The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Russell E. Honsowertz (0-5360), Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu Island, Palau Group, from 15 to 20 September 1944. Landing early in the morning of the 15th in the face of heavy mortar, artillery and machine-gun fire, Lieutenant Colonel Honsowetz's unit moved inland and seized its initial objective. Fiercely counterattacked later in the same day by enemy tanks supported by infantry, his men fought desperately to repulse the attack, destroying nine tanks and annihilating the Japanese troops in their zone of action. On the following day, Lieutenant Colonel Honsowetz led his Battalion across an open airfield and through a heavily fortified area to neutralize many hostile concrete emplacements and destroy Japanese troops during the advance. On 17 September, he braved terrific fire from enemy mortars, artillery and machine guns to launch an assault against almost impregnable positions dug into the face of steep cliffs dominating a swamp where Company G was pinned down. Determined to relieve the situation, he unhesitatingly made his way across the swamp to the front lines and, though frequently forced to submerge completely to escape the full effect of unceasing hostile fire, reached his destination and called for supporting fire and smoke, personally directing the Company in a daring maneuver around the flank while constantly risking his life under the heavy fire to gain more effective control of the units of his Battalion and seize the objective. His indomitable fighting spirit and inspired leadership despite continuing fire and great personal danger throughout this period were important factors in the infliction of heavy losses on the Japanese by his Battalion and in the success of the Peleliu Campaign. His courageous devotion to duty reflects the highest credit upon Lieutenant Colonel Honsowetz and the United States Naval Service.