RALPH W. ELDEN, LT, USN
Ralph Elden '31
Date of birth: unknown
Date of death: June 6, 1942
From the 1931 Lucky Bag:
From Hall of Valor:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Ralph Waldo Elden (NSN: 0-70255), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and extreme disregard for personal safety while serving as Executive Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. HAMMANN (DD-412), during action against enemy Japanese forces near Midway Island, on 6 June 1942. When the Commanding Officer was temporarily disabled, Lieutenant Elden immediately took charge and, with cool courage and unfailing presence of mind, continued to direct abandon ship operations aboard the rapidly sinking vessel until the decks were completely awash and he went down into the sea. A few seconds thereafter he was killed by an underwater explosion. While faithfully and efficiently performing his duties he gallantly gave up his life in the service of his country.
General Orders: Authority: Board of Awards: Serial 19 (October 14, 1942)
Action Date: 6-Jun-42
Company: Executive Officer
Division: U.S.S. Hammann (DD-412)
USS Elden (DE 264) was named for Ralph; the ship was sponsored by either his mother (per Wikipedia) or his widow (per her obituary).