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First Name: Ray

Last Name: Duke

Birthplace: Whitwell, TN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Whitwell, TN
Middle Name: Eugene

Date of Birth: 09 May 1923

Date of Death: 11 November 1951

Rank: Master Sergeant

Years Served:
Ray Eugene Duke

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Ray Eugene Duke
Master Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

Ray Eugene Duke (9 May 1923 - 11 November 1951) was a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on 26 April 1951. He was captured by the enemy and died a prisoner of war later that year. He received a posthumous promotion to the rank of Master Sergeant.

Medal of Honor citation

Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division

Place and date: Near Mugok, Korea, 26 April 1951

Entered service at: Whitwell (Marion County), TN Born: 9 May 1923, Whitwell, TN

G.O. No.: 20, 19 March 1954


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 to 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 insure 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 2 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.

Other Medal

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Sergeant First Class Duke was also awarded the Purple Heart.


Ray E. Duke is buried at Chattanooga National Cemetery in Chattanooga, TN.

Honoree ID: 1155   Created by: MHOH




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