Sergeant, U.S. Marine
Corps, Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division
Place and date:
Near Thua Thien, Republic
of Vietnam, 4 February 1968.
23 May 1946, Edinburg
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the
risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving
as platoon commander, 3d Platoon, Company A. On 31 January 1968,
during the initial phase of Operation Hue City, Sgt. Gonzalez' unit
was formed as a reaction force and deployed to Hue to relieve the
pressure on the beleaguered city. While moving by truck convoy along
Route No. 1, near the village of Lang Van Lrong, the marines received
a heavy volume of enemy fire. Sgt. Gonzalez aggressively maneuvered
the marines in his platoon, and directed their fire until the area
was cleared of snipers. Immediately after crossing a river south
of Hue, the column was again hit by intense enemy fire. One of the
marines on top of a tank was wounded and fell to the ground in an
exposed position. With complete disregard for his safety, Sgt. Gonzalez
ran through the fire-swept area to the assistance of his injured
comrade. He lifted him up and
though receiving fragmentation wounds during the rescue, he carried
the wounded marine to a covered position for treatment. Due to the
increased volume and accuracy of enemy fire from a fortified machinegun
bunker on the side of the road, the company was temporarily halted.
Realizing the gravity of the situation, Sgt. Gonzalez exposed himself
to the enemy fire and moved his platoon along the east side of a
bordering rice paddy to a dike directly across from the bunker.
Though fully aware of the danger involved, he moved to the fire-swept
road and destroyed the hostile position with hand grenades. Although
seriously wounded again on 3 February, he steadfastly refused medical
treatment and continued to supervise his men and lead the attack.
On 4 February, the enemy had again pinned the company down, inflicting
heavy casualties with automatic weapons and rocket fire. Sgt. Gonzalez,
utilizing a number of light antitank assault weapons, fearlessly
moved from position to position firing numerous rounds at the heavily
fortified enemy emplacements. He successfully knocked out a rocket
position and suppressed much of the enemy fire before falling mortally
wounded. The heroism, courage, and dynamic leadership displayed
by Sgt. Gonzalez reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine
Corps, and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S.
Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.