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Ofstie, Ralph Andrew

Date of birth:
November 16th, 1897 (Eau Claire/Wisconsin, United States)
Date of death:
November 19th, 1956 (Maryland, United States)
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

Servicenumber 0-34703.

For his services after the Second World War, Ralph Andrew Ofstie also received a third LoM and twice the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

Promotions:
?: Mishipsman;
June 1918: Ensign;
August 1918: Lieutenant (junior grade);
?: Lieutenant;
?: Lieutenant Commander;
?: Commander;
?: Captain;
August 1944: Rear Admiral;
?: Vice Admiral.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Captain
Unit:
U.S.S. Essex (CV-9), U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
May 14th, 1944
Citation:
"For gallantry and intrepidity in action in the line of his profession while in command of the U.S.S. ESSEX (CV-9) during the attack on Rabaul Harbor, 11 November 1943; the action for the occupation of the Gilbert Islands, 18 November through 26 November 1943; and the attack on the Marshall Islands on 4 December 1943. The Task Group of which the U.S.S. ESSEX was Flagship was four times under heavy and sustained enemy air attack, but so skillfully did he fight his ship that in spite of the viciousness and power of the enemy attacks, he brought his vessel through without damage while inflicting severe losses upon the enemy. His courageous and intelligent leadership not only brought his own ship through unscathed, but materially contributed to the defense of the entire Task Group. His actions were in accordance with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 01891 (May 14, 1944).
Silver Star Medal (SSM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Captain
Awarded on:
June 26th, 1944
Citation:
"For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commanding Officer of a United States Navy Aircraft Carrier in action during the operation against Truk Atoll in the Caroline Islands on 16 - 17 February 1944, the battle against attacking enemy aircraft during the night of 21 - 22 February 1944, and the subsequent attacks on Japanese bases at Tinian, Saipan, and Guam in the Marianas, 22 February 1944. Throughout these operations Captain Ofstie, at all times, handled his ship with courage and skill and carried out effective flight operations in the face of determined enemy resistance. The ultimate effect of these first attacks against the enemy's inner defenses cannot be properly assessed until the future, certainly it will be substantial. His gallantry and high professional excellence contributed much to the success of our operations and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. (Captain Ofstie is authorized to wear the Combat "V".)"
Received with "V" for Valor.
General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 20767 (June 26, 1944).
Legion of Merit - US Military
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Rear Admiral
Unit:
CVE Carrier Task Force, U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
November 27th, 1944
Legion of Merit - US Military
Citation:
"For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commander of a CVE Carrier Task Group assigned to the support of the amphibious assault on the strongly defended Japanese held islands of Peleliu and Angaur, September 1944. The Task Group under Admiral Ofstie's command was assigned the difficult missions of protecting our forces from enemy planes and submarines, of seeking out and neutralizing in advance well concealed enemy defenses, and continuing its support by destroying enemy positions and hostile aircraft during the assault. All of these missions were performed with notable efficiency; and their accomplishment contributed in large measure to the success of an operation which was of great strategical importance to our offensive in this theater. Admiral Ofstie's intelligent direction of his group, his personal courage, and his aggressive fighting spirit were outstanding, and his performance of duty throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. (Rear Admiral Ofstie is authorized to wear the Combat "V".)"
Received with "V" for Valor.
General Orders: Commander 3d Amphibious Force: Serial 00346 (November 27, 1944).
Second LoM received in the for of a gold star to be worn on the ribbon of the first LoM.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Rear Admiral
Unit:
Escort Carrier Division Commander, Task Unit 77.4.32, U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
February 11th, 1945
Navy Cross
Citation:
"For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Carrier Division Commander, Task Unit 77.4.32, in action against major units of the Japanese Fleet off Samar Island in the Philippine Islands, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf on 25 October 1944. In an engagement unique in naval history, Rear Admiral Ofstie's small task unit of escort carriers and screening ships, of which, as an Escort Carrier Division Commander, he was second in command, turned back a vastly superior enemy force sorely crippled by our guns, torpedoes and aircraft. His sound judgment and timely advice were of inestimable value. By his superb courage and unfailing determination against terrific odds, he was an inspiration to the officers and men of his unit. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy of the United States."
General Orders: Commander 7th Fleet: Serial 0678 (February 11, 1945)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Rear Admiral
Unit:
Carrier Division 26, U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
May 1st, 1945
Legion of Merit - US Military
Citation:
