Ray Daniel Pendergraft
28 Sep 2001
REMEMBERED ACROSS THE YEARS
A memorial initiated by his wife,
E-mail address is not available.
Ray Pendergraft, back row on right.
Courtesy of Al Caluza
Article from 1953 shows 2Lt Pendergraft's potential for joining the National Football League's New York Giants. At the time, he had one of his 3 children, Ray Daniel, Jr.
04 Aug 2002
I was stationed with Major Pendergraft at MCAS Chu Lai. As an enlisted man I did not interact with him on a social level. However, I have a great deal of respect for him as he was a fine Marine and officer. Major Pendergraft always treated us as brother Marines and there was mutual respect in every interaction. In my opinion, Major Pendergraft was one of the top officers I encountered in my time as a Marine. His death was a great loss to the Marines and to the United States of America. I will respect him always.Semper Fi, Major
From a squadronmate,
22 Aug 2002Major Pendergraft,
I came across this remembrance and thought of you. You were my XO and I was your plane captain. We interacted professionally, but I remember you. I remember that fateful day you did not return from your sortie. I remember saluting you as you left.
I wanted to say THANK YOU for your sacrifice to your God, to your Country, to your Corps. I will never forget you.
(Salute) Semper Fi, Major.
E-mail address is not available.
24 May 2005He did not know you.
You did not know him.
He was below being pummelled by North Vietnamese artillery.
He is my brother.
From the brother of a Marine in 1/9.
Notes from The Virtual Wall
At 10 AM on 2 July 1967, Bravo Company 1/9 Marines were on patrol about 1-1/2 miles northeast of Con Thien when they made contact with what they thought was a small, well-entrenched enemy unit. Alpha 1/9, also on patrol nearby, came to help, and the two understrength companies found themselves in a meat grinder - the small enemy force turned out to be 5 NVA battalions that had crossed the DMZ. Even worse, the NVA troops were supported by artillery firing from within and north of the DMZ. Two Battalion Landing Teams, one each from USS TRIPOLI and USS OKINAWA, were committed in support of what became a week-long pitched battle. Fixed wing air support also was called in to support the Marine infantrymen.
Major Ray Daniel Pendergraft, pilot, and Captain David Glenn Spearman, Radar Intercept Officer, in F-4B BuNo 151421 were part of the response. While attacking NVA forces near Kinh Mon, actually within the DMZ proper, their aircraft was hit by ground fire. His wingman followed Pendergraft out to sea and watched helplessly as the F-4B crashed at sea. Both crewmen died in the crash.
Major Bruce A. Martin, flying an F-8E (BuNo 150286) of VMF(AW)-232, observed Major Pendergraft's aircraft leaving the target area trailing smoke; he also saw it go into the water. Only minutes later Martin himself was hit by ground fire while making a low-level bombing run on NVA positions near Thon Cam Son, also within the DMZ. His aircraft on fire, Major Martin headed for the open water, escorted by a section of A-4s. By the time the fire forced him to eject, a USAF HH-3 helicopter was on scene, having launched from Danang in response to the SAR call for Major Pendergraft's aircraft. Major Martin was picked up and survived the incident.
On the ground, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, had been inserted by helicopter on the enemy's left flank and the massive weight of U. S. air and artillery support was taking its toll on the NVA. By evening the NVA had broken contact, withdrawing into the DMZ.
By that time Bravo 1/9 had been destroyed as a fighting force - Bravo 1/9, understrength to begin with, had 54 men killed in action. Alpha 1/9 had 14 killed in action, Charlie 1/9 had 3 killed, Delta 1/9 had 1, H&S Company 16 - including eight Corpsmen, Delta 2/12 Marines (Artillery) had 2 killed, and 1st Marine Air Wing (MAW) lost Captain Spearman and Major Pendergraft.
Major Ray Daniel Pendergraft was buried in Ft Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California. He was survived by his wife, Sue, sons, Ray D. Jr, Steven T., and David R. Pendergraft, Santa Ana, California, and his mother Lelia A and father Ray R Pendergraft, Atchinson, Kansas.
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