On this Day in Coast Guard History
Gunner's Mate First Class Willis Jerry Goff, a crewman on board the cutter Point Banks on patrol in Vietnam, was awarded the Silver Star for "his heroic courage and gallantry in action while engaged in armed conflict against North Vietnamese and Viet Cong aggressors in the Republic of Vietnam on Jan. 22, 1969." He and fellow Point Banks crewman Engineman Second Class Larry D. Villarreal volunteered to man the cutter's launch to rescue a group of nine South Vietnamese soldiers who were trapped along a beach by two Viet Cong platoons.
Mr. Larry D. Villarreal was awarded the Silver Star Medal on February 18, 1969, at Department of Transportation Headquarters in Washington, D. C. and Mr. Willis Jerry Goff was awarded the Silver Star Medal on April 19, 1969 at Cat Lo, RVN; both awards were for extraordinary heroic action while serving in the Republic of Vietnam.
Under continuous enemy fire, they made two landings on the beach to rescue successfully all of the South Vietnamese soldiers. His citation read, in part: ". . .with courageous disregard for their own safety, Petty Officer Goff and his fellow crewmember were able to rescue nine South Vietnamese Army personnel who would have met almost certain death or capture without the assistance of the two Coast Guardsmen. Petty Officer Goff's outstanding heroism, professionalism, and devotion to duty and to his fellow man were in the highest traditions of the United States Naval Services."