Award Citation as published in April 1944:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Ensign Rubin Keltch, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving on board the River Gunboat USS Plymouth (PG 57), during and after the sinking of that vessel through enemy action near Cape Henry, along the United States' Atlantic coast, on 5 August 1943. When an enemy torpedo crashed into the port side amidships and exploded, causing spreading fires, Ensign Keltch unhesitatingly risked his life to assist several survivors to safety. Proceeding to the engine room in search of others known to be trapped and helpless, he entered the compartment and was himself trapped, thereby losing his life. The conduct of Ensign Keltch throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.