RALPH L. HOLTON, ENS, USN

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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: September 19, 1918
Date of death: June 6, 1942
Age: 23

Lucky Bag

1942 Holton LB.jpg

From the 1942 Lucky Bag:

RALPH LEE HOLTON

Oswald

Straight from Kalamazoo Teachers' came this jovial lad, who early in Plebe summer displayed the unmistakable trails of one born to the Navy. Seemingly possessing unlimited energy, Ralph tackled every phase of Academy life with success, meanwhile keeping up the weekly correspondence with the home folks. Adept at the slipstick art, he was always willing to aid the less fortunate in finding "x." A promising future for this sea-dog, we'd say.

Soccer 4, ,42; Log 4, 3, 2, 1; 1 Stripe.

The Class of 1942 graduated on December 19, 1941, less than two weeks after the United States entered World War II. The class had previously been scheduled to graduate in February 1942.

Loss

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 Navigation

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