The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to
USS LIBERTY (AGTR-5)
 
for service as set forth in the following
 
CITATION:
 
For exceptionally meritorious and heroic achievement on 8 June 1967 during an armed attack by fore foreign aircraft and motor torpedo boats while sailing on an assigned mission in international waters in the Eastern Mediterranean. Very shortly after noon, LIBERTY was attacked without warning by foreign jet fighter aircraft and motor torpedo boats, and suffered major topside damage from strafing aircraft, serious damage amidships from a direct torpedo hit, and heavy casualties to the crew. The ship's radar, most of the external communications capability, all of the life rafts, and most of the ship's boats were lost due to the severity of the damage inflicted, the resulting fires, and exploding gasoline stored topside. Although two-thirds of the crew were killed or wounded, those surviving displayed outstanding professionalism, undaunted spirit, and extraordinary heroism in their efforts. to save their ship. Following the directions of their Commanding Officer, they contained and extinguished the various fires caused by the attacks, and fought to control the flooding caused by the torpedo hit. Medical teams cared for the seriously wounded, expeditiously performing a task both great and difficult. Taking a vital part in the wide variety of actions necessary to save their ship and their shipmates, all surviving crew members were instrumental in returning LIBERTY one thousand miles safely to port. Their exceptional courage, perseverance, and devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon themselves and the United States Naval Service.
Results of Napalm fires.  Note Rocket & cannon holes in antenna mount (bottom left) & Tress comm dish antenna in background (bottom right)
The badly wounded on the mess deck tables where Dr. Kiepfer (covering his own wounds wearing a life jacket) & crew saved as many as possible.