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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Private First Class Ralph E. Dias

Date & Location: November 12, 1969 - Que Son Vietnam

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, 3d Platoon, Company D, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein) FMF. Place and date: Que Son Mountains, Republic of Vietnam, 12 November 1969. Entered service at: Pittsburgh, Pa. Born: 15 July 1950, Shelocta, Indiana County, Pa. Citation: As a member of a reaction force which was pinned down by enemy fire while assisting a platoon in the same circumstance, Pfc. Dias, observing that both units were sustaining casualties, initiated an aggressive assault against an enemy machine gun bunker which was the principal source of hostile fire. Severely wounded by enemy snipers while charging across the open area, he pulled himself to the shelter of a nearby rock. Braving enemy fire for a second time, Pfc. Dias was again wounded. Unable to walk, he crawled 15 meters to the protection of a rock located near his objective and, repeatedly exposing himself to intense hostile fire, unsuccessfully threw several hand grenades at the machine gun emplacement. Still determined to destroy the emplacement, Pfc. Dias again moved into the open and was wounded a third time by sniper fire. As he threw a last grenade which destroyed the enemy position, he was mortally wounded by another enemy round. Pfc. Dias' indomitable courage, dynamic initiative, and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service to his country.