David Robert Ray was born on 14 February 1945 in McMinnville, TN. At the time of action he was a Hospital Corpsman Second Class, USN. His citation reads, “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Corpsman with Battery D, 2nd Battalion at Phu Loc 6, near An Hoa on 19 March 1969. During the early morning hours an estimated battalion sized enemy force launched a determined assault against the battery's position and succeeded in effecting a penetration of the barbed-wire perimeter. The initial burst of enemy fire caused numerous casualties among the Marines who had immediately manned their howitzers during the rocket and mortar attack. Undaunted by the intense hostile fire, Petty Officer Ray moved from parapet to parapet, rendering emergency medical treatment to the wounded. Although seriously wounded himself while administering first aid to a Marine casualty, he refused medical aid and continued his lifesaving efforts. While he was bandaging and attempting to comfort another wounded Marine, Petty Officer Ray was forced to battle two enemy soldiers who attacked his position, personally killing one and wounding the other. Rapidly losing his strength as a result of his severe wounds, he none the less managed to move through the hail of enemy fire to other casualties. Once again, Petty Officer Ray was faced with the intense fire of oncoming enemy troops and, despite the grave personal danger and insurmountable odds, succeeded in treating the wounded and holding off the enemy until he ran out of ammunition, at which time he sustained fatal wounds. Petty Officer Ray's final act of heroism was to protect the patient he was treating. He threw himself upon the wounded Marine, thus saving the man's life when an enemy grenade exploded nearby. Through his determined and preserving actions, courageous spirit, and loyalty to the welfare of his Marine comrades, he served to inspire the men of Battery D to heroic efforts in defeating the enemy. Petty Officer Ray's exemplary conduct, steadfast determination, and unwavering devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
David Ray is buried in Mountain View Cemetery, McMinnville, TN.
The USS David Ray (DD-971) was named in his honor.