OLIVER M. RAMSEY, LT, USN

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Oliver Ramsey '37

Date of birth: November 27, 1914

Date of death: November 13, 1942

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1937 Lucky Bag:

1937 Ramsey LB.jpg

OLIVER MARION RAMSEY

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

"Ollie" "Omar"

WELL, there he is, the man that has raved about the wonders of the Badger State for so long that we all know it from corner to corner. His hobby is collecting pipes. With a pipe in one hand and a harmonica in the other, he roams from room to room leaving many friends in his wake. Whenever there are a few spare moments, Omar always is the one to gather up the card players for that nightly card game. With his ability and his good-natured character, it is obvious, that there is much success ahead for him.

Baseball 4, 3, 1. Wrestling 4, 1. C.P.O.

1937 Ramsey LB.jpg

OLIVER MARION RAMSEY

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

"Ollie" "Omar"

WELL, there he is, the man that has raved about the wonders of the Badger State for so long that we all know it from corner to corner. His hobby is collecting pipes. With a pipe in one hand and a harmonica in the other, he roams from room to room leaving many friends in his wake. Whenever there are a few spare moments, Omar always is the one to gather up the card players for that nightly card game. With his ability and his good-natured character, it is obvious, that there is much success ahead for him.

Baseball 4, 3, 1. Wrestling 4, 1. C.P.O.

Loss

Oliver was lost when USS Atlanta (CL 51) was sunk on November 13, 1942 during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

Obituary

From Find A Grave:

Oliver was known by his middle name, Marion, and was the fourth of seven children born to his parents. The family lived in the rural Fairchild Wisconsin area, on a farm which had no electricity. At the age of 14, he graduated from Fairchild Wisconsin High School, as the Valedictorian. At 18 he graduated from Eau Claire Wisconsin Teacher's College (Now known as the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire). The next year he began his education at the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1937.

By the fall of 1942, Marion was the right-hand man of Rear Admiral Norman Scott aboard the USS Atlanta (CL-51) in the South Pacific. The nation had been at war for ten months and Marion wrote home weekly. He had a Sear's catalog onboard his ship and sent his family a battery-operated radio which the family sat around and listened for news about the action in the Pacific. He made sure he asked his younger siblings what they wished for Christmas, gifts he would get for them from the catalog. Marion only once mentioned his personal opinions on the war he was in when he said, "We've jumped out of the frying pan into the fire." On November 13, 1942, Marion's ship was sunk in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star. His remains and that of the entire crew are buried at sea. His family learned of his death on what would have been his 28th birthday. Less than a month later, his siblings received their Christmas gifts from Marion in the mail. His youngest sister still has the radio. In 2002, Marion's younger brother James and his wife Anne established a $1.5 million dollar gift the UW-Eau Claire endowment to honor Marion.

Marion has a memory marker in Wisconsin. His parents were listed as next of kin.

Silver Star

From All Hands Naval Bulletin of June 1943:

Lt. Oliver M. Ramsey, USN, of Fairchild, Wis., posthumously, for outstanding action while serving as flag lieutenant to the commanding admiral in a battle against Japanese naval forces off Savo Island, Oct. 11-12, 1942. During the most critical moments of the battle, Lieutenant Ramsey relayed his keen observations of our own and enemy gunfire and ship losses, and coolly and efficiently carried out the many vitally important duties assigned him, thereby contributing measurably to the effective operations of the forces under his admiral's command.

Memorial

His younger brother's donation to UW-Eau Claire endowed the Oliver M. Ramsey Chair at the Institute for Health Sciences.


Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

September 1937
Ensign, USS New Orleans


Others at or embarked at this command:
ENS Clyde McCroskey, Jr. '35 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 6)
January 1938
Ensign, USS New Orleans

July 1938
Ensign, USS New Orleans


Others at or embarked at this command:
LTjg Dewitt Shumway '32 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 6)
January 1939
Ensign, USS New Orleans


Others at or embarked at this command:
LTjg Dewitt Shumway '32 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 6)
October 1939
Ensign, USS Quincy


Others at or embarked at this command:
ENS Frank Peterson '33 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 7)
June 1940
Ensign, USS Quincy


Others at or embarked at this command:
ENS Frank Peterson '33 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 7)


Class of 1937

Oliver is one of 48 members of the Class of 1937 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of alumni in Memorial Hall.