Navy Cross Citation
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant, Junior Grade Leonard Wilson Thornhill (NSN: 0-81121), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane in Torpedo Squadron TWO (VT-2), attached to the U.S.S. LEXINGTON (CV-2), in action against enemy Japanese forces during the Air Battle of the Coral Sea on 7 May 1942. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Thornhill pressed home an attack against an enemy Japanese aircraft carrier to within the perilously short range of a few hundred yards of his target. By complete disregard for his own personal safety and resolute purpose in carrying out his mission, he was able to score a hit on the enemy carrier, thereby contributing to the destruction of that vessel and to the success of our forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea. His conduct on this occasion was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
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