The Congressional Medal of Honor Society and Medal of Honor Foundation regret to announce the passing of Medal of Honor Recipient Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura.

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World War II - U.S. Army

Bernard James Ray

Details
  • Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company F, 8th Infantry,
    4th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: November 17, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Hurtgen Forest, near Schevenhutte, Germany
Citation
He was platoon leader with Company F, 8th Infantry, on 17 November 1944, during the drive through the Hurtgen Forest near Schevenhutte, Germany. The American forces attacked in wet, bitterly cold weather over rough, wooded terrain, meeting brutal resistance from positions spaced throughout the forest behind minefields and wire obstacles. Small arms, machine-gun, mortar, and artillery fire caused heavy casualties in the ranks when Company F was halted by a concertina-type wire barrier. Under heavy fire, 1st Lt. Ray reorganized his men and prepared to blow a path through the entanglement, a task which appeared impossible of accomplishment and from which others tried to dissuade him. With impacable determination to clear the way, he placed explosive caps in his pockets, obtained several bangalore torpedoes, and then wrapped a length of highly explosive primer cord about his body. He dashed forward under direct fire, reached the barbed wire and prepared his demolition charge as mortar shells, which were being aimed at him alone, came steadily nearer his completely exposed position. He had placed a torpedo under the wire and was connecting it to a charge he carried when he was severely wounded by a bursting mortar shell. Apparently realizing that he would fail in his self-imposed mission unless he completed it in a few moments, he made a supremely gallant decision. With the primer cord still wound around his body and the explosive caps in his pocket, he completed a hasty wiring system and unhesitatingly thrust down on the handle of the charger, destroying himself with the wire barricade in the resulting blast. By the deliberate sacrifice of his life, 1st Lt. Ray enabled his company to continue its attack, the resumption of which was of positive significance in gaining the approaches to the Cologne Plain.
Medal of Honor Recipient Bernard J. Ray
Medal of Honor Recipient Bernard J. Ray
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Baldwin, Nassau County, New York
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: June 9, 1921, Brooklyn, Kings County, NY, United States
  • Died: November 17, 1944, Germany
  • Buried: Long Island National Cemetery (MH) (DSS-6), Farmingdale, NY, United States
 

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