To: A.A. Cunningham
Webb is surely the real thing about Viet-Nam service. Here is his citation for the Navy Cross, since it is next to the CMH doing a Kerry on it would be more than difficult:
Webb, James H., Jr.
First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps
Co. D, 1st Bn., 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division
Date of Action: July 10, 1969
The Navy Cross is awarded to First Lieutenant James H. Webb, Jr., United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 10 July 1969, while participating in a company-sized search and destroy operation deep in hostile territory, First Lieutenant Webb's platoon discovered a well-camouflaged bunker complex which appeared to be unoccupied. Deploying his men into defensive positions, First Lieutenant Webb was advancing to the first bunker when three enemy soldiers armed with hand grenades jumped out. Reacting instantly, he grabbed the closest man and, brandishing his .45 caliber pistol at the others, apprehended all three of the soldiers. Accompanied by one of his men, he then approached the second bunker and called for the enemy to surrender. When the hostile soldiers failed to answer him and threw a grenade which detonated dangerously close to him, First Lieutenant Webb detonated a claymore mine in the bunker aperture, accounting for two enemy casualties and disclosing the entrance to a tunnel. Despite the smoke and debris from the explosion and the possibility of enemy soldiers hiding in the tunnel, he then conducted a thorough search which yielded several items of equipment and numerous documents containing valuable intelligence data. Continuing the assault, he approached a third bunker and was preparing to fire into it when the enemy threw another grenade. Observing the grenade land dangerously close to his companion, First Lieutenant Webb simultaneously fired his weapon at the enemy, pushed the Marine away from the grenade, and shielded him from the explosion with his own body. Although sustaining painful fragmentation wounds from the explosion, he managed to throw a grenade into the aperture and completely destroy the remaining bunker. By his courage, aggressive leadership, and selfless devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Webb upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Webb seems to be mostly Buchananite in his foreign policy orientation mixed with a kind of generalized rage towards anyone who hasn't been in ground combat ordering US forces, especially Marines, into combat. He appears to genuinely loath GWB. Considering the ferocity of combat in the An Hoi/Arizona Territory that he saw I think (and this is no disparagement of a very brave man) Webb has some issues with internal demons. He is a very interesting person and the Dims who hope he will run for Senate in Va next year when Warner steps down may get something that really don't know how to handle. I can't imagine Webb being one for Senatorial courtesy and the blood in his eye is for most of the inside-the-beltway establishment irrespective of party label.
Odd how that Citation is readily available and Murtha's are locked away in the vault.
posted on 01/18/2006 2:12:31 PM PST
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