Canku Ota Logo
Canku Ota
Canku Ota Logo
(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
pictograph divider
Story Of Chickasaw Hero Lt. Col. Raymond Harvey Emerges Into Spotlight
by Ron Jackson - The Oklahoman

Chickasaw won Medal of Honor in 1950s

SULPHUR — 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 learned.

"I couldn’t find anybody around who knew anything about him,” said Earsom, 88, and a museum volunteer of 25 years. "Why, the Chickasaws didn’t even know anything about him. So we formed a committee to do some research.”

The fruits of that research will be shared publicly today at the Arbuckle Historical Society Museum, along with the unveiling of a permanent plaque in Harvey’s honor.

The ceremony begins at 2 p.m., and members of Harvey’s family are expected to be in attendance. Harvey’s children were unavailable for comment Thursday.

"Our research took seven months, and I’m just so glad we will now be able to recognize this man,” Earsom said. "If it wasn’t gonna get done now, would it ever have gotten done?”

Nancy Namm of Hampstead, N.C., can be credited with rescuing Harvey’s name from history’s shadows. The Sulphur native first contacted Earsom about donating a plaque to the museum in Harvey’s honor. Her call set research in motion.

Researchers uncovered an amazing story of courage.

On 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.”

Harvey and his men were soon pinned down under a hail of North Korean machine gun fire.

The heroic push
Suddenly, Harvey charged up the hill alone in the face of enemy fire.
Harvey 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.

The 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.

Eyewitnesses 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.

Later, 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.

Sulphur, Oklahoma mapSulphur, Oklahoma map
Maps by Travel
pictograph divider
Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us
Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us
pictograph divider
  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 of Vicki Barry and Paul Barry.
Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo
The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 of Paul C. Barry.
All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!