From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Ralph Holton '42

Date of birth: September 19, 1918

Date of death: June 6, 1942

Age: 23

Lucky Bag

From the 1942 Lucky Bag:


Ralph was lost when USS Hammann (DD 412) was sunk by a Japanese submarine on June 6, 1942 in the Battle of Midway.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Ensign Ralph Lee Holton (NSN: 0-123678), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Officer in Charge of a Rescue Boat from the Destroyer U.S.S. HAMMANN (DD-412), following the attack on the U.S.S. LEXINGTON in the Coral Sea on 8 May 1942. Ensign Holton persistently returned to the burning U.S.S. LEXINGTON, and under a hail of flaming debris from exploding bombs, ammunition, and gasoline, effected a series of rescues as officer in charge of a boat detailed to rescue survivors. He saved the lives of many who would have otherwise perished. His outstanding courage and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 315 (June 1943)
Action Date: 8-May-42
Service: Navy
Rank: Ensign
Division: U.S.S. Hammann (DD-412)

Class of 1942

Ralph is one of 82 members of the Class of 1942 on Virtual Memorial Hall.