3/9/1949 – 4/26/2016 Branch: Army Rank: E5 Outfit: 9th Service Dates: 1967 – 1970
3 Purple Hearts, A Silver Star, A Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Combat Infantry Badge, 7 Air Medals and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He was a Gunner and Scout Helicopter Cambodia Wrote the Book “Tattletale” Story uploaded: Friday, August 14, 2009 / Updated: Friday, May 26, 2023
10/8/1919 – 2/28/1988 Branch: Army Rank: Tech 5 Unit: 997th Field Artillery Battalion Service Dates: 1942 – 1945 Veteran Station: Normandy to Central Europe Home County: Franklin Home City: Pomona and Ottawa, KS Enlisted Medals: Good Conduct, ETO, WWII Victory, Combat, 5 Campaign Bronze Stars Conflicts/Significant Events: Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhine Story uploaded/modified: 2009/Feb 9, 2021
Ralph was inducted in Fort Leavenworth March 2, 1942, and became a member of the 997th when it was organized March 1, 1943 in Fort Ord California.
They moved 50 times between March 1st, 1943 and November 1st 1945. 33 moves during their time in combat and 4 moves during the liberation following VE day.
While in combat in the European Theatre of Operations the 997th fired 40,744 rounds which totaled 9,900,306 lbs or 4,950 tons of ammunition. It would have required almost 2000 trucks loaded to capacity to haul this amount of ammunition.
The 997th participated in the Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes (aka as the battle of the bulge), Rhineland, and Central Europe Campaigns.
From what I have learned in researching the history of the 997th from the Battalion Historian, WWII maps, my dads discharge papers, and books/articles on the battles now known as famous battles; my dad and his battalion played a part in history that changed the world. From: 1. Landing at Omaha Beach to reinforce the D-Day troops. 2. The battle for hill 192. 3. The battle of the hedge rows. 4. The battle for St. Lo.. 5. Versailles/Paris. 6. The Ardennes Forest in Belgium (later known as the Battle of the Bulge). 7. Followed by crossing the Rhine. (See Image about 4/1/1945) 8. Finally when firing missions were over they provided security and helped capture enemy soldiers, and control the migration of former POWs and displaced citizens.
This is only a brief summary, more details will be added to flesh out very interesting details about what this battalion witnessed, experienced and most all lived through.
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