“For outstanding heroism in action while attached to an Amphibious Force during operations for the seizure of enemy Japanese-held Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, from March 24 to May 4, 1945. Operation in waters protected by enemy mines and numerous suicide craft, the U.S.S. SHEA rendered distinctive service in providing effective cover for our minesweeper groups against hostile attack by air, surface, submarine, and shore fire. A natural and frequent target for heavy Japanese aerial attack, she fought her guns valiantly to down nine planes and assist in the destruction of three others, accounting for six of the total of nine within a period of ten minutes during action in April. After downing an attacking plane on May 4, the SHEA turned her guns on a second plane which came in out of the sun, maintaining furious fire on the high-speed target until it struck her superstructure on the starboard side, penetrating the bridge without exploding and emerged on the port side to explode and perforate the side with shrapnel. Saved from complete destruction by prompt damage control measures, the SHEA had achieved a record of gallantry in combat, reflecting the highest credit upon her courageous and skilled officers and men and upon the United States Naval Service.”
Source: NARA Modern Military Records (NECTM). Textual Archives Services Division.