From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Joyce Ralph '23

Date of birth: December 26, 1899

Date of death: August 16, 1942

Age: 42

Lucky Bag

From the 1923 Lucky Bag:


Joyce was lost when the transport plane he was aboard crashed near Kodiak, Alaska, on August 16, 1942.

From Wartime Press, this undated passage:

Plane With 14 Missing in Alaska - A U.S. Navy plane with a crew of four and ten passengers enroute from Kodiak to Whitehorse, Alaska was reported overdue by the Navy Department, which notified next of kin of those aboard that the crew and passengers were missing. The flight was a routine one from Kodiak to Seattle, Wash. Three planes started on the trip and were forced to fly by instrument soon after taking off. Two made their way through the bad weather to Whitehorse. Naval aircraft have been making searches for the missing plane and other agencies were asked to assist in the search.

Those aboard the missing plane were Commander Joyce A. Ralph, USN; Lieut. Comdrs. Burton Lee Doggett, USN, Jerome H. Sparbo. USNR and Paul H. Tobelman, USN; Captain Arthur Barrows. USMC; Lieuts. Joseph A. Crook, USN and Thomas E. Johnson. Jr. (ChC), USN; Lieuts. (j.g.) Thomas G. Cherikos, USNR. Charles E. Deterding, USN and Jay A. Noble, Jr.. USN: Ensign Charles L. Mixon, USNR; Charles E. Barber. ACRM. USN; H. A. Scott, ACRM, USN, and C O. Walton, AMM2c. USN.

The aircraft was never located, and all 14 passengers and crew were declared dead a year and a day following their disappearance. The aircraft was a part of Transport Squadron (VR) 2.

His wife was listed as next of kin.


Joyce was the commanding officer of USS Schley (APD 14) following that ship's recommissioning in October 1940. He served aboard Schley until July 1941.

Related Articles

Burton Doggett '24, Paul Tobelman '26, Joseph Crook '36, Charles Deterding, Jr. '40, and Jay Noble, Jr. '40 were also passengers aboard this aircraft.

Class of 1923

Joyce is one of 25 members of the Class of 1923 on Virtual Memorial Hall.