MILTON E. RICKETTS, LT, USN
Milton Ricketts '35
Date of birth: August 5, 1913
Date of death: May 8, 1942
From the 1935 Lucky Bag:
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.
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
Division: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-5)
USS Ricketts (DE 254) was named for Rick; the ship was sponsored by his widow.