David Robert RayHospital Corpsman 2nd Class
HQ BTRY, 2ND BN, 11TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV
United States Navy
14 February 1945 - 19 March 1969
Mc Minnville, Tennessee
Panel 29W Line 082
The database page for David Robert Ray
On March 19th 1969, when an enemy battalion got in the wire of D Battery, 11th Marines near An Hoa, "Doc" David R Ray of McMinnville, Tennessee, went to the aid of the wounded. He was hit by enemy fire and killed one enemy soldier and wounded a second who attacked him. Doc continued to treat the wounded until he was fatally wounded. As his last act, he threw himself over a wounded Marine when an enemy grenade exploded nearby.
Where do we get such men?
From a USMC veteran,
Stand down Doc, I've got your watch
From a shipmate,
I just want to say that we from McMinnville still think of you. Your grave overlooks my old home and I stop by and see you from time to time even though I live far away. The main thing that I want the world to know is that your mama was so kind to me while I served in Vietnam. She was the only one from our church who really went out of her way to take the time sending things and to write me. She was also the only one from "our" church who really went overboard bragging about me being "her other Vietnam boy". She was so proud of you and that pride passed on to me.
I left the church to never return again after arriving home and being treated like the "baby killer" everyone thought we were. Bobby, your mama gave me things of yours that I will cherish forever or until I find an appropriate place which will display and honor them as they should be. More than that she gave me the love and friendship and welcome home that no one outside my family chose to give. Westwood Church of Christ owes its Vietnam vets a big apology and hopefully they and the rest of the country learned their lesson and will treat their future soldiers with the respect they deserve. God Bless America. God Bless you, Bobby. I am so sorry you didn't get the chance to live your life but I know by your actions others did get to live theirs. Maybe someday those guys will find this site and pay tribute to you as well.
We went to school together, we went to Church together. You were two grades higher than I but I will never forget you and what you did.
I know you're in heaven with your mama now. Give her a big hug and kiss from "her other Vietnam boy".
From a friend and class mate,
Bobby's mother gave me these photos years ago. I thought some of the Marines he cared for might get a kick out of seeing his hooch again with his Tennessee and American flags flying proudly.
Bobby and I served together on the USS HAVEN (AH-12), a Navy Hospital ship, we were the last crew aboard. Then we both were given a new duty assignment as Navy Corpsmen at the Naval Hospital Long Beach (off the 605 freeway). Later we were split up before both going in-country with the Marines in Vietnam.
I wish his parents to know that he was a fine young man who deserved The Medal Of Honor for his heroic actions. As military comrades, we have gone where our country needed us and unfortunately some of us don't return to continue our lives. I think of Bobby often and remember him at our VFW meetings.
Our ships and Navy hospitals may be gone or decommissioned, however there are always comrades like myself who never forget the sacrifices made by the few for so many.
God bless you all,
Notes from The Virtual Wall
On the night of 18/19 March 1969, Delta Battery 2/11 Marines was located at Fire Support Base Phu Lac 6, adjacent to the Liberty Bridge near An Hoa. A few hundred meters distant was the command post of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. In the early morning hours of 19 March both areas were attacked, first by a barrage of mortar and rocket fire, then by a ground attack estimated to be in battalion size. Thirteen Marines and two Navy Corpsmen died in the two attacks - 12 from Delta 2/11 and 3 from the 1/5 CP - but the NVA left 79 bodies strewn around the artillery compound alone.
HM2 David R. Ray was formally assigned to the Headquarters Battery, but was Delta 2/11's senior Corpsman. The fifteen men were
"You guys are the Marine's doctors -
There's none better in the business than a Navy Corpsman ..."
-- Lieutenant General "Chesty" Puller --
Visit John Dennison's
As an aside, USS HAVEN (AH-12) was commissioned late in World War II. She was moth-balled in the late 40s, reactivated for and served throughout the Korean War, and then was decommissioned again - but continued to serve for ten more years as a floating hospital at Long Beach, California. Her sisters USS REPOSE and USS SANCTUARY served in Vietnam.
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
a USMC Veteran,
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 26 Mar 2005
Last updated 10/09/2006