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50th Commemorative Events Patrick (Bob) Gallagher

2017-04-09

Lance Corporal Patrick "Bob" Gallagher was awarded the Navy Cross for bravery, having been drafted into the service of his adopted country, he willingly served. While under fire Patrick Gallagher showed his extraordinary heroism and inspiring valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved his comrades from probable injury and possible loss of life. His daring actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Cpl Patrick Gallagher, an immigrant on a green-card who lived, worked & attended school in New York prior to being drafted, (including canvassing for Senator Robert Kennedy), chose service over walking away, and offered himself to protect others. He also represents the courage of being one of 3,000 Irish men & women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces in Vietnam, and was one of 29 Irish to have been killed in action there. This recognizes the many contributions of foreign nationals in U.S. Navy, U.S Marines & Armed Forces throughout our history, voluntarily serving with loyalty, honor & commitment to their adopted country.This honor could be recognition for the families of those enlistees of foreign birth who have served our country in support of our countries principles & protection around the world: A US Navy ship afloat with this heritage would be a welcome reminder to those at home that their loved one's service and perhaps ultimate sacrifice, were remembered by us, the citizens, members of our Armed Forces and the government of the United States of America. We herewith request our representatives support, in the appropriate committees of Defense oversight in both the House and Senate, in raising this request at every opportunity with the Secretary of the Navy

During an operation in the summer of 1966, Patrick saved the lives of a number of his comrades when he threw himself on a grenade that had landed in the dugout the Marines were occupying. Fortunately, the grenade didn’t go off immediately and Patrick had an opportunity to throw it out. The grenade exploded a safe distance away; Patrick and his comrades were safe. For his bravery that night, Patrick was awarded a Navy Cross medal.

On March 30th 1967,the day that Patrick died, Patrick’s platoon was on a routine patrol to protect villagers as they harvested their rice in the hills north of the city of Da Nang, in an area that had already seen much fighting. The rice paddies suddenly erupted in gunfire when they were attacked by Viet Cong soldiers who were lying in wait.

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