Friday, March 09, 2012

TFH 3/9: Captain Raymond Harvey, USA

Raymond Harvey was born on March 1, 1920 in Ford City, PA. Harvey was one-half Chicksaw Indian, and his childhood years were spent in Oklahoma. Harvey enlisted with the United States Army on August 16, 1939, prior to the beginning of World War II.

His service in World War II was exemplary. Harvey landed at Normandy a week after D-Day with the 79th Infantry Division. For his leadership, courage, and wounds suffered he received the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Star medals, and two Purple Hearts. At the end of World War II, Harvey was demobilized to reserve status.

He returned to active duty in 1948, and was thrust back into war in Korea with the 7th Infantry Division in 1950. Captain Harvey, commanding Company C, 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, showed beyond any shadow of a doubt that a leader of men in combat can only do so from the front and by example on this day in 1951. For his heroism, he was awarded our Nation's highest honor.

From Medal of Honor Citations for the Korean War:


Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Company C, 17th Infantry Regiment. Place and date: Vicinity of Taemi-Dong, Korea, 9 March 1951. Entered service at: Pasadena, Calif. Born: 1 March 1920 Ford City, Pa. G.O. No.: 67, 2 August 1951. Citation: Capt. Harvey Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. When his company was pinned down by a barrage of automatic weapons fire from numerous well-entrenched emplacements, imperiling accomplishment of its mission, Capt. Harvey braved a hail of fire and exploding grenades to advance to the first enemy machine gun nest, killing its crew with grenades. Rushing to the edge of the next emplacement, he killed its crew with carbine fire. He then moved the 1st Platoon forward until it was again halted by a curtain of automatic fire from well fortified hostile positions. Disregarding the hail of fire, he personally charged and neutralized a third emplacement. Miraculously escaping death from intense crossfire, Capt. Harvey continued to lead the assault. Spotting an enemy pillbox well camouflaged by logs, he moved close enough to sweep the emplacement with carbine fire and throw grenades through the openings, annihilating its 5 occupants. Though wounded he then turned to order the company forward, and, suffering agonizing pain, he continued to direct the reduction of the remaining hostile positions, refusing evacuation until assured that the mission would be accomplished. Capt. Harvey's valorous and intrepid actions served as an inspiration to his company, reflecting the utmost glory upon himself and upholding the heroic traditions of the military service. 

Harvey's Korean service also saw him receive a third Silver Star and a third Purple Heart. His Distinguished Service Cross and three Silver Star citations can be read at Military Times' Hall of Valor. Raymond Harvey later served as a technical adviser to several motion picture productions assisted by the Army. He retired from the Army in 1962 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He passed away in 1996 and rests in peace in Arlington National Cemetery.

Harvey's unit during his Medal of Honor action, 1st Battalion/17th Infantry, is today part of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division. They are headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

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