Patrick Riordan

Silver Star

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Patrick Carlisle Riordan (2359732), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Machine Gunner with Company F, Second Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 19 May 1968, Company F was conducting a reconnaissance in force near Khe Sanh Combat Base when the lead elements came under intense mortar, small arms, and artillery fire from a large North Vietnamese Army Force. Reacting instantly, Private Riordan maneuvered forward and, delivering a heavy volume of machine-gun fire upon the hostile emplacements, enabled the remainder of his platoon to move to the assistance of the lead elements. After expending his ammunition, he moved through the fire-swept terrain to a rear area and obtained critically needed rifle ammunition for his comrades. Upon returning to his forward position, he alertly observed two Marines lying wounded near the enemy emplacements. Disregarding his own safety, he fearlessly traversed the besieged area and assisted the injured men to covered positions. Obtaining additional ammunition for his comrades, he again returned to the forward locations. When the North Vietnamese soldiers penetrated the perimeter defense, the Marines were directed to withdraw to a more advantageous position. Seizing a weapon from a casualty, Private Riordan commenced delivering a heavy volume of effective fire to cover the movement of the other men as they evacuated the casualties from the hazardous area. Undaunted by the enemy rounds impacting near him, he remained in his dangerously exposed position and provided accurate covering fire until he was mortally wounded. His heroic and timely actions inspired all who observed him and contributed significantly to the accomplishment of the unit's mission. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit, and selfless devotion to duty, Private Riordan upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.