Co I, 3rd Battalion, 26th Mar, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade
Navy Cross Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Corporal William Charles Wirick , United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Mortar Section Leader with Company I, Third Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the night of 8 December 1968, while Corporal Wirick's platoon was maneuvering across a large open rice paddy, the Marines were pinned down by a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire from a hostile force occupying well-fortified emplacements, and were then subjected to intense sniper fire from enemy soldiers located in elevated positions. Although seriously wounded during the initial moments of the fierce fire fight, Corporal Wirick ignored his painful injury and maneuvered boldly across the fire-swept terrain, supervising the evacuation of other casualties. Observing that another wounded and helpless companion had become a vulnerable target for sniper fire, Corporal Wirick unhesitatingly threw himself across his companion and, with his own body, absorbed the primary effects of several sniper rounds. His heroic action and selfless concern for his fellowman inspired all who observed him and saved the life of another Marine. By his courage, bold initiative and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Corporal Wirick upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.