- Second World War (1939-1945)
- 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division "The Old Breed", U.S. Marine Corps (2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division "The Old Breed", U.S. Marine Corps)
- Awarded for:
- Operation Stalemate II
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Gordon D. Gayle (O-5920), Major, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu, Palau islands, on 15 September 1944. Immediately after repulsing a strong Japanese counterattack, Major Gayle skillfully seized the critical moment to cross the Peleliu airdrome, personally leading his Battalion in the assault over fourteen hundred yards of open ground in the face of intense hostile mortar, artillery and machine-gun fire. Although later wounded, he refused evacuation to continue his duties, thereby contributing materially to the success with which his Battalion seized and held the major portion of the airfield against fanatical enemy resistance and fierce counterattacks. His outstanding courage, devotion to duty and leadership were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
SPOT AWARD, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific: Serial 00436.