Navy Cross : The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Joseph A.L. Fournier (0-13799), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of Company G, Second Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division, operating against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu Island in the Palau Group, from 15 to 19 September 1944. Boldly countering the attack of a strong hostile force penetrating our lines on 15 September, First Lieutenant Fournier repulsed the enemy and resolutely held his lines intact through the night. On the following morning he took a small patrol forward and, locating an automatic gun battery delivering enfilade fire across a strategic airfield, charged furiously, killing twenty Japanese and knocking out the deeply entrenched fortification which had been holding up the advance of an entire battalion. Determined to annihilate the enemy, he pressed through to the high ground overlooking the airdrome, seizing the position despite heavy resistance and holding it against desperate counterattack. Continuing his relentless drive into the fourth day, he persistently sought out and destroyed obstinate gun emplacements. When his battalion was again pinned down by a merciless barrage on 19 September, he braved the shattering fusillades to work forward with five others and succeeded in neutralizing the hostile firepower for approximately five hours then, reorganizing his seriously depleted force, broke through stubborn enemy defenses on a high ridge with minimum casualties executing a sharp thrust which spearheaded the battalion's advance into a fanatically defended area vital to the success of our forces. Struck down by a burst of machine-gun fire while leading the final assault, First Lieutenant Fournier, by his indomitable leadership, intrepid spirit and sustained aggressiveness through five days and our nights of bitter, unceasing hostilities, contributed essentially to the ultimate conquest of this Japanese base, and his great personal valor upheld the highest traditions of the Unites States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.