Raymond Harvey

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Raymond Harvey
LTC Raymond Harvey.jpg
Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1920-03-01)March 1, 1920
Ford City, Pennsylvania
Died November 18, 1996(1996-11-18) (aged 76)
Scottsdale, Arizona
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Army
Years of service 1939–1962
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Unit 79th Infantry Division
7th Infantry Division
Commands held Company C, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division
Battles/wars World War II
*Operation Overlord
*Battle of the Bulge
Korean War
*Battle of Inchon
Awards Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross
Silver Star (3)
Bronze Star (3)
Purple Heart (3)

Raymond Harvey (March 1, 1920 – November 18, 1996) was a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army who served during World War II and the Korean War. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions on March 9, 1951.

Early years and military service[edit]

Raymond Harvey was born in Ford City, Pennsylvania. His father was in the construction business. His mother, a Chickasaw Indian, was born in 1889 near the community of Nebo, Oklahoma.

After living in Ford City for four years, the family moved to his mother’s hometown of Sulphur, Oklahoma, where he grew up. Harvey was educated in the schools of Sulphur and he graduated from Oklahoma City High School in 1939. He enlisted in the United States Army on August 16, 1939.

Military Service[edit]

World War II[edit]

During World War II, he served in the 79th Infantry Division, landing in Normandy, France one week after the Invasion of Normandy and participating in the division's campaigns in northern France and Germany. Harvey was decorated for valor several times, earning the Distinguished Service Cross (second only to the Medal of Honor), two Silver Stars and two Purple Hearts.

Korean War[edit]

After World War II ended, Harvey entered the Army's Organized Reserve, and returned to active duty in 1948. He was serving with the 7th Infantry Division in 1950 when the Korean War began, and landed with the division at Inchon, Korea in September 1950. Shortly after the landing, and before the Chinese counterattack in November 1950, Harvey took command of the division's Company C, 17th Infantry Regiment.

Harvey was in command of the company the following March, when it led the attack of 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment on Hill 1232 near Taemi-Dong, where Harvey would earn the Medal of Honor. On that day, Harvey commanding Company C of the 17th Infantry Regiment, received orders to lead the attack on Hill 1232 overlooking Taemi-dong. But North Korean machine gun nests canvassed the hillside inside fortifications. Harvey and his men were soon pinned down under a hail of North Korean machine gun fire.

Suddenly, Harvey charged up the hill alone in the face of enemy fire. Harvey tossed grenades into the first pillbox he got to, killing those inside. Then Harvey advanced on the next entrenchment and dispatched all five occupants with his M1 carbine. The men of Company C eventually joined Harvey, only to watch their commander charge the next machine gun nest. He single-handedly wiped out gunners in another fortification while taking a bullet to the chest.

Eyewitnesses then saw Harvey, bleeding and probably moving on adrenaline, crawl toward another enemy stronghold disguised with logs. He burst upon them with his carbine. Unable to move, he ordered his men to complete the mission with a final push. Harvey refused medical care until Hill 1232 had been taken.

Wounded in the battle, Harvey was presented a third Silver Star while in the aid station, for bravery in the fall 1950 campaign after the Inchon landings. On July 5, 1951, Harvey was presented the Medal of Honor by President Harry S Truman at a White House ceremony. Truman called them the "backbone of the government” and the "reason we will win the Cold War.” He then added with a touch of reverence that he would rather have that Medal of Honor than be president.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Company C, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division

Place and date: Vicinity of Taemi-Dong, Korea, March 9, 1951

Entered service at: Pasadena, Calif. Born: March 1, 1920 Ford City, Pennsylvania

G.O. No.: 67, August 2, 1951


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.[1]

Later years[edit]

Harvey was assigned by the U.S. Army to be military technical adviser to Samuel Fuller for his Korean War film Fixed Bayonets! (1951). The two of them struck up a friendship with Harvey also acting as technical advisor on Fuller's Verboten! (1958) and accompanied Fuller and his wife to Europe at the end of the 1950s to scout locations for a projected filming of The Big Red One for Warner Bros. that did not eventuate.[2] Harvey remained in the Army after the Korean War and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring in 1962. After retirement, he was employed by the Northrop Corporation, then worked as an investment banker, and then served as Director of Indian Affairs for the Arizona Division of Emergency Services. He retired fully after a stroke in 1981.

He died in 1996 at the age of 76 and is buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington County, Virginia.

Military Awards[edit]

Raymond Harvey's military awards include twelve individual decorations for combat he received from the U.S. Army: the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, three Silver Stars, three Bronze Star Medals and three Purple Hearts, makes him one of the most highly decorated infantry soldiers in U.S Army history. He was also awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Palm (from the government of France) and the Chungmu Cordon Medal with Gold Star (by the government of South Korea).

U.S. Awards & Decorations
Personal awards
  Medal of Honor
  Distinguished Service Cross
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
  Silver Star with 2 oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
  Bronze Star with "V" device & 2 oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
  Purple Heart with 2 oak leaf clusters
  Army Commendation Medal
U.S. Awards & Decorations
Unit awards
Bronze oak leaf cluster
  Presidential Unit Citation with 1 oak leaf cluster
  Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Service awards
  Good Conduct Medal with 2 Good Conduct Loops
Campaign & Service awards
  American Defense Service Medal
  American Campaign Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
  European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 4 service stars
  World War II Victory Medal
  Army of Occupation Medal
  National Defense Service Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
  Korean Service Medal with 4 service stars
Service & Training awards
  Armed Forces Reserve Medal
U.S. Awards & Decorations
Badges and tabs
CIB2.png  Combat Infantryman Badge (2nd Award)
Foreign Awards & Decorations
Individual & Unit awards
  French Croix de Guerre with Palm
  Chungmu Cordon Medal (Republic of Korea)
  United Nations Korea Medal
  Korean War Service Medal
Fourragère CG TOE.jpg  French Fourragère

Personal awards and honors[edit]

Harvey's personal awards and honors include:[3]

  • Clyde Elrod Award
  • Medal of Valor (Arizona)
  • George Washington Award (Arizona)
  • Military Order of Distinguished Service and Patriotism Award
  • Retired Officers Association Heritage Award
  • Medal of Honor (New York City)
  • American Red Cross Certificate of Merit
  • Man of the Year Award, Pasadena, California

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ""RAYMOND HARVEY" entry". Medal of Honor recipients: Korean War. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved 2007-12-31. 
  2. ^ Fuller, Samuel with Christa Lang Fuller and Jerome Henry Rudes. A Third Face : My Tale of Writing, Fighting and Filmmaking. New York: A. Knopf, 2002
  3. ^ http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/rharvey.htm


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.

External links[edit]