Special Operations Memorial Foundation

Ronald E. Ray

Ronald E. Ray

U.S. Army

Captain Ronald E Ray (then First Lieutenant) while assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Ia Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam on 19 June 1966 for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Captain Ray distinguished himself while serving as a platoon leader with Company A. When one of his ambush patrols was attacked by an estimated reinforced Viet Cong company, Captain Ray organized a reaction force and quickly moved through two kilometers of mountainous jungle terrain to the contact area. After breaking through the hostile lines to reach the beleaguered patrol, Captain Ray began directing reinforcement of the site. When an enemy position pinned down three of his men with a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire, he silenced the emplacement with a grenade and killed four Viet Cong with his rifle fire. As medics were moving a casualty towards a sheltered position they began receiving intense hostile fire. While directing suppressive fire on the enemy position, Captain Ray moved close enough to silence the enemy with a grenade, A few moments later Captain Ray saw an enemy grenade land, unnoticed, near two of his men. Without hesitation or regard for his safety he dove between the grenade and the men, thus shielding them from the explosion while receiving wounds in his exposed feet and legs. He immediately sustained additional wounds in his legs from an enemy machine gun, but nevertheless he silenced the emplacement with another grenade. Although suffering great pain from his wounds, Captain Ray continued to direct his men, providing the outstanding courage and leadership they vitally needed, and prevented the annihilation by successfully leading them from their surrounded position. Only after assuring hat his platoon was no longer in immediate danger did he allow himself to be evacuated for medical treatment. By his gallantry at the risk of his life in the highest traditions of the military service, Captain Ray has reflected great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

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