Basic School 2-65 Class Reunion 

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James Ragsdale's Story

    The Story of a Marine….Captain James Ragsdale

                                                       By Jim Gordon and Jeff Banks

                 Captain James Ragsdale served on The Basic School staff as the platoon commander of the 1st platoon TBS 2-65.  The son of Mr. and Mrs. James Ragsdale, Captain Ragsdale grew up in Columbia, South Carolina and enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 1949 as a private.  Medically retired in 1967 from wounds suffered in Vietnam, he settled in Beaufort, South Carolina where he died from a heart attack in 1992.

 Jim Ragsdale was a Marine…the brotherhood of the Marine Corps defined his life.   He was buried in his dress blues uniform with full military honors in the National Cemetery, Beaufort, South Carolina.

            During the Korea war serving with 3rd Battalion 5th Marines  Corporal James Ragsdale was awarded the nation’s third highest award, the Silver Star for valor in combat as set forth in the following citation:

“For gallantry in action against the enemy while serving with a Marine infantry company on July 26, 1952.  Serving as a squad leader he exhibited exceptional heroism during an assault on a strongly fortified enemy position.  After the assault he reorganized his squad and learned that one man was missing.  Although previously wounded, he fearlessly exposed himself to intense enemy fire to locate the missing Marine.  Upon finding the wounded Marine, he carried him back to friendly lines”.

            In 1966 Captain Ragsdale served as the Commanding Officer of E Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines in Vietnam.   While serving as an aerial observer he suffered severe injuries when his aircraft was shot down in the DMZ May 1967.  He was subsequently transferred to Beaufort Naval Hospital and medically retired from the Marine Corps.

            He is survived by a loving family including his children Louise Foreman, Julia Waddell, Marie Kimmel, Sally Ragsdale, James Ragsdale III and five grandchildren.


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