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José L. Rivera
Died March 26, 1969
Place of birth Ciales, Puerto Rico
Place of death Quang Nam Province Vietnam
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch USMC logo.svg United States Marine Corps
Rank USMC-E3.svg
Lance Corporal
Unit Company L, Third Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Navy Cross
Purple Heart

Lance Corporal José L. Rivera born in Ciales, Puerto Rico, was a member of the United States Marine Corps. He belonged to Company L, Third Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force. LCpl José L. Rivera was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions in the Vietnam War.

Vietnam War[]

On the night of 26 March 1969, Lance Corporal Rivera and six other Marines from Company L 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division were occupying a listening post approximately 100 yards forward of the company perimeter in Quang Nam Province. Suddenly, the Marines came under a heavy ground attack by a numerically superior enemy force. Lance Corporal Rivera was attempting to alert the company by radio when a hostile hand grenade landed in his position. Without hesitation, he covered the grenade with his helmet and two protective vests and, shouting a warning to his comrades, smothered the explosion with his own body. Although suffering from multiple fragmentation wounds, he ignored his painful injuries and commenced delivering accurate fire at the assaulting enemy, resolutely refusing to leave his position until his comrades had reached friendly lines.

Navy Cross Citation[]

Navycross.jpeg
JOSE l. RIVERA
Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
Company L, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force
Citation:
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lance Corporal Jose L. Rivera (MCSN: 2447515), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company L, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the night of 26 March 1969, Lance Corporal Rivera and six other Marines from Company L were occupying a listening post approximately 100 yards forward of the company perimeter in Quang Nam Province. Suddenly, the Marines came under a heavy ground attack by a numerically superior enemy force. Lance Corporal Rivera was attempting to alert the company by radio when a hostile hand grenade landed in his position. Without hesitation, he covered the grenade with his helmet and two protective vests and, shouting a warning to his comrades, smothered the explosion with his own body. Although suffering from multiple fragmentation wounds, he ignored his painful injuries and commenced delivering accurate fire at the assaulting enemy, resolutely refusing to leave his position until his comrades had reached friendly lines. His heroic and timely actions and sincere concern for the welfare of his fellowmen inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the lives of several Marines. By his courage, aggressive determination and unswerving devotion to duty in the face of extreme personal danger, Lance Corporal Rivera contributed significantly to the subsequent defeat of the enemy force and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

[1]

Military decorations[]

Among José L. Rivera awards and decorations are the following:

Navy Cross Purple Heart Combat Action Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal Vietnam Service Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal

See also[]

References[]

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