Saturday, May 29, 2004

Memorial - Marine Capt. Brian R. Chontosh

Marine Capt. Brian R. Chontosh received the Navy Cross on May sixth.
While leading his platoon north on Highway 1 toward Ad Diwaniyah, Chontosh's platoon moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons fire. With coalitions tanks blocking the road ahead, he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone.

He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, Chontosh ordered the driver to advanced directly at the enemy position enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy.

He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol. His ammunition depleted, Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack.

When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers.

When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others.
The Navy Cross is the second highest medal awarded to Marines.

Found via this Google search: 2004 OR 2003 AND "Air Force Cross" OR "Navy Cross" OR "Distinguished Service Cross".

But I saw it first on Blackfive. Wish I remember whose link I followed to get there. Here are all medals, and their ranks for each of the services. Here's a challenge to you: As a way to remember our heroes this Memorial weekend, let's Google up some stories and post them on our blogs.