Medal of Honor





Rank and organization: Hospital Corpsman Second Class, U.S. Navy, 2d Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine

Division (Rein), FMF.


Place and date: Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, 19 March 1969.


Entered service at: Nashville, Tenn.


Born: 14 February 1945, McMinnville, Tenn.




For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a HM2 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, HM2 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, HM2 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. HM2 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, HM2 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.


Thanks to SSG David Bata for the above photograph.


On 18 November 2000 Richard Weihert sent the following message:

In 1966 - I had the honor of serving with David R. Ray on the USS Haven AH-12 and then Naval Hospital Long Beach, California - we were then drafted to the Fleet Marines. I have the honor of David R. Ray's signature in my health record as we recorded our shots when we worked in the Emergency Room on the Haven. God Bless Him and his family.


CWO3 Richard Weihert (ret) USN/PA-C

On 4 July 1999 Ladye Jane Hunter < ladyejane@InfoAve.Net > sent me a copy of the following message:

Subject: David R Ray

Date: Sun, 04 Jul 1999 23:42:59 -0700

From: danny mitchell <>

To: ladyejane@InfoAve.Net

I served with Doc Ray from 8-68 untill his death on 3-19-69. I was with him several hours befor he was killed, he came down to my bunker to check on my condition, and brought me several pairs of socks. He was very concerned with everyone's well being. I will never forget him and the nite we got over ran. I would like to visit his grave site some day, maybe this fall. I live in Indiana, and my name is Danny Mitchell. I went to the Vietnam Wall back in '89, and I found his name and some of the other guys names that were killed that nite.


On 25 May 1999, Ladye Jane Hunter < ladyejane@InfoAve.Net > from McMinnville, Tennessee, wrote the following:

"Bobby Ray was born at the Medical Clinic on Main Street in McMinnville, Tennessee to David Foster and Donnie Molloy Ray. His sister is Mary Don Ray Lentz and his nephew is David Bryant Lentz. Bobby Ray has both a highway and an elementary school in McMinnville named for him, in addition, the U.S. Navy named a ship after Bobby, the USS DAVID ROBERT RAY. This ship was in supportive action in Operation Desert Storm.

It is with pride and gratitude this memorial page is dedicated to David Robert Ray, our hero and Warren County's one and only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.

We are proud of you, Bobby".


--- General / Personal ---


Last name: RAY

First name: DAVID ROBERT

Home of Record (official): MC MINNVILLE

State (official): TN

Date of Birth: Wednesday, February 14, 1945

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single


--- Military ---


Branch: Navy

Rank: HM2

Serial Number: B308634

Component: Regular

Pay grade: E5

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): HM2


--- Action ---


Start of Tour: Friday, July 12, 1968

Date of Casualty: Wednesday, March 19, 1969

Age at time of loss: 24

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Gun, small arms fire (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Quang Nam

The Wall: Panel 29W - Row 082


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