Still in awe, 6 years later

Olive Drab

Verified SOF
Verified SOF
Sep 15, 2006
Gen. Ray Davis, MOH

Me and my Pipe and drum band were down at the Stone Mountain Georgia Highland Games in October or November of 2001. Like most bands we have our little staging area where we have our coolers, food, chairs for downtime between the mass band activities while the games were going on. People would come up and talk to the various bands and we would get a small crowd at times for being the only military band there. After various veterans came up and spoke to us this older genetleman comes up to us and starts talking. He told us he was a retired Marine and was very humble.

I dont think he mentioned his rank, period of service or anything like that. He then asks to take a picture with us. As we line up, im standing next to him. Right bvefore the photo he tells us to hold on for a second. He reaches in his pocket, pulls out this light blue ribbon with a medal on the end and hands it to me to snap around his neck. I froze up after realizing what was in my hand. We took the picture, everyone shook his hand and for a few minutes all of us were in awe. I was even more amazed when I read the citation from the Korean War about what General Ray Davis did to earn the medal. I found out he died a few years later. Im glad this nation has produced individuals along the lines of Gen. Davis and am truly in awe of their acts of heroism which earned them the Medal of Honor. Dennis, Joe, or anyone else, if you have a copy of the picture, please scan it and email it to me.

Gen Davis' citation is below

..>..>Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Vicinity Hagaru-ri, Korea, 1 through 4 December 1950. Entered service at: Atlanta, Ga. Born: 13 January 1915, Fitzgerald, Ga. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, in action against enemy aggressor forces. Although keenly aware that the operation involved breaking through a surrounding enemy and advancing 8 miles along primitive icy trails in the bitter cold with every passage disputed by a savage and determined foe, Lt. Col. Davis boldly led his battalion into the attack in a daring attempt to relieve a beleaguered rifle company and to seize, hold, and defend a vital mountain pass controlling the only route available for 2 marine regiments in danger of being cut off by numerically superior hostile forces during their re-deployment to the port of Hungnam. When the battalion immediately encountered strong opposition from entrenched enemy forces commanding high ground in the path of the advance, he promptly spearheaded his unit in a fierce attack up the steep, ice-covered slopes in the face of withering fire and, personally leading the assault groups in a hand-to-hand encounter, drove the hostile troops from their positions, rested his men, and reconnoitered the area under enemy fire to determine the best route for continuing the mission. Always in the thick of the fighting Lt. Col. Davis led his battalion over 3 successive ridges in the deep snow in continuous attacks against the enemy and, constantly inspiring and encouraging his men throughout the night, brought his unit to a point within 1,500 yards of the surrounded rifle company by daybreak. Although knocked to the ground when a shell fragment struck his helmet and 2 bullets pierced his clothing, he arose and fought his way forward at the head of his men until he reached the isolated marines. On the following morning, he bravely led his battalion in securing the vital mountain pass from a strongly entrenched and numerically superior hostile force, carrying all his wounded with him, including 22 litter cases and numerous ambulatory patients. Despite repeated savage and heavy assaults by the enemy, he stubbornly held the vital terrain until the 2 regiments of the division had deployed through the pass and, on the morning of 4 December, led his battalion into Hagaru-ri intact. By his superb leadership, outstanding courage, and brilliant tactical ability, Lt. Col. Davis was directly instrumental in saving the beleaguered rifle company from complete annihilation and enabled the 2 marine regiments to escape possible destruction. His valiant devotion to duty and unyielding fighting spirit in the face of almost insurmountable odds enhance and sustain the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service
Those who have experienced the winter/arctic warfare environment can attest to its way of making everything more difficult, to occasionally downright miserable. What these troops overcame, and at such odds - under this fellow's leadership - defies imagination!