Presidential Unit Citation (PUC)

The Presidential unit Citation (PUC), originally called the Distinguished Unit Citation, is awarded to units of the United States Armed Forces, and those of allied countries, for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after 7 December 1941 (the date of the Attack on Pearl Harbor and the start of American involvement in World War II). The unit must display such gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions so as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same campaign.

Admiral Nimitz: In reading over the report of the action on the 5th and 6th of July, one thing stands out vary clearly in my mind. Captain McInerney, the Squadron Commander who was flying his Flag at that time in the USS Nicholas, states in his report that while Nicholas was picking up survivors from the Helena, an enemy contact was made. Captain Hill of this ship, on hearing this, got underway and made this remark, "If the S.O.B.'s want to fight, I'll give them a fight."

This fighting spirit I know is the spirit of the Destroyers, Pacific, and should be translated into our slogans, "Take the Offensive and Keep It," and "PermitNo Enemy Ship, Plane or Man to Escape Destruction (or Capture).

January 28, 1944 – Pearl Harbor

"...Our destroyers have truly been the silent part of our service, but their exploits and their capabilities are well known to those who have to know. Congratulations from the Pacific Fleet to every officer and man of Nicholas. Well done! Now in accordance with the provisions of General Order One Hundred Eighty Seven, I have the honor to present to Nicholas, in the name of the President of the United States, the "Unit Citation'." – Admiral Nimitz

September 7, 1944

Presidential Unit Citation Ceremony aboard the USS O'Bannon (DD-450) for outstanding performance in combat against enemy Japanese forces in the South Pacific from

7 October 1942 to 7 October 1943.

Ship's commanding officer

Commander Richard W. Smith, is congratulated by Rear Admiral Daniel E. Barnbey,

after the presentation of the

Presidential Unit Citation to the O'Bannon

7 September 1944.

CONTENT...Launching a close range attack on hostile combatant ships off Guadalcanal on the night of November 13, 1942, the O’BANNON scored three torpedo hits on a Japanese battleship, boldly engaged two other men o’ war with gunfire and retired safely in spite of damage sustained. During three days of incessant hostilities in July 1943, she gallantly stood down Kula Gulf to bombard enemy shore positions in coverage of our assault groups, later taking a valiant part in the rescue of survivors from the torpedoed U.S.S STRONG while under fierce coastal battery fire and aerial bombing attack and adding her fire power toward the destruction of a large Japanese naval force. In company with two destroyers, the O’BANNON boldly intercepted and repulsed nine hostile warships off Vella Lavella on October 7, 1943, destroying two enemy ships and damaging others. Although severely damaged, she stood by to take aboard and care for survivors of a friendly torpedoed destroyer and retired to base under her own power... Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy