Monday, July 25, 2011

Cryptologist Awarded 2nd Bronze Star for VALOR UNDER FIRE - 25 July 1969 - 42 years ago today


In a brief ceremony at the Headquarters Naval Security Group Command on 25 July 1969, the following citation was read to all assembled:

"The President of the United States of America hereby bestows to LCDR James S. McFarland, United States Navy, the Bronze Star with "V" Distinguishing Device (second award) and the Navy Combat Action Medal.

The citation reads as follows:
"On 13 April, 1969, Lieutenant Commander McFarland was assigned as liaison officer to the Fifth Special Forces Unit, THUONG DUC SFC, Vietnam. At approximately 1100 hours on the morning of the 13th, the camp was taken under intensive and extremely accurate mortar and rocket attack. Heavy casualties were inflicted on friendly forces within the first few minutes of the attack and within ten minutes seventy per cent casualties were suffered.  
As the attack intensified, the enemy began preparations for a frontal assault of battalion size. The battle raged for over six hours with all perimeters subjected to heavy attack, including hand-to-hand fighting. During this action, LCDR McFARLAND distinguished himself by repeatedly rallying Vietnamese soldiers and directing effective zones of fire. Several times he left the relative safety of his perimeter bunker to assist in repulsing enemy infiltrators. On one such occasion he killed three enemy about to satchel charge the camp command bunker with automatic weapon fire and successfully turned back additional attackers with grenades.
LCDR McFarland's VALOR UNDER FIRE is hereby awarded by presentation of the Bronze Star with "V" (second award) and the Navy Combat Action Medal."

Certified this 25th day of July 1969
William B. Clarey
United States Navy

**NOTE** This year, the RADM James S. McFarland NJROTC Scholarship was awarded to Cadet LCDR Brandi Blakley.  She will attend Indiana University - Purdue University of Indianapolis.  Lieutenant Commander Frank Starr (retired 1610) was her Senior Naval Science Instructor at Bloomfield High School in Bloomfield, Indiana.


My kids' Mom said...

Good morning Sir, Thank you so very much for the book. How very kind of you. I am reading it and I am truly enjoying it. Again many thanks for your kindness.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.

Kind regards from Sweden.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post Mike. RADM McFarland was The Best.
Lee Cardwell

General Quarters said...

Bad ass.

MilitaryFighter-wanna-be said...

Wow. It is really good to know about him. I hope I can live up to be half the man Captain Mcfarland was. Thank you so much for the scholarship.

MilitaryFighter-wanna-be said...

It is great to see the face behind the name. Also, to read his story.

Thank you so very much for the scholarship. I hope I can live up to be at least half the person Captain McFarland was.

NavyOne said...

Wow, great man. . .

Robert Maguire said...

Actually, reading the citation, it seems that he deserved a Silver Star at least. Mike, do you have the citation from his first Bronze Star?

I don't know how it's possible, but after reading this post, I hold Admiral McFarland in even higher regard.

He was an amazing man. If you met him, it was obvious from the get go how much he cared about his Sailors. He was one of a kind.

Anonymous said...

I am thinking that this puts to rest the question of 1610s being trigger pullers or not. Jim McFarland KILLED 3 Viet Cong. You can't argue with that.

Don East said...

As a former enlisted Cryot Tech, I had crossed paths with James McFarland many times. Then after I received my commission as a NFO and eventually was C.O. of VPU-1, then Capt McFarland was at Cinclantflt and was a frequent visitor to my unit in Brunswick. Me. Later, when I was a Capt and attached to Naval Technical Intelligence Center, Adm McFarland knew I was on the road a lot to visit and coordinate with various collectors. He often asked me to look in on various NSG units. My last contact with him was when he asked me to take a hard look at the Sinop facility for him. I did so and gave him a lengthy report. He was a real gentleman and a solid Naval officer without a trace of the PC bullshit we too often see today in his soul! Don East

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

Captain Don East,

Thank you very much for your comments and for stopping by to read the blog.

Appreciate your comments about RADM McFarland and your MANY contributions to the field of cryptology/SIGINT/IW over the years.

I remember you well, as all of us from that period would. You have been a great friend to the community and superb mentor and leader through your personal and professional example.

Thank you for your service.


Unknown said...

Then Captain McFarland, was the CO in Misawa in the 1980's for our det in Atsugi and I met him once in Korea. Many years later I ran into him, literally, in an elevator at Fort Meade and he still remembered my name and my wife's name. Phenomenal guy to emulate as a leader of sailors, and I tried to do that. Wonderful sailor and example of leadership.
Thanks for posting Mike.

CWO4 Brian Ashpole, USN-Retired said...

RADM McFarland was my CO while I was stationed at Misawa. I was a 19 year old CTR3 when I first met him as a new arrival. I had never had a conversation with a commanding officer before this. When I checked out with him in 1981 I told him that when I first came to Misawa my intention was to leave the Navy at my EAOS.
His leadership and the leadership of my LCPO and LPO kept me from leaving. There is no doubt where the "tone of the command" came from.
Years later (1988), he visited us onboard USS Leyte Gulf because we had the prototype to TRDF and he wanted our opinion (it was not good). He went around the space to everyone and asked name and background. When he came to me, he told our CO that he already knew what I'd been up to.
He practiced a covenental style of leadership that I beleave is quite rare these days.