FORCE RECON Baptista, Leandro F.

Alone On Guadalcanal: A Coastwatcher's Story
By Martin Clemens & Allan R. Millett
Return Ticket
By Anthony Deane-Drummond

John Robertson

Staff member
Leandro F.
  • UNIT
1 Recon Bn (1 MarDiv) (B Company)
  • RANK
Silver Star
Iraq 2004
from Miami,Florida
left USMC September 2004
Glendale Police Department,Los Angeles


Silver Star : The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Sergeant Leandro F. Baptista, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy as a Team Leader in Second Platoon, Company B, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on 7 April 2004. In the Al Anbar Province, Iraq, 60 enemy combatants in fortified positions ambushed Sergeant Baptista's 25-man reconnaissance platoon, wounding six Marines and disabling two vehicles. When the attack commenced, Sergeant Baptista immediately dismounted his vehicle and led his team to flank the enemy positions. Avoiding enemy fire, Sergeant Baptista sprinted across a shallow canal, climbed a 10-foot berm, and charged towards the enemy. Drawing fire from enemy machine guns, he silenced one emplacement and then continued to press the enemy by hastily forming a three-man assault team. With disregard for his own safety, he advanced over another berm under heavy enemy fire. He disarmed an improvised explosive device, and without hesitation, charged forward uncovering 11 enemy combatants. He ferociously attacked the surprised enemy, single-handedly eliminating four insurgents at close range while directing the fire of three Marines against the remaining seven enemy insurgents. While under fire from different enemy positions, Sergeant Baptista provided cover for his team to withdraw safely. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Sergeant Baptista reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

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