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THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY
UNITED STATES NAVAL RESERVE
for service as set for in the following
For heroic achievement while participating in aerial flight on 2 August 1966, as bombardier/navigator of a jet aircraft, serving with Attack Squadron SIXTY-FIVE, embarked in USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64), during aerial combat operations in Southeast Asia. Lieutenant (then Lieutenant, Junior Grade) Coker participated in a coordinated air-wing strike involving twenty-three aircraft, against the POL (petroleum, oil and lubricants) Storage Area in the city of Haiphong, North Vietnam. Although opposed by extremely intense and accurate antiaircraft-artillery fire which actually hit his aircraft prior to the bombing run, he courageously continued to operate both the attack navigation radar system and the electronic countermeasures equipment in his aircraft while coaching his pilot in dive angle, airspeed, and altitude. These actions contributed materially to the completion of a highly accurate bombing attack under adverse weather conditions, which inflicted severe damage on the target. Post-strike photography revealed that all except one of the assigned POL storage tanks were destroyed. Lieutenant Coker's outstanding professional competence and composure under fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.