Ray E. Duke

Duke was born May 9, 1923, in Whitwell, TN, and entered service there.

Learning that several of his men were isolated and heavily engaged in an area yielded by his platoon when ordered to withdraw, Duke, a member of Company C, led a small force in a daring assault which recovered the position and the beleaguered men.

Another enemy attack resulted in numerous casualties, but Duke, although wounded by mortar fragments, calmly moved along his platoon line to coordinate fields of fire and to urge his men to hold firm in the bitter encounter. Wounded a second time, he received first aid and returned to his position. When the enemy attacked again shortly after dawn, despite his wounds, Duke repeatedly braved withering fire to insure maximum defense of each position. With mounting casualties and threatened with annihilation, the platoon was again ordered to withdraw when Duke was wounded a third time in both legs and was unable to walk. Realizing that he was impeding the progress of two comrades who were carrying him from the hill, he urged them to leave him and seek safety. He was last seen pouring devastating fire into the ranks of the onrushing assailants.

He was captured by the enemy, and died as a prisoner of war later that year.