MILTON E. RICKETTS, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Milton Ricketts '35

Date of birth: August 5, 1913

Date of death: May 8, 1942

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1935 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Rick was lost when USS Yorktown (CV 5) was damaged by a Japanese dive bomber on May 8, 1942 in the Battle of the Coral Sea.

His wife was listed as next of kin. He has a memory marker in Maryland.

Medal of Honor

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Milton Ernest Ricketts (NSN: 0-75002), United States Navy, for extraordinary and distinguished gallantry above and beyond the call of duty as Officer-in-Charge of the Engineering Repair Party of the U.S.S. YORKTOWN in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea on 8 May 1942. During the severe bombarding of the YORKTOWN by enemy Japanese forces, an aerial bomb passed through and exploded directly beneath the compartment in which Lieutenant Ricketts' battle station was located, killing, wounding or stunning all of his men and mortally wounding him. Despite his ebbing strength, Lieutenant Ricketts promptly opened the valve of a near-by fireplug, partially led out the fire hose and directed a heavy stream of water into the fire before dropping dead beside the hose. His courageous action, which undoubtedly prevented the rapid spread of fire to serious proportions, and his unflinching devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Action Date: 8-May-42
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Division: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-5)

Namesake

USS Ricketts (DE 254) was named for Rick; the ship was sponsored by his widow.


Class of 1935

Milton is one of 56 members of the Class of 1935 in Memorial Hall.