Robert J. Raymond was born on August 15, 1926.1 Raymond attended high school in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. After high school, he enlisted in the Navy. He was then sent to the Pacific Campaign of World War II, where he served on a destroyer in the Pacific Ocean. Raymond served valiantly on this destroyer and made it back home after World War II concluded.
When Raymond returned home he went back to work until the Korean War began in 1950. Raymond reenlisted in the Marines, once again giving up his safe life at home to fight thousands of miles away. Raymond fought with company F of the 1st Division. The 1st Division of the Marines is the oldest division of the Marines. Raymond and the 1st Division landed in Inchon, Korea on September 15th, 1950. This division was tasked with fighting in the mountains around the Chosin Reservoir. In November of 1950 Communist forces surprised American forces with an attack. The battle lasted 17 days, and the troops had to survive the brutal cold weather in the mountains along with the bullets coming at them from the Communist forces. The American forces made it out of the Chosin Reservoir while also dealing the Communist forces 37,000 casualties.2
Raymond continued fighting with the 1st Division for the next three years. On July 26th, 1953 Raymond was fighting with the 1st Division of the Marines. None of the men fighting knew that an armistice had been signed by the two fighting forces at 9 P.M. that night. Tragically, Robert J. Raymond was one of the men killed that night after the armistice was signed.3 This sparked outrage among many of the families that had a loved one die during this battle.
Raymond was awarded the Navy Cross, which is the second highest award a person in the Navy can be awarded. This award is for Navymen and Marines who distinguish themselves for extraordinary heroism in battle. Raymond was also awarded a Purple Heart medal. Robert J. Raymond was a hero: he gave up a safe home life in America to fight for his country for the better part of his adult life, ultimately giving the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
2 National Archives Veterans’ Service Records