David Robert Ray

David Robert Ray

McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee, USA
Death 19 Mar 1969 (aged 24)
Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Burial McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee, USA
Memorial ID 7028147 · View Source
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Vietnam Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He was born on February 14, 1945, at McMinnville, Tennessee. He graduated in 1963 from McMinnville High School, having achieved Boys State. For three years he attended the University of Tennessee but quit to enlist in the United States Navy in March 28, 1966. After subsequent training, he served on the USS HAVINN and then at the Naval Hospital Long Beach, California. In May 1968 he requested a tour of duty with the United States Marines. He rose to the rank of Hospital Corpsman Second Class. He served in the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division. On March 19, 1969, at Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, he earned the Congressional Medal of Honor. His Citation reads: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a HC2c. with Battery D, 2d Battalion, at Phu Loc 6, near An Hoa. 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, HC2c. 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 lifesaving efforts. While he was bandaging and attempting to comfort another wounded marine, HC2c. Ray was forced to battle 2 enemy soldiers who attacked his position, personally killing 1 and wounding the other. Rapidly losing his strength as a result of his 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. HC2c. 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, HC2c. 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 U.S. Naval Service. He was also the recipient of the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with star, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. On April 20, 1970, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew presented the Medal of Honor posthumously to his family. The destroyer USS DAVID R. RAY, named in the corpsman's honor, was launched on August 23, 1974. It was the ninth Spruance class destroyer and the fifth ship of that class to join the Pacific Fleet. On February 28, 2002, after more than 24 years of service, the ship was decommissioned at Naval Station Everett in Washington. Following decommissioning, the destroyer was towed to the Bremerton Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway

Family Members



HM2 US Navy
Medal of Honor Purple Heart



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 22 Dec 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7028147
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for David Robert Ray (14 Feb 1945–19 Mar 1969), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7028147, citing Mount View Cemetery, McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .