For exceptionally meritorious service during a period in 1974-1975. During this period, USS WILLIAM H. BATES successfully executed its unique mission, the results of which are of extreme significance to the United States. The outstanding courage, resourcefulness, persistence, and aggressiveness of the officers and men of the USS WILLIAM H. BATES reflected great credit upon themselves and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
(signed) J. William Middendorf
Secretary of the Navy