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First Name: Ralph

Last Name: Dias

Birthplace: Shelocta, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Pittsburgh, PA
Middle Name: Ellis

Date of Birth: 15 July 1950

Date of Death: 11 November 1969

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1967 - 1969
Ralph Ellis Dias

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Ralph Ellis Dias
Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Private First Class Ralph Ellis Dias (15 July 1950 - 11 November 1969) was a U.S. Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in November 1969.

Dias was born on 15 July 1950, at Shelocta, in Indiana County, PA. He graduated from elementary school in 1965, then attended Elderton Joint High School in Shelocta for two years.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on 9 October 1967, at Pittsburgh, PA, and underwent recruit training with the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC.

Upon completion of recruit training in December, he was transferred to the 2nd Infantry Training Battalion, 1st Infantry Training Regiment, Camp Lejeune, NC, for special infantry training. In February 1968, he was ordered to the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, CA, for duty with Company B, 1st Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division.

In April 1969, he was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam for duty as a rifleman with Company D, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force.

Private First Class Dias was killed in action on 12 November 1969, while participating in combat in Quang Nam Province. His heroic actions on that date were recognized with his Nation's highest military award for valor - the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, while serving as a Rifleman with Company D, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam on 12 November 1969. As a member of a reaction force which was pinned down by enemy fire while assisting a platoon in the same circumstance, Private First Class Dias, observing that both units were sustaining casualties, initiated an aggressive assault against an enemy machine gun bunker which was the principal source of hostile fire. Severely wounded by enemy snipers while charging across the open area, he pulled himself to the shelter of a nearby rock. Braving enemy fire for a second time, Private First Class Dias was again wounded. Unable to walk, he crawled fifteen meters to the protection of a rock located near his objective and, repeatedly exposing himself to intense hostile fire, unsuccessfully threw several hand grenades at the machine gun emplacement. Still determined to destroy the emplacement, Private First Class Dias again moved into the open and was wounded a third time by sniper fire. As he threw a last grenade which destroyed the enemy position, he was mortally wounded by another enemy round. Private First Class Dias' indomitable courage, dynamic initiative, and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in service to his country.


Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
Combat Action Ribbon
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with 1 Bronze Star
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Commendation
Vietnam Civil Actions Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The name Ralph E. Dias is inscribed on Panel 16W, Line 063.


A section of State Route 344 in Leetonia, PA, has been renamed in his honor.

Death and Burial

Private First Class Ralph Ellis Dias was killed in action on 11 November 1969. He is buried at Oakdale Cemetery in Leetonia, OH.

Honoree ID: 927   Created by: MHOH




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