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Ray Lambert (1920–2021), WWII hero on D-Day

by Linnea Crowther

Ray Lambert was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II who was honored for saving many lives on D-Day.

Dedicated Army medic

Lambert was serving in the U.S. Army as a medic when his unit was sent to Normandy on D-Day. As troops stormed the beach, many were injured by enemy fire and land mines. Lambert located a protected area behind a large concrete block and began dragging injured men from the water to the block, so they could be assisted by medics. He was credited with saving at least 15 lives that day, even as he was severely injured himself, including a broken back. Lambert was later honored by President Donald Trump at a ceremony in in Normandy marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The concrete block he used to shelter the injured was named “Ray’s Rock” and has a plaque affixed to it, honoring Lambert and his men.

After the war, Lambert attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founded two electrical contracting companies with his brother. In 2019, at age 98, he published his memoir, “Every Man a Hero,” which became a New York Times best-seller. The title referred to his belief that he shouldn’t be singled out – every man in his unit was a hero of the war.

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Notable quote

“The way I’d like to be remembered is a guy who was willing to die for my family and for my country, and a good soldier and a good person.” —from a 2019 interview with WUNC

Tributes to Ray Lambert

Full obituary: The New York Times

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