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Lyle D. Ramsey
Lt. Commander

USS Salt Lake City CA25

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USS SLC...Officer...Lyle D. "Ace" Ramsey, Lt. Comdr.

Mentioned in Story told by ball-red-02 Deceased John E. Coie, Jr., Lt. Comdr. USNR (Ret.)
#4 in picture taken in Brisbane, Australia, 1941
#?17 in picture with Group in Port Moresby, 1941
Story from the USS SLC Cruise Book
Received the Letter of Commendation
Epic of the USS SLC
Savo Island Victory & Rescue of the BOISE by Joseph Driscoll
Mentioned in Jake Jaekel's "Saga of the Swayback Maru"
Tidbits from ball-red-02 Deceased Gordon E. Hill, FC1c
Tidbit from ball-red-02 A. J. "Jack" Bennett
SLC Deck Log Officer's List
SLC Deck Logs May 1942  Sep. 1942  Oct. 1942  Aug. 1943

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Lt. Lyle B. Ramsey, U.S. NAVY for service as set forth in the following Citation is awarded a Letter of Commendation.

"For meritorious conduct as spotting officer of a heavy cruiser during operations of U. S. naval forces against superior enemy surface units off ____. Against an enemy completely alert and already shooting, Lt. Ramsey made observations that caused early damage to an enemy cruiser at a range of twenty thousand yards; and during the ensuing three hours or more, further damage to that and other ships. During part of the action, Lt. Ramsey's visibility was restricted by smoke pipe gases. Lt. Ramsey was charged wit the laborious duty of repair, upkeep and alignment. The excellent state of readiness of the main battery of his ship was evidenced by its outstanding performance in action. The conduct of Lt. Ramsey was at all times in keeping wit the highest traditions of the naval service."

s/ T. C. Kinkaid, Vice Admiral, U. S. Navy
Permanent Citation

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The Abilene Reporter-News
Tue. Feb. 23rd, 1943
So they called USS SALT LAKE CITY 'One-Ship-Fleet'-
Lyle Ramsey, Abilene Naval Officer, hailed as Best Gunner

Contributed by P. Dorr, Langhorne, PA.

A thrilling story of the USS SALT LAKE CITY, whose "boys" declare they have "fought more action than any other ship in the present war, and have sunk more ships than any other surface vessel in the history of the United States Navy," has just come through in a dispatch from an Advanced South Pacific Base, that adds more distinction to the part Abilenians are playing in the global war.

Lt. Lyle Ramsey, son of Mr. & Mrs. F. P. Ramsey, is fire control officer aboard the USS SALT LAKE CITY, and Ensign Harry Terrell, son of Mrs. Mike Frenabarger. Ensign Terrell is a 193? graduate of the University of Texas, studying petroleum engineering. He was an employee of the Texas Company before entering the service.

The USS SALT LAKE CITY, whose record has earned it the title of the "one-ship fleet," is the Navy's oldest heavy cruiser.


It has tackled the enemy at Wake, Wotje, Marcus, Guadalcanal and Savo Island, and in the Savo Island battle of Oct. 11 and 12 came into line to rescue the light cruiser BOISE, another hero of the same engagement.

Joseph Driscoll, staff correspondent in a dispatch in his newspaper of Feb. 14, giving previously unpublished facts of the USS SALT LAKE CITY's great combat record.

Lt. Ramsey, recently at home on his first leave since Pearl Harbor, modestly declined to discuss it in a Reporter-News Interview. His superiors, he said, would have to be the ones to authorize publication of facts, not then made known.

"I have just talked to a grand collection of young seadogs who fight in the aggressive tradition of John Paul Jones --- young Americans who have met the enemy not once, but repeatedly", Driscoll said in beginning his story.

"Out here no one disputes the USS SALT LAKE CITY's claim to be the original 'one-ship fleet'," he continued.

"If all her Nipponese victims were laid out end to end they would add up to a pretty tonnage. Consequently the USS SALT LAKE CITY is probably No. 1 Public enemy to the Japanese and destined to be the object of special attention by them", Driscoll wrote.

The USS SALT LAKE CITY is the Navy's oldest heavy cruiser. Commissioned in 1929, she is one of our two earliest "treaty cruisers," and is a sister ship of the USS PENSACOLA commissioned in 1930, and likewise a veteran of heavy fighting in the Pacific.

In the second battle of Savo Island, Driscoll wrote, the USS SALT LAKE CITY, assisted by other ships, sