Jr., First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while
serving as Artillery Forward Observer, Company C, First Battalion, Second Marines, Task Force TARAWA, I Marine Expeditionary Force, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 23 March 2003. During the battle of An Nasiriyah, Iraq, First Lieutenant Pokorney expertly directed artillery fire to destroy heavily fortified enemy positions that engaged the Company with accurate direct and indirect fire. He continuously displayed courage under fire during the engagement through rapid decision-making and confident actions. First Lieutenant Pokorney's superb coordination of three artillery missions resulted in the destruction of multiple high pay-off targets, to include enemy machine gun positions that were raking his company's position. Under the heaviest enemy fire of the day, First Lieutenant Pokorney exposed himself to devastating fire while crossing several hundred meters in order to meet with the Fire Support Team Leader. After updating the Fire Support Team Leader on the status of fire missions and additional enemy targets, a volley of enemy bullets, and enemy rocket-propelled grenades hit behind his position, mortally wounding First Lieutenant Pokorney. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, First Lieutenant Pokorney reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.