won Medal of Honor in 1950s
Longtime museum Director Roland Earsom was pleasantly surprised
last year to learn of Lt. Col. Raymond Harvey, a former Sulphur
resident and the only Chickasaw to receive the Medal of Honor for
valor during the Korean War. Earsom was shocked by what he then
couldnt find anybody around who knew anything about him,
said Earsom, 88, and a museum volunteer of 25 years. "Why,
the Chickasaws didnt even know anything about him. So we formed
a committee to do some research.
fruits of that research will be shared publicly today at the Arbuckle
Historical Society Museum, along with the unveiling of a permanent
plaque in Harveys honor.
ceremony begins at 2 p.m., and members of Harveys family are
expected to be in attendance. Harveys children were unavailable
for comment Thursday.
research took seven months, and Im just so glad we will now
be able to recognize this man, Earsom said. "If it wasnt
gonna get done now, would it ever have gotten done?
Namm of Hampstead, N.C., can be credited with rescuing Harveys
name from historys shadows. The Sulphur native first contacted
Earsom about donating a plaque to the museum in Harveys honor.
Her call set research in motion.
uncovered an amazing story of courage.
March 9, 1951, then-Capt. Harvey commanded Company C of the 17th
Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army. He received orders to lead the
attack on Hill 1232 overlooking Taemi-dong. But North Korean machine
gun nests canvassed the hillside inside fortifications called "pillboxes.
and his men were soon pinned down under a hail of North Korean machine
Suddenly, Harvey charged up the hill alone in the face of enemy
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 carbine.
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 pillbox while taking a bullet to the chest.
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.
in the White House Rose Garden, President Harry Truman presented
the Medal of Honor to Harvey and three other soldiers. 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.