Silver Star Medal (1) Awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Navy or Marine Corps, is cited for gallantry in action that does not warrant a Medal of Honor or Navy Cross. (a) While engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; (b) While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or (c) While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. (2) The heroic act(s) performed must render the individual conspicuous and well above the standard expected. An accumulation of minor acts of heroism normally does not justify the award, but unusual or exceptional cases will be decided on their merits. Authorization 10 U.S.C. S6244
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Electronics Technician Third Class James Terry Halbardier, United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving on board the U.S.S. LIBERTY (AGTR-5), on 8 June 1967.
The U.S.S. LIBERTY was attacked by Israeli aircraft and motor torpedo boats in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on the fourth day of the SIX DAY WAR. Petty Officer Halbardier, without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, fearlessly and repeatedly exposed himself to overwhelming rocket and machinegun fire to repair a damaged antenna in an open deck area during heavy aerial attacks.
Aware that all of the ship’s transmitting antennas had been destroyed and that communication with higher authority depended upon antenna repair, Petty Officer Halbardier risked his life to run connecting coaxial cable across open decks from the antenna to the main transmitter room.
His efforts allowed the ship to establish communications with distant elements of the SIXTH Fleet and call for assistance.
Despite being wounded, Petty Officer Halbardier ignored his injuries until the antenna had been repaired and the call for help had been received and acknowledged.
His courageous actions were critical in alerting distant Navy commanders to the ship’s need for assistance and were instrumental in saving the ship and hundreds of lives.
Petty Officer Halbardier’s outstanding display of decisive leadership, unrelenting perseverance, and loyal devotion to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.