SEALS Silva, Joseph M.

John Robertson

Staff member
Joseph M.
  • UNIT
U.S.N. Seal Team 2
  • RANK
Shipfitter Second Class

Navy and Marine Corps Medal
South Vietnam 1969



Navy and Marine Corps Medal : The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy and Marine Corps Medal to Shipfitter Second Class Joseph M. Silva, United States Navy, for heroism while serving with the SIXTH Platoon, SEAL Team Detachment ALFA. While en route to a planned insertion point on the night of 11 January 1969 in the Rung Sat Special Zone, the Mobile Support Team LCM-6 with a Light SEAL Support Craft alongside, was transiting the Long Tau shipping channel. Shortly after leaving the river the LSSC violently capsized. The LSSC's coxswain was instantly thrown into the side of the LCM. Wearing heavy protective body armor and rendered unconscious he was swept under the LCM and disappeared from sight. The current at this time was approximately eight knots and the water visibility zero. The adjacent river banks were Viet Cong controlled and the sites of numerous shipping attacks and ambushed. Petty Officer Silva, fully aware of the personal danger involved, completely disregarded his own safety and plunged into the black turbulent waters of the river. He also was swept under the LCM and was injured by its churning screws. Despite the limited visibility and violent current he was able to locate the coxswain and bring him to the surface, holding him there until the LCM found their location and maneuvered to it. Petty Officer Silva's prompt action in the face of great personal danger saved his comrade from drowning. His intrepid and courageous act was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

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