RAY, JOHNNIE LYNN
Name: Johnnie Lynn Ray Rank/Branch: United States Army Unit: Date of Birth: Home City of Record: Date of Loss: 08 April 1972 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 112249 North 1061030 East Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Missions: Other Personnel in Incident: Refno:
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. 2003
REMARKS: 730212 RELEASED BY PRG
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977 Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602 Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and spelling errors).
JOHNNIE L. RAY Captain - United States Army Captured: April 8, 1972 Released: February 12, 1973
His captors questioned him about war protestors. He told them: "America is a free country; they can do what they want." That stopped the captors.
Capt. Johnnie L. Ray was captured in a raid on a radio relay station on Black Virgin mountain in Tay Ninh Province on April 8, 1972. He was wounded in the leg by a grenade, but he was forced to walk for a week to a camp in Cambodia. There he was put in a 4 x 6 foot cage with a chain locked around his ankle. He was given penicillin for only one week. Much later his leg was operated on. Not until October did his leg wound close. He was given a meager diet and allowed to take a bath every two weeks.
Nevertheless, Captain Ray is able to describe his activities in prison, in which he engaged to keep his mind alert, with verve and cleverness. "My cage-mate and I threw a football back and forth - only it was an imaginary football. Between the two cages was a guard shack. I think it got to the guard after a while."
Born in 1947 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, Captain Ray graduated from his hometown high school and from Oklahoma State University in 1969 with a B.S. in chemical engineering. At the university he was a member of Scabbard and Blade, an honorary military organization. He entered the army on May 16,1969 and in December of 1971 was assigned as a member of an advisory team to Tay Ninh Province. He has been decorated with the Silver Star, Purple Heart with one oak leaf cluster, Vietnam Service Ribbon, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, National Defense Ribbon.
Now he resides with his wife, Dorothy, and their three children, Tammy, John and Nikki in Fort Knox, Kentucky. He is at present assigned to the armor officer advanced course at Fort Knox.
His wife feels very strongly that U.S. citizens must put pressure on the North Vietnamese to tell what happend to the MlAs. She has spoken publicly about this. "If you knew what it was like each day not knowing whether your husband or son is alive, you could understand how I feel. If the public does not stand behind these men now, then we are betraying America. It was through public opinion that we got Johnnie home."
Captain and Mrs. Ray were remarried in a ceremony of special significance to them. Their chaplain explained the symbolic meaning of their remarriage. "80th of them said to me that the hand of God was back of this. God brought them back together and they were anxious for God to bless their reunion."
Johnnie Lynn Ray separated from the service in 1975 as a Captian. He currently resides Wynnewood, OK.