Medal of Honor Citation

Ralph Ellis Dias, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in November 1969, was born 15 July 1950, in Indiana, Pennsylvania. He graduated from elementary school in 1965, then attended Elderton Joint High School in Shelocta, Pennsylvania, for two years.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, 9 October 1967, at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and underwent recruit training with the 2d Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina.

Upon completion of recruit training in December, he was transferred to the 2d Infantry Training Battalion, 1st Infantry Training Regiment, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for special infantry training. In February 1968, he was ordered to the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, for duty with Company B, 1st Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division.

In April 1969, he was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam for duty as a rifleman with Company D, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force. Private Dias was killed in action, 12 November 1969, while participating in combat in Quang Nam Province.

His medals and decorations include: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Meritorious Unit Commendation with one bronze star, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze stars, the Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Commendation (Gallantry Cross Color) with palm and frame, the Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Commendation (Civil Action Medal, First Class Color) with palm and frame, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with device.

Vietnam War 1963-1975 Medal of Honor

Marine Corps University