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Hospital Corpsman Second Class David Ray

Date of Award: April 20, 1970
Conflict: Vietnam War
Branch: U.S. Navy

Hospital Corpsman Second Class David Ray portraitOn March 19, 1969, a battalion-size enemy force managed to break through the barbed wire perimeter and attack the battery position at Phu Loc Six with assault rifles, flamethrowers and Chicom grenades. Ignoring the heavy rocket and mortar fire, Hospital Corpsman Second Class David Ray moved from position to position rendering aid to as many wounded men as possible before he was seriously injured. Refusing medical aid, Ray continued assisting casualties until he was attacked by two enemy soldiers. He killed one and wounded the other.

Although weakened by severe wounds, Ray continued to try to reach casualties and defend the position, helping the Marines hold off the enemy until he ran out of ammunition. In a final act heroism, Ray lost his life when he protected a wounded Marine from the impact of an exploding grenade. Lethal fragments of the grenade flew into Ray’s body, immediately killing him.

Citation: “Petty Officer Ray 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.”

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
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