Msgt. Ray Duke received the National Medal of Honor for his actions in the Korean War and also holds the South Korean equivalent of the medal. Following his capture by the North Koreans after a valiant stand that earned him the US Medal of Honor, Duke was tortured and medical service withheld until he decided to inform on the South Korean Units he had trained. Duke refused to cooperate and endanger the men to North Korean attacks. The Tennessean starved to death in the P.O.W. Camp and was awarded the South Korean Medal of Honor for his courage and bravery under the extreme conditions. The Tennessean is the only American serviceman to hold both medals
Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Mugok, Korea, 26 April 1951.
Entered service at: Whitwell (Marion County), Tenn. Born: 9 May 1923, Whitwell, Tenn.
G.O. No.: 20, 19 March 1954.
Citation: Sfc. Duke, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. Upon learning that several of his men were isolated and heavily engaged in an area yielded by his platoon when ordered to withdraw, he 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 returned to his position. When the enemy again attacked shortly after dawn, despite his wounds, Sfc. Duke 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 Sfc. Duke was wounded a third time in both legs and was unable to walk. Realizing that he was impeding the progress of 2 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. The consummate courage, superb leadership, and heroic actions of Sfc. Duke, displayed during intensive action against overwhelming odds, reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry, and the U.S. Army.
M/Sgt Ray E. Duke was laid to rest in the Chattanooga National Cemetery.