RALPH D. SMITH, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Ralph Smith '26

Date of birth: October 11, 1905

Date of death: May 21, 1941

Age: 35

Lucky Bag

From the 1926 Lucky Bag:


Loss

From Abilene Reporter-News of Abilene, Texas on May 23, 1941:

WASHINGTON. May 23. The navy reported today the death of Lt. Ralph Dempsey Smith and Chief Radioman Clarence Widner Allen in the crash of a naval plane piloted by Smith. The plane came down in the waters of Pearl Harbor. Hawaii. Both men were attached to the aircraft carrier Enterprise. Allen is survived by his widow, Mrs. Nellie May Allen, San Diego, and his father, C. E. Allen, Mabanks, Tex.

Ralph had only been at Hawaii for two weeks, according to another report. He was survived by his wife, Marie, and two children, Ralph Jr. and Susanne; they were in San Diego at the time.

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. It's possible that he was commanding officer of Scouting Squadron (VS) 6, though he is not listed as such in the 1941 Navy Directory. His headstone gives his rank as LCDR, but all other reports and records are that he was a Lieutenant.


Class of 1926

Ralph is one of 36 members of the Class of 1926 in Memorial Hall.