Raymond Henry Cooley
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. For actions near Lumboy, Luzon, Philippine Islands.
February 24, 1945
Born May 7, 1914, in Dunlap, TN, Cooley entered service at Richard City, TN.
Cooley was a platoon guide in an assault on a camouflaged entrenchment defended by machine guns, rifles and mortars. With his men pinned down by two enemy machine guns, he advanced under heavy fire to within 20 yards of one of the guns and attacked it with a hand grenade. The enemy threw the grenade back before it could explode. Arming a second grenade, he held it for several seconds of the safe period before he hurled it into the enemy position, where it exploded instantaneously, destroying the gun and crew.
He then moved toward the remaining gun, throwing grenades into enemy foxholes as he advanced. Inspired by his actions, one squad of his platoon joined him. After he had armed another grenade and was preparing to throw it into the second machine gun position, six enemy soldiers rushed at him. Knowing he could not dispose of the armed grenade without injuring his comrades intermingled in close combat with the enemy in the ensuing melee, he deliberately covered the grenade with his body and was severely wounded as it exploded. “By his heroic actions, Cooley not only silenced a machinegun and so inspired his fellow soldiers that they pressed the attack and destroyed the remaining enemy emplacements, but also, in complete disregard of his own safety, accepted certain injury and possible loss of life to avoid wounding his comrades.”