Lawson Paterson Ramage
Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1931
Engagements: • World War II (1941 - 1945)
Lawson Paterson 'Red' Ramage
Vice Admiral Lawson Paterson "Red" Ramage was a U.S. Navy officer and noted submarine commander who was a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, during World War II.
Ramage was born on 19 January 1909, in Monroe Bridge, MA. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1931 and commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. From 1931-35, he served aboard several ships, including the USS S-29 (SS-134); he would then spend most of his career on submarines.
Ramage was stationed at Pearl Harbor on the staff of the Commander, Submarines, Pacific during the Japanese attack on 7 December 1941. In early 1942, he served on his first patrol of the war as the navigator of the USS Grenadier (SS-210). He was awarded the Silver Star Medal as a member of the Grenadier's crew for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" while patrolling enemy waters.
In June 1942, Ramage assumed his first command, the USS Trout (SS-202). Under his command, the Trout conducted four war patrols and sank three ships. He was awarded the Navy Cross for valor for actions while in command of the Trout at Midway, Truk, the Solomons, and the South China Sea.
In May 1943, he assumed command of the new Balao-class submarine, the USS Parche (SS-384). On 31 July 1944, Ramage commanded the Parche in a dawn assault on a heavily-escorted Japanese convoy, during which the Parche sank two ships and badly damaged three others. For this action, he received the Medal of Honor.
Post-World War II
After the war, Ramage continued to serve in command of submarines. From 1953-54, he was commanding officer of the amphibious cargo ship USS Rankin (AKA-103).
In 1963, he served as Deputy Commander of Submarine Forces, Atlantic Fleet. In that role, he led the search operations for the atomic submarine USS Thresher (SSN-593) that had sunk in the Atlantic Ocean. The same year, he was promoted to Vice Admiral and became Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. In 1967, he become Commander, Military Sea Transportation Service. He retired from the Navy in 1969.
In 1935, Ramage married Barbara Alice Pine, the daughter of U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral James Pine. They had two sons and two daughters.
Medals, Awards and Badges
Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the USS Parche in a predawn attack on a Japanese convoy, 31 July 1944. Boldly penetrating the screen of a heavily escorted convoy, Comdr. Ramage launched a perilous surface attack by delivering a crippling stern shot into a freighter and quickly following up with a series of bow and stern torpedoes to sink the leading tanker and damage the second one. Exposed by the light of bursting flares and bravely defiant of terrific shellfire passing close overhead, he struck again, sinking a transport by two forward reloads. In the mounting fury of fire from the damaged and sinking tanker, he calmly ordered his men below, remaining on the bridge to fight it out with an enemy now disorganized and confused. Swift to act as a fast transport closed in to ram, Comdr. Ramage daringly swung the stern of the speeding Parche as she crossed the bow of the onrushing ship, clearing by less than 50 feet but placing his submarine in a deadly crossfire from escorts on all sides and with the transport dead ahead. Undaunted, he sent 3 smashing "down the throat" bow shots to stop the target, then scored a killing hit as a climax to 46 minutes of violent action with the Parche and her valiant fighting company retiring victorious and unscathed.
Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy, USS Parche.
Place and date: Pacific, 31 July 1944.
The Medal of Honor was formally presented to Ramage by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 10 January 1945.
● The guided missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG-61) was named for him.
Death and Burial
Vice Admiral Lawson Paterson "Red" Ramage died 15 April 1990 in his home at Bethesda, MD, of cancer. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 7A, Grave 184.
|Origin of Nickname/Handle:|
Took his nickname from his hair color.
|Honoree ID: 95||Created by: MHOH|