Ralph Houser

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Ralph Houser
Navycross.jpg
Born (1914-02-23)February 23, 1914
Iowa City, Iowa
Died February 1, 2001(2001-02-01) (aged 86)
Reston, Virginia
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1935-1961
Rank Colonel
Unit 3rd Marines
4th Marines
Commands held Marine Detachment, USS Lexington (CV-2)
3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines
Battles/wars World War II
*Battle of Bougainville
*Battle of Guam
Awards Navy Cross
Purple Heart

Ralph Logan Houser (1914–2001) was an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He was born in Iowa in 1914 and graduated from the University of Iowa when he was 21. After his graduation he was commissioned as a Marine officer. His pre-war assignments included the command of the Marine Detachment on the aircraft carrier USS Lexington as well as a tour at Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia.

During World War II he was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division and participated in the Battle of Bougainville and the Battle of Guam, where he won the Navy Cross for successfully leading his battalion through a series of heavily fortified Japanese positions. Following the war, he trained Army units in amphibious tactics and served tours in Japan and China. He also served at the Pentagon for the Navy Inspector General.

Following his retirement from the Marines, he attended George Washington University Law School and practiced in Annandale. He died at his home in Reston, Virginia on February 1, 2001 of a heart attack and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Navy Cross citation[edit]

The NAVY CROSS is presented to

RALPH L. HOUSER
LIEUTENANT COLONEL, U.S. MARINE CORPS

for extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of the Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the assault on enemy-held Guam, Marianas Islands, 21 through July 23, 1944. Realizing the absolute necessity of clearing the high ground in his sector for the protection of the beachhead, and deprived by casualties of sufficient troop leaders for his troop units, Lieutenant Colonel Houser personally led elements of his Battalion in continuous assaults against enemy positions, exposing himself time after time to hostile fire. After successfully leading his Battalion in the seizure of Chonito Cliff and observing that the left flank of his Battalion was being held up by strong Japanese resistance from Adelup Point, he proceeded to his leading elements despite wounds received in the previous action and, organizing a tank-infantry fighting group, led an assault on the hostile strong point. While exposed to enemy rifle, machine-gun, mortar and artillery fire, he maintained an aggressive attack until this strategic point was completely taken by his Battalion. Always cool and resourceful, Lieutenant Colonel Houser brilliantly led his men throughout this period until seriously wounded on July 23, while assaulting a particularly well dug-in and defended strong point holding up the advance. By his forcefulness, leadership and outstanding courage in the face of strong hostile resistance, he served as an example to his officers and men and was primarily responsible for clearing the Japanese forces from his sector. His unswerving devotion to duty throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

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