Born: July 24, 1917- Bellows Falls Vermont
Met lifelong love
Eleanor at age 13 in 1920
Served in the Vermont Army National Guard and U.S. Army 1936- 1962
For service during WWII and Korea after being shot three times and
gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States on multiple
accounts, Ralph was awarded three
Hearts and two
Stars. The Silver Star is the fifth highest award given by the Army.
He served in the 91st Infantry Division in Africa and Italy from April
1941 to September 1945 and in the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea from
1950 to March 1951. While serving in Korea he was hit by machine gun
fire. He suffered serious injury to his lower abdomen and had to have
seven feet of his lower intestines removed. Unfortunately for him, they
had limited anesthesia and could only use a local to do the procedure.
They threw up a quick tent across his chest to conceal the operation
from his view as they cut in and pulled out the affected intestine.
Unaware to the doctors, Ralph watched the procedure in the reflection of
the medicine cabinet. During this same injury incident Ralph was also
hit in the chest by machine gun fire. His trusty pocket notebook took
that bullet for him, preventing what could have been a fatal heart
injury. Now this would be about enough to do most of us in, but
Ralph still had one more amazing brush with death during this attack. A
grenade attached to his chest was hit by one of the machine gun bullets
causing the pin to come out. Lucky for Ralph his Sergeant was a quick
thinker. He ripped the grenade from Ralph's chest and hurled it over the
cliff moments before it exploded. The rugged mountainous terrain and
Ralph's life threatening wounds put Ralph in a position to be one of the
first helicopter evacuees.
Now that's incredible!
On December 23, 1939 Ralph married his first love Eleanor. They
celebrated 67 years of marriage before her passing in November 2007.
Upon completion of his 26 year military career, Ralph settled in
Jacksonville, FL were he accepted a job with the IRS.
Ralph survived The Great Depression, WWII, the Korean War, and
life on Jacksonville's wild, wild Westside.
Nobody could ask for a more fulfilling life.
He was accomplished, humble, generous, courteous, honest, kind,
loving, and thoughtful and will be missed by many friends and family