Neill M. Ray
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to First Lieutenant (Infantry) Neill M. Ray (ASN: 0-1289802), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving with Company D, 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate), attached to the 34th Infantry Division, on 8 November 1943, in the vicinity of Pozzilli, Italy. Lieutenant Ray, Forward Observer for an 81-mm. mortar platoon, was in position at an Observation Post located on the crest of a hill, forward of the advance infantry elements. The Observation Post was almost untenable because of intense and continuous enemy artillery fire. During the course of the morning the enemy launched two counterattacks, preceded by a heavy artillery barrage. Lieutenant Ray, however, remained in his position and coolly adjusted the fire of the mortars, although his position was being constantly shelled. Both time the enemy, estimated at two companies, were repulsed by mortar fire directed from his Observation Post. Ach time he observed the enemy forming for a counterattack, Lieutenant Ray directed as many as forty mortar shells on them, breaking up their columns. He maintained this position all morning, directing effective fire until his and his assistants were killed by a tree burst from an enemy shell. His coolness under fire and his courage and bravery in the face of almost certain death were an inspiration to his men and a credit to the Armed Forces of the United States.
Rank: First Lieutenant
Company: Company D
Battalion: 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)
Division: 34th Infantry Division