Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Korean War - U.S. Army

Ray E Duke

  • Rank: Sergeant First Class (Highest Rank: Master Sergeant)
  • Conflict/Era: Korean War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company C, 21st Infantry Regiment,
    24th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: April 26, 1951
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Mugok, Korea

Sfc. Duke, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. Upon learning that several of his men were isolated and heavily engaged in an area yielded by his platoon when ordered to withdraw, he led a small force in a daring assault which recovered the position and the beleaguered men. Another enemy attack in strength resulted in numerous casualties but Sfc. Duke, although wounded by mortar fragments, calmly moved along his platoon line to coordinate fields of fire and 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 again attacked shortly after dawn, despite his wounds, Sfc. Duke repeatedly braved withering fire to ensure maximum defense of each position. Threatened with annihilation and with mounting casualties, the platoon was again ordered to withdraw when Sfc. 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. The consummate courage, superb leadership, and heroic actions of Sfc. Duke, displayed during intensive action against overwhelming odds, reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry, and the U.S. Army.

Medal of Honor Recipient Ray E. Duke
Medal of Honor Recipient Ray E. Duke
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Whitwell, Marion County, Tennessee
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: March 10, 1954

    The Pentagon, presented by Sec. of the Army Robert t. Stevens to his Mother, Mrs. Ida B. Duke

  • Born: May 9, 1923, Whitwell, Marion County, TN, United States
  • Died: November 11, 1951, Korea
  • Buried: Chattanooga National Cemetery (MH) (Z-373), Chattanooga, TN, United States
  • Location of Medal: Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center, Chattanooga, TN

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