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George E. Gray

Home of record: Shreveport Louisiana


Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lance Corporal [then Private First Class] George E. Gray (MCSN: 2259206), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as an anti-tank assaultman with Company E, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 2 February 1968, Company E was advancing to seize a hill in Quang Tri Province overlooking National Route Nine to prevent the enemy from interdicting the road. Suddenly, Lance Corporal Gray's platoon came under heavy fire from mutually supporting fortified North Vietnamese Army positions on the hill, pinning down the platoon and inflicting several casualties. Observing an enemy mortar emplacement, he disregarded his own safety as he repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire in order to bring effective fire to bear against the North Vietnamese position. On three separate occasions, he was wounded as he fired his antitank rocket weapon, however he ignored his painful wounds and refused medical attention for himself. Having expended his rocket ammunition, Corporal Gray obtained an M-16 rifle and began delivering a heavy volume of accurate fire against the enemy. When he observed a wounded Marine lying in an area exposed to hostile fire, he ran across the fire-swept area to the side of his fallen comrade, carried him to safety and began administering first aid. After he was joined by two other Marines who assisted in providing medical treatment to the wounded man, he heard the sound of an incoming enemy mortar round and, reacting instantly, pushed his two companions to the ground and covered the injured man with his own body. Although severely wounded by fragments from the exploding round, Corporal Gray successfully protected his fellow Marine from sustaining further injury. Still refusing medical attention for himself even though he was again wounded by enemy fire, he continued to aggressively engage the enemy until the critical phase of the battle was over. By his steadfast courage, intrepid fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Corporal Gray inspired all those who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

Action Date: 2-Feb-68

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Lance Corporal

Company: Company E

Battalion: 2d Battalion

Regiment: 9th Marines

Division: 3d Marine Division (Rein.) FMF