SEALS Leonard, Wellington Taylor

The Bandits of Cisterna
By William Pickering & Alan Hart

John Robertson

Administrator
Staff member
  • SURNAME
Leonard
  • FORENAME
Wellington Taylor
  • UNIT
U.S.N. Seal Team 2
  • RANK
Mineman Second Class
  • NUMBER
  • AWARD
Silver Star
  • PLACE
South Vietnam 1970
  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
from Syracuse,New York

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Mineman Second Class Wellington Taylor Leonard, United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as a member of Sea-Air-Land Team TWO (SEAL-2), while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong communist aggressors in the Republic of Vietnam on 14 June 1970. During a mission to disrupt a Viet Cong extortion station deep within enemy controlled territory, while traveling by sampan under the cover of darkness, the patrol established a guard post position on a trail near the objective. After daybreak, two armed Viet Cong approached the patrol and Petty Officer Leonard stepped onto the trail in an attempt to detain them. One of the Viet Cong tried to escape and Petty Officer Leonard took him under fire and single-handedly captured the second. Utilizing sampans for their extraction from the area, the SEAL squad was ambushed by a numerically superior enemy force. During the initial volley of enemy fire one patrol member was hit and knocked out of the sampan in which Petty Officer Leonard was also riding. Under a hail of bullets and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, he dove into the swift river and swam to the injured man. Returning to the sampan with his seriously wounded comrade, he pushed him into the small boat and, ignoring the heavy enemy fire, expertly administered first aid. His quick, decisive action and coolness under fire resulted in the saving of one man's life. Petty Officer Leonard's courage and devotion to duty, despite the threat of personal injury, were an inspiration to the entire patrol and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
 
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