JOYCE A. RALPH, CDR, USN

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:

Loss

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.

Career

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.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1923

Ensign, USS James K. Paulding

Others at this command: ENS William Davis '22.

September 1923

Ensign, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island

Others at this command: LTjg William Eaton '21 and ENS William Engeman, Jr. '22.

November 1923

Ensign, USS James K. Paulding

Others at this command: ENS William Davis '22.

January 1924

Ensign, under instruction, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island

Others at this command: ENS Eugene Elmore '22, ENS James Craig '22, ENS John Hollowell, Jr. '22, ENS Louis Drexler, Jr. '23, and ENS William Haynsworth, Jr. '23.

March 1924

Ensign, under instruction, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island

Others at this command: ENS Eugene Elmore '22, ENS James Craig '22, ENS John Hollowell, Jr. '22, ENS Louis Drexler, Jr. '23, and ENS William Haynsworth, Jr. '23.

May 1924

Ensign, under instruction, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island

Others at this command: ENS Eugene Elmore '22, ENS James Craig '22, ENS John Hollowell, Jr. '22, ENS Louis Drexler, Jr. '23, and ENS William Haynsworth, Jr. '23.

July 1924

Ensign, USS James K. Paulding

Others at this command: ENS William Davis '22.

September 1924

Ensign, USS James K. Paulding

Others at this command: ENS William Davis '22.

November 1924

Ensign, USS James K. Paulding

Others at this command: ENS William Davis '22.

January 1925

Ensign, USS James K. Paulding

March 1925

Ensign, USS James K. Paulding

May 1925

Ensign, USS James K. Paulding

July 1925

Ensign, USS Farragut

Others at this command: ENS Robert Sayre '24.

October 1925

Ensign, USS Farragut

Others at this command: ENS Robert Sayre '24.

January 1926

Ensign, USS Farragut

Others at this command: ENS Robert Sayre '24.

October 1926

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Farragut

Others at this command: ENS Robert Sayre '24.

January 1927

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Farragut

Others at this command: ENS Robert Sayre '24.

April 1927

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Farragut

Others at this command: ENS Robert Sayre '24.

October 1927

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Farragut

Others at this command: LTjg Augustus Mulvanity '23 and ENS Robert Sayre '24.

January 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Farragut

Others at this command: LTjg Augustus Mulvanity '23 and LTjg Robert Sayre '24.

April 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Farragut

Others at this command: LTjg Augustus Mulvanity '23 and LTjg Robert Sayre '24.

July 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Farragut

Others at this command: LTjg Augustus Mulvanity '23 and LTjg Robert Sayre '24.

October 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Farragut

Others at this command: LTjg Augustus Mulvanity '23 and LTjg Robert Sayre '24.

January 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Farragut

Others at this command: LTjg Augustus Mulvanity '23 and LTjg Robert Sayre '24.

April 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Farragut

Others at this command: LTjg Augustus Mulvanity '23 and LTjg Robert Sayre '24.

July 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Farragut

October 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS California

Others at this command: LCDR Robert Fleming '17, LT Robert Bedilion '22, and ENS William Pennewill '29.

January 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS California

Others at this command: LCDR Robert Fleming '17, LT Robert Bedilion '22, and ENS William Pennewill '29.

April 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS California

Others at this command: LCDR Robert Fleming '17, LT Robert Bedilion '22, and ENS William Pennewill '29.

October 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), 14th Naval District

January 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Aide to Commandant, 14th Naval District

April 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Aide to Commandant, 14th Naval District

July 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Aide to Commandant, 14th Naval District

October 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Aide to Commandant, 14th Naval District

January 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), Aide to Commandant, 14th Naval District

April 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), Aide to Commandant, 14th Naval District

Others at this command: LTjg Douglas Smith '25.

October 1932

Lieutenant, USS Langley

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Charles Hart '30 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B) and ENS Gilbert Carpenter '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B).

January 1933

Lieutenant, USS Langley

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Arthur Farrell '25 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5S), ENS Charles Hart '30 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B), and ENS Gilbert Carpenter '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B).

April 1933

Lieutenant, USS Langley

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Charles Hart '30 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B) and ENS Gilbert Carpenter '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B).

July 1933

Lieutenant, USS Langley

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Charles Hart '30 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B) and ENS Gilbert Carpenter '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B).

October 1933

Lieutenant, USS Langley

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Charles Hart '30 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B) and LTjg Gilbert Carpenter '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B).

April 1934

Lieutenant, USS Texas

Others at this command: ENS Edgar Chase '32, ENS William Widhelm '32, and ENS Francis Brown '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Charles McDonald '24 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B) and ENS Ralph Elden '31 (Battleship Division 1).

July 1934

Lieutenant, USS Texas

Others at this command: CDR Sherwood Picking '11, ENS Edgar Chase '32, ENS Francis Brown '33, ENS Charles Ware '34, and ENS Robert Robertson '34.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Ralph Elden '31 (Battleship Division 1).

October 1934

Lieutenant, USS Texas

Others at this command: ENS Edgar Chase '32, ENS Francis Brown '33, ENS Charles Ware '34, and ENS Robert Robertson '34.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Ralph Elden '31 (Battleship Division 1).

January 1935

Lieutenant, USS Texas

Others at this command: ENS Francis Brown '33, ENS Charles Ware '34, and ENS Robert Robertson '34.

April 1935

Lieutenant, USS Texas

Others at this command: ENS Francis Brown '33, ENS Charles Ware '34, and ENS Robert Robertson '34.

October 1935

Lieutenant, officer in charge, Navy Recruiting Station, Louisville, Kentucky

January 1936

Lieutenant, officer in charge, Navy Recruiting Station, Louisville, Kentucky

April 1936

Lieutenant, officer in charge, Navy Recruiting Station, Louisville, Kentucky

July 1936

Lieutenant, officer in charge, Navy Recruiting Station, Louisville, Kentucky

January 1937

Lieutenant, officer in charge, Navy Recruiting Station, Louisville, Kentucky

April 1937

Lieutenant, officer in charge, Navy Recruiting Station, Louisville, Kentucky

September 1937

Lieutenant, for assignment, 16th Naval District

Others at this command: LT John Burke '28 and ENS Jack Ferguson '35.

January 1938

Lieutenant, USS Tulsa

July 1938

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS Finch

January 1939

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS Finch

October 1939

Lieutenant Commander, USS Augusta

Others at this command: LT Andrew Harris '25, LT John Bermingham '29, LTjg George McCutchan '33, LTjg Theodore Lyster, Jr. '36, and ENS Kenneth Pound '37.

June 1940

Lieutenant Commander, USS Augusta

Others at this command: LTjg George McCutchan '33, ENS Bruce Skidmore '37, ENS Kenneth Pound '37, and ENS Richard Williams '37.

November 1940

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Schley

April 1941

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Schley


Class of 1923

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