UNITED STATES NAVY
The Navy Cross is presented to Raymond D. Clay, Hospitalman, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism as a Platoon Corpsman, 1st Platoon, Company G, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam on 24 September 1966. When a Marine from his platoon suffered a severe head wound shortly after the company encountered a North Vietnamese force estimated at regimental strength and employing intense mortar and small-arms fire, Hospitalman Clay, without hesitation, crawled approximately twenty meters through intense fire to aid the wounded Marine. As he began to treat the wounded man, an enemy grenade exploded about ten meters away. Although bleeding profusely from wounds caused by flying shrapnel, Hospitalman Clay continued treating the Marine until two more grenades landed near him, one falling so close to his legs that he immediately kicked it into the bushes, while the second grenade fell next to him and the wounded Marine. Hospitalman Clay quickly threw himself between the grenade and his patient and, in so doing, absorbed the shrapnel and shock with his own body, saving the wounded Marine from further injury and possible death. The force of this explosion hurled Hospitalman Clay into the bushes, where yet another grenade exploded, increasing the number of his wounds. He then laboriously and with great pain crawled to the rear. Hospitalman Clay's exceptional spirit and fortitude greatly increased the morale of the wounded Marines around him. His inspiring and courageous actions in jeopardizing his own life in order that his patient might live were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.