CITATION to Accompany the Award of the Distinguished Service Cross

Captain Charles E. Vernon

During Operation Kentucky in Leatherneck Square, CPT Charles E. Vernon was the commanding officer of A Company, 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry. On September 4, 1968, one of his platoons on a flank security mission was ambushed and received heavy enemy fire. CPT Vernon unhesitatingly moved with his Company CP toward the battle area. He then found himself ambushed while moving to assist his stricken platoon. His track was hit by enemy rockets, seriously wounding him and causing serious casualties among the rest of his crew. Despite his injuries, CPT Vernon directed his driver to move the crippled track on to the enemy positions. Another hit by an enemy rocket completely disabled the track and Vernon was again wounded. At this point, CPT Vernon was not only in great pain, but exposed to the hostile barrage. Determined, he continued to place effective fire on the enemy troops who were by that time attempting to assault his damaged vehicle. While fighting off the aggressors, CPT Vernon re-organized his company into a perimeter and directed the evacuation of casualties. Suffering much pain, he remained in command and maintained complete control of his unit. Ultimately his wounds caused him to lose consciousness and he too was evacuated.