Lawson Paterson “Red” Ramage MOH

b. 19/01/1909 Monroe Bridge, Massachusetts. d. 15/04/1990 Bethesda, Maryland.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 31/07/1944 off Taiwan.

Lawson P Ramage MOH

A 1931 graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, he served during World War II in the United States Navy, commanding several submarines. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery while at the naval rank of Commander, and while commanding the submarine “USS Parche” in the Pacific Ocean on July 31, 1944.

His crew on the “Parche” received a Presidential Unit Citation, and his Medal of Honor was issued to him on January 10, 1945 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. One of the Navy’s decorated Submarine Sailors from World War II, he was also awarded the Navy Cross for his actions while commanding the “USS Trout” in the Solomon Island, Midway, Truk Islands and in the South China Sea. He was serving on board the “USS Grenadine” at Pearl Harbor while that Naval base was attacked on December 7, 1941, and was awarded the Silver Star while a member of its crew for bravery while patrolling enemy waters in the months after the Japanese attack. His post-war career would saw him rise to Vice-Admiral, command a number of Submarine fleets, help shape United States Submarine Warfare policy, and command the Military Sea Transportation Service. In 1963 he led the Naval search for the atomic submarine “USS Thresher”, which has sunk in the Atlantic Ocean off New England, with the loss of all of its crew.



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. 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 three 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.