The Commendation Medal is a mid-level United States military award which is presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. For valorous actions in direct contact with an enemy force, but of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Bronze Star, the Valor device ("V" device) may be authorized as an attachment to the decoration.
LIEUTENANT COMMANDER JOHN S. MC CAIN III
UNITED STATES NAVY
for service as set forth in the following
For meritorious achievement in aerial flight on 18 October 1967 as a pilot in Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE, embarked in USS ORISKANY (CVA-34). As section leader, Lieutenant Commander McCain participated in a twenty-two-plane strike against the Lac Trai shipyard and repair facility in Haiphong, North Vietnam. Although violent evasive maneuvers were required to avoid enemy surface-to–air missiles and an intense barrage of antiaircraft fire along the fight path to the target, he maintained flight integrity and expertly positioned his section for attack. In the face of heavy enemy fire, he led his section in the attack and placed his bombs directly on target, thereby inflicting major damage to his assigned area. By his aggressiveness and skillful airmanship, Lieutenant Commander McCain contributed substantially to the success of the mission and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval service.