The Secretary of the Navy
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Bronze Star posthumously to
Steelworker Second Class
Robert D. Stethem
United States Navy
for service as set forth in the following
For heroic achievement on 14 June 1985 while assigned to Detachment November Mike '85 of Underwater Construction Team One deployed to the Naval Communication Station, Nea Makri, Greece. Petty Officer Stethem displayed exceptional valor and professional integrity while a hostage of militant Shi'ite hijackers of Trans World Airlines Flight 847 at Athens International Airport, Algiers, Algeria and at Beirut, Lebanon. Exhibiting physical, moral, and emotional courage beyond extraordinary limits, Petty Officer Stethem endured a senseless and brutal beating at the hands of his fanatical captors. He drew upon an unwavering inner strength and absorbed the punishment. The hijackers were infuriated by his refusal to succumb, a symbol to them of the strength of the United States of America; and in their cowardly desperation, shot him to death. Petty Officer Stethem's courage, steadfast determination, and loyal devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
For the President,
[signed by John Lehman]
Secretary of the Navy
[Note: The Bronze Star was awarded to Stethem on 12 Mar. 1986.].
12 September 2001