"For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States in the two greatest amphibious operations thus far undertaken in the Southwest Pacific Area. He served with distinction as Commander Carrier Division TWENTY-SIX during the period of occupation of Leyte. From 18 October to 29 October 1944, by anti-submarine patrol and combat air patrol, his forces gave protection to the ships effecting the invasion and to the troops ashore. In the Battle of Samar Island on 25 October aircraft under his command inflicted extensive damage to a Japanese Task Force. In the invasion of Lingayen Gulf on 9 January 1945, Rear Admiral Ofstie served as Commander Lingayen Attack Force Escort Unit. In spite of severe enemy aircraft attacks on his unit, his ships and planes skillfully protected our Task Force during approach and assault. His advice and assistance in perfecting plans for these major operations was invaluable. Rear Admiral Ofstie's outstanding performance of duty was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. (Rear Admiral Ofstie is authorized to wear the Combat "V".)"
Received with "V" for Valor.
General Orders: Commander 7th Fleet: Serial 01831 (May 1, 1945).
Third LoM received in the form of a second golden star to be worn on the ribbon of the first LoM.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Rear Admiral
Unit:
Chief of the Naval and Naval Air Branch, Military Studies Division, U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, U.S. Navy
"For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States from 18 August 1945 to 15 April 1946. As Chief of the Naval and Naval Air Branch of the Military Studies Division of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, as Senior Naval Member for Administration, and as a Member of the Board of Military Advisors, the initiative, resourcefulness and high devotion to duty shown by Rear Admiral Ofstie was responsible for much of the success of the mission. He made contacts and procured personnel and equipment without which the Survey could not have successfully functioned. He so organized and supervised his Branch that reports of incalculable value to the war against Japan were produced in a very brief period of time. His entire service has been one of great value to the future planning of the national defense. His achievements reflect the highest credit upon himself and the armed forces of the United States."
Third Gold Star in lieu
Legion of Merit - US Military
Period:
Korean War (1950-1953)
Rank:
Rear Admiral
Unit:
Task Force 77, U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
May 25th, 1951
Distinguished Service Medal - Navy/USMC
"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States, as Commander of a Task Force of Carriers, Support and Screening vessels in operations against enemy forces in the Korean Area from December 1950 through April 1951. Rear Admiral Ofstie aggressively directed sustained operations against enemy forces, displaying fortitude, skill and foresight in his command of Task Force SEVENTY-SEVEN. His relentless and untiring efforts were a major contribution to the vital naval air protections given by Task Force SEVENTY-SEVEN to U.S. Marines withdrawing from the Hamhung, Korea, area in December 1950. Under his inspiring leadership, successful naval air interdiction of enemy supply centers, railway and highway bridges, transportation junctions and staging points resulted in paralysis of enemy traffic moving toward the front lines from Northeastern Korea. Admiral Ofstie displayed unusual ingenuity in developing new techniques of aerial warfare shaped to the peculiar needs of the Korean campaign. Jet fighters from his flagship ere carrier-launched with bomb loads for the first time in the history of U.S. Naval Aviation, adding a new weapon to the interdiction arsenal of the Task Force; aerial torpedoes were launched against inland water targets; special "tunnel-busting" methods were evolved; peak-ordnance load procedures for the planes were developed; the science of close-air support of United Nations troops, featuring the use of napalm bombs was perfected; night attack teams, night hecklers and intruders, coupled with predawn attack and fighter planes, were employed to continually harass the enemy. Rear Admiral Ofstie's distinguished service as Commander of Task Force SEVENTY-SEVEN was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Commander 7th Fleet: Serial 788
Period:
Korean War (1950-1953)
Rank:
Rear Admiral
Unit:
Chief of Staff, Commander Naval Forces, Far East, U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
May 3rd, 1952
Distinguished Service Medal - Navy/USMC
"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States, as Chief of Staff to Commander Naval Forces, Far East during operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Korean area from 6 May 1951 to 12 May 1952. During the greater part of this period, Rear Admiral Ofstie assumed greatly increased responsibilities as the result of the appointment of Commander Naval Forces, Far East as Senior Delegate of the United Nations Commission for the Military Armistice Negotiations, and his subsequent absence from the Headquarters for protracted periods in connection with these negotiations. Rear Admiral Ofstie's skillful application of his wide professional knowledge of naval operations and administration contributed immeasurably to the efficient operations of Naval Forces, Far East. In addition, he maintained excellent relations with Allied Armed Forces and governmental agencies, and was most successful in demonstrating to the public the tremendous capabilities and accomplishments of United States Naval Forces in the Far East. His marked professional skill, outstanding leadership, and conscientious devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Commander Naval Forces, Far East: Desp. P100845Z (Gold Star in lieu)

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