Raymond Harvey was born in Ford City, Pennsylvania, on March 1, 1920 to Frank and Frannie (Thomas) Harvey. 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.
Raymond was educated in the schools of Sulphur and he graduated from Oklahoma City High School in 1939. On August 16, 1939, he enlisted in the United States Army and served with distinction in both the Second World War and in Korea. He retired from the service in 1962 after a career of almost twenty-three years.
Following his retirement as a lieutenant colonel, he was employed by Northrup Corporation in California for five years, was self-employed as an investment banker for the next eleven years and served as the Director of Indian Affairs for the Arizona Division of Emergency Services until a stroke forced his retirement in 1981.
While in the service, Raymond Harvey was decorated many times. These include the Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry in combat, three Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, three Purple Hearts, ten Campaign stars, two Presidential Unit Citations, the Croix de Guerre with Palm (from the government of France), the Chung Mu Distinguished Service Medal with Gold Star (by the government of South Korea), a Combat Infantry Badge and seven additional medals.
Perhaps Raymond’s finest moment came when, as Captain of Company C of the 117th Infantry, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, our Nation’s highest military honor. In the presentation, President Harry S. Truman cited Raymond Harvey for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action” on March 9, 1951 in the vicinity of Taemi-Dong, Korea. According to the Society of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Ray is one of only five Armstrong County natives to have ever received a Congressional Medal of Honor.
His biography appeared in the prestigious Order of the Purple Heart in December of 1994 and was circulated to over one half million readers.
With his exceptional bravery, burial as a national hero in Arlington National Cemetery, the widespread publication of his name and good and noble deeds, Raymond Harvey has “brought lasting fame and recognition to the Ford City area”, as written in the by laws of the Ford City Area Hall of Fame.
Ray was the recipient of numerous awards during the course of his extraordinary life. He received the Clyde Elrod Award for his “outstanding contributions to the Bureau of Emergency Indian Affairs”, the Medal of Valor in Arizona, the George Washington Award from the state of Arizona, the Military Order of Distinguished Service and Patriotism Award, the Retired Officers Association Heritage Award, the Medal of Honor from New York City, the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit and the “Man of the Year” from Pasadena, California for his participation in the People to People program.
Ray passed away on November 18,1996 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Internment took place on December 6, 1996 in Arlington National Cemetery. Honorary pallbearers included Brigadier General Joseph Foss, Sergeant Sylvester Herrera and Chief Warrant Officer Fred Ferguson. The final salute was given by the Combined Honor Guard of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3513 and the Ray Harvey Chapter of Korean War Veterans Association of Arizona. The Congressional Medal of Honor Citation was read by Donald Parks, PhD., a Korean War paratrooper. Next came the eulogy by Lieutenant General Frank Sackton, Professor of Public Affairs at Arizona State University. “I’m Free” was read by Brigadier General Bradford Smith. The recitation of this poem was followed with a prayer by Cynthia Perieira, Ray’s daughter.
In his eulogy, Lieutenant General Sackton said, “we are here to say goodbye to a dear friend and colleague and a distinguished member of our military family. The word ‘distinguished’ doesn’t seem adequate to express the deeds and the contributions that Ray made for our country. The Medal of Honor was awarded to Ray for his heroic deeds in Korea by a grateful country. Ray was a gentleman of honor, a public servant of outstanding distinction, an animated and articulate spirit and a colleague whose friendship was a delight. St. Paul in his second epistle to Timothy fully expressed the character of Ray; ’I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.'”
Ray is survived by his widow, Pamela Harvey of Scottsdale, Arizona, daughters Cynthia Perieira, Johnece Firestone and Margie Typer, son Michael, sister Mary Nesse and eight grandchildren.
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.
Captain 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, Captain 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, Captain 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 five 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.
Captain 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.
Courtesy of the Department of Defense:
Captain Raymond Harvey
Captain Raymond Harvey, a Chickasaw Indian, was commanding officer of Company C, 17th Infantry, 7th Infantry Division. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for an action on March 9, 1951, near Taerni-dong, South Korea. When Harvey's company was pinned down by automatic weapons fire from several well-entrenched emplacements, he braved bullets and grenades to advance to the first North Korean machine gun nest and killed its crew with grenades. Rushing to the edge of the next emplacement, he killed its crew with carbine fire. Captain Harvey then moved the 1st Platoon forward, but it was again stopped by automatic weapons. Disregarding the hail of fire, he charged and destroyed a third emplacement. Miraculously, Harvey continued to lead the assault through the intense crossfire. After spotting a well-camouflaged enemy pillbox, he moved close enough to sweep the emplacement with carbine fire and throw grenades through the openings, killing its five occupants.
Though wounded and in pain, he ordered his company forward and continued to direct the attack on the remaining hostile positions. Harvey refused evacuation until assured that the mission would be accomplished.
LTC US ARMY
WORLD WAR II, KOREA
DATE OF BIRTH: 03/01/1920
DATE OF DEATH: 11/18/1996
BURIED AT: SECTION 6 SITE 8360-B L
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard