BSM/PH pair (Major Walter J. Krauss, USMC) KIA, Vietnam
Pair to Major Walter J. Krauss, USMC: Bronze Star, with “V” device and gold star, machine-engraved “Maj/Walter J. Krauss Jr/USMC”; Purple Heart, slot brooch, machine-engraved “Maj/Walter J. Krauss Jr/USMC”. With some research.
Major Walter Joseph Krauss, Jr, USMC, from Huntington Station, New York, was born in 1934 and commissioned into the Marine Corps in 1954. He arrived in Vietnam in September 1966. Promoted to major on 1 October 1966, he served as the 1st Marine Division Psychological Operations Officer. In May 1967, he became the Executive Officer, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, and then the regimental S-2 officer. On 18 June 1967, Major Krauss was aboard a UH-34D command and control helicopter over an active operational area (Operation Arizona), when enemy troops were observed in the rice paddies below. The helicopter took automatic small arms fire from the enemy on the ground, wounding the door gunner and killing Major Krauss.
Major Krauss received a Bronze Star with “V” device for meritorious service from 16 September 1966 to 2 May 1967 and a gold star in lieu of a second Bronze Star “for meritorious service in connection with operations against insurgent Viet Cong forces on 18 June 1967 while serving with Headquarters Company, Seventh Marines as the Regimental Intelligence Officer (S-2). Major Krauss was with the Regimental Command Group on a Search and Destroy Mission in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, in order to verify intelligence reports and to collect supplementary information by direct observation of the battlefield. Major Krauss made repeated low-level flights over terrain occupied by a heavily armed Viet Cong force. At 0900, as Major Krauss was plotting the movement of enemy ground forces, his helicopter was taken under heavy small-arms automatic weapons fire. Taking immediate action to assist the helicopter gunner whose machine gun jammed, Major Krauss was struck by an enemy round and mortally wounded. His conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.”