For exceptionally meritorious service from June 1976 to August 1976 during operations with the United States SIXTH Fleet in the Mediterranean, USS WILLIAM H. BATES (SSN 680) participated in three operations of major significance which significantly upgraded antisubmarine warfare knowledge and capabilities in the SIXTH Fleet and the Navy. Through the continuous display of professionalism and resourcefulness of the personnel of BATES, all mission objectives were achieved or exceeded. By their courage, perseverance, persistence, and unfailing devotion to duty, the officers and men of USS WILLIAM H. BATES reflected great credit upon themselves and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
(signed) W. Graham Claytor, Jr.
Secretary of the Navy