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|60k||Ralph Lee Holton was born 19 September 1918. After leaving home in Kalamazoo, Mich., he graduated from the Naval Academy on 19 December 1941, as part of the Class of 1942.
Scheduled to graduate in February 1942, the class's graduation date was moved up because of the war beginning. His first assignment after the Academy was USS Hammann (DD 412).
He was awarded the Navy Cross for his valiant rescue work aiding survivors of the stricken carrier Lexington on 08 May 1942 in the Battle of the Coral Sea. As officer-in-charge
of a boat detailed to rescue survivors from the burning carrier, Ensign Holton, under a hail of flaming debris from bombs, ammunition, and gasoline exploding on Lexington, persistently returned
to the stricken ship and thus effected a series of daring rescues in which he saved the lives of many members of the ship's crew who otherwise would have been lost. Less than a month later,
on 06 June, Ensign Holton was reported missing and presumed dead as his ship, the destroyer USS Hammann, was sunk during the Battle of Midway.
USS Holton (DE 703) (1944-1946) was the first ship to be named in his honor.
(Photo courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy)
|28k||undated wartime image||Jerry Church|
|View the USS Holton (DE 703) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|View the official War History of USS Holton as submitted by the ship at war's end.|
|Holton's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 01 May 1944 -||Lcdr. John B. Boy, USNR (Comm. CO)|
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