“For outstanding heroism in action as a Fighter Direction Ship on a Radar Picket Station during the Okinawa Campaign, from April 1 to June 24, 1945. A natural and frequent target for heavy Japanese Aerial attack while occupying advanced and isolated stations, the USS VAN VALKENBURGH defeated all efforts of enemy Kamikaze and dive-bombing planes to destroy her. Constantly vigilant and ready for battle, she sent out early air warnings, provided fighter direction and, with her own gunfire, downed four hostile planes, probably destroyed another, shared in the destruction of two others and routed many more. On four occasions, she went to the rescue of stricken ships of the Radar Picket Screen, picking up survivors, aiding with the casualties, fighting fires and controlling damages, Despite great danger to herself from subsequent surprise attacks. A gallant fighting ship, the VAN VALKENBURGH, her officers and her men withstood the stress and perils of vital Radar picket duty to prevent The Japanese from striking in force against the Naval Forces off the Okinawa Beachhead, achieving a distinctive combat record which attests to the teamwork, courage, and Skill of her entire company and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
Source: Shipmate Keith Bastian.