The East Tennessee Veterans Memorial Association presents the 6th Annual Medal of Honor Evening, Honoring Korean War Medal of Honor Recipient SFC Ray E. Duke, United States Army. The event features guest speaker Dr. Michael Lynch of the United States Army War College, and will be held Monday, May 2nd, 2016 at The Historic Foundry Building at 747 World’s Fair Park Drive, Knoxville TN.
Social hour begins at 5:30pm, followed by dinner & presentation at 6:30pm.
About SFC Ray E. Duke
The consummate courage, superb leadership, and heroic actions of Sergeant First Class Duke, displayed during intensive action against overwhelming odds, reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry, and the United States Army, earning him the the Medal of Honor.
On April 26th, 1951, when his platoon heavily engaged and ordered to withdraw, he learned that several of his men were isolated and in an area yielded by his platoon. SFC Duke 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 then returned to his position. The enemy again attacked shortly after dawn, and Duke, despite his wounds, 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 Duke was wounded a third time in both legs and was unable to walk. Realizing that he was impeding the progress of two 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.
SFC Duke was taken Prisoner of War and died while a prisoner on November 11, 1951.
Proceeds from this evening will allow for the continued maintenance & preservation of the Memorial. Tax deductible as allowed by law.