Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hospital Corpsman Second Class David R. Ray

Photo #: USN 1143378-A
David R. Ray
Image cropped from a group photograph.Hospital Corpsman Second Class David R. Ray was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for heroism while serving in the Republic of Vietnam.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph
Hospital Corpsman Second Class David R. Ray, United States Navy

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a corpsman with Battery D, 2d Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division, at Phu Loc 6, near An Hoa, Quang Nam Province, in the Republic of Vietnam, on 19 March 1969. During the early morning hours, an estimated battalion-sized enemy force launched a determined assault against the Battery's position, and succeeded in effecting a penetration of the barbed-wire perimeter. The initial burst of enemy fire caused numerous casualties among the Marines who had immediately manned their howitzers during the rocket and mortar attack. Undaunted by the intense hostile fire, Petty Officer Ray moved from parapet to parapet, rendering emergency medical treatment to the wounded. Although seriously wounded himself while administering first aid to a Marine casualty, he refused medical aid and continued his life saving efforts. While he was bandaging and attempting to comfort another wounded Marine, Petty Officer Ray was forced to battle two enemy soldiers who attacked his position, personally killing one and wounding the other. Rapidly losing his strength as a result of his own severe wounds, he nonetheless managed to move through the hail of enemy fire to other casualties. Once again, he was faced with the intense fire of oncoming enemy troops and, despite the grave personal danger and insurmountable odds, succeeded in treating the wounded and holding off the enemy until he ran out of ammunition, at which time he sustained fatal wounds. Petty Officer Ray's final act of heroism was to protect the patient he was treating. He threw himself upon the wounded Marine, thus saving the man's life when an enemy grenade exploded nearby. By his determined and persevering actions, courageous spirit, and selfless devotion to the welfare of his Marine comrades, Petty Officer Ray served to inspire the men of Battery D to heroic efforts in defeating the enemy. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Thank you, Doc Ray,
When I look at your picture, it amazes me that someone who looks so young, so small, would provide such a fierce act of bravery, such a commitment to oath, to Marines. Years later, your act of heroism still touches lives.
God bless your family,


Diane said...

I'm speechless. God bless David R. Ray. It is because of the Brave that we are free.

De'on Miller said...

And he looks like a baby nearly. It amazes me what hearts and determination that so many of them hold within.