“For exceptionally meritorious service in support of military operations on March 19, 1945. Promptly approaching the U.S.S. FRANKLIN after that vessel had been severely damaged by enemy aircraft, the U.S.S. HICKOX heroically fought raging fires and put aboard rescue parties despite the serious hazards created by exploding gasoline, bombs and ammunition, in an effort to salvage the crippled carrier and save her stricken crew members. Within easy range of enemy air bases, she kept all guns manned and ready to repel any hostile attacks while repeatedly closing the FRANKLIN’s flaming stern to pick up isolated groups of wounded and trapped men. The HICKOX’s valiant achievements in saving many lives and aiding in the safe withdrawal of a valuable Fleet unit attest to the professional skill and fearless devotion to duty of her officers and men, and reflects the highest credit upon the United States Naval Service.”
Source: NARA Modern Military Records (NECTM). Textual Archives Services Division.