Rank and organization:   First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company F, 8th Infantry,
4th Infantry Division.
Place and date:   Hurtgen Forest near Schevenhutte,
Germany, 17 November 1944.
Entered service at:   Baldwin, N.Y.
G.O. No.: 115, 8 December 1945.
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, machinegun, 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 implacable
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 about 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, resumption of which was
of positive significance in gaining the approaches to the Cologne Plain.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)