Huston, Ralph Clark, Jr., S2c

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Last Rank
Seaman Second Class
Last Primary NEC
S2c-0000-Seaman 2nd Class
Last Rating/NEC Group
Seaman Second Class
Primary Unit
1945-1945, S1c-0000, USS Cobia (SS-245)
Service Years
1943 - 1945
Seaman Second Class

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
West Virginia
West Virginia
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sheila Rae Myers, HM3 to remember Huston, Ralph Clark, Jr., S2c.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Parkersburg, WV
Last Address
Parkersburg, WV

Casualty Date
Feb 27, 1945
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Pacific Ocean
World War II
Location of Interment
Mount Olivet Cemetery - Parkersburg, West Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
(memorial marker)

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

On February 26, 1945, the USS Cobia (SS-245) closed in on two vessels. The gun crews headed topside, but a few of the men - including S1c Huston - started back below to retrieve their foul weather jackets. Pharmacist's Mate Herb Starmer lent his own to Huston to save time and Huston headed back to his battle station at the 20mm gun.
Starmer had become good friends with the young Huston and considered him a "very sharp, intelligent young man." Huston had come aboard the COBIA, his first submarine, on 12 February. Huston had graduated from high school two years previous in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and the friendly young man had been quickly made welcome by the rest of the crew.
At 1822, 50mm gunfire from the enemy raked the deck. At the 20mm gun position, young Ralph Huston was seriously wounded with one shell in his upper left arm and another entered his left rib cage, lodging in the lower right quadrant of his abdomen.
 When the boat had moved away from the nemy's fire, the officer of the deck and another man carried Huston into the protection of the conning tower and then passed him to those waiting below. After Starmer exposed the injuries and saw their extent he knew that about all that could be done was to provide drugs to relieve the pain, oxygen to help him breath and blood plasma.
At 0534, 27 February 1945, Starmer informed Captain Becker that Ralph Clark Huston had died. The pronouncement had great emotional effect upon those within the submarine, and those who were present in the after battery drifted silently to other compartments.
Starmer started the preparations for burial at sea. Bob Gast, S1/c, volunteered to help Starmer with the solemn task and Starmer was grateful for his assistance. Firebricks were obtained from the galley and these were lashed to the lower legs and feet of the body. The body was reverently shrouded in several mattress covers and 21 thread was used to lash the shroud against the body. There was a discussion as to what to use as a platform on which to place the body. It was decided to remove the door from the crew's head for this purpose.
At 1800, Huston's body was carried upward through the hatch and down to the port side of the main deck near the 4" deck gun. The door was placed in position and the body was laid gently upon it, with two men abreast each side. Becker ordered the boat slowed to one third speed. An American flag was slowly unfolded and spread carefully over the shrouded remains. A four-man firing squad took their places forward of the deck gun, and Captain Becker, hatless, took a position just aft of the pallbearers. Someone on the bridge had brought a camera topside.
With the sun falling toward the western horizon on that Tuesday, 27 February 1945, the body of Ralph C. Huston Jr., shrouded in the flag of the country for which he died, slipped into the Indian Ocean at Latitude 10-02.5S/Longitude 115-41 .E. A gun salute was presented and, as TAPS was being played, S1c Ralph Huston was laid to rest in the ocean.

S1c Huston was the only casualty of the war for the USS Cobia.

Service number: 7559696

Submarine war patrols: USS Cobia (SS-245) - 4th

The information contained in this profile was compiled from various internet sources.
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Submarine Enlisted Badge
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 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1943, Recruit Training (Newport, RI)
 Duty Stations
NAVSUBASE New London/GrotonUSS Cobia (SS-245)
  1943-1944, S1c-0000, NAVSUBASE New London/Groton
  1945-1945, S1c-0000, USS Cobia (SS-245)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  USS Cobia (SS-245) museum2
  Sep 22, 2018, General Photos
 Military Association Memberships
The National Gold Star Family RegistryWorld War II FallenUnited States Navy Memorial WW II Memorial National Registry
  2018, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2018, World War II Fallen
  2018, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2018, WW II Memorial National Registry
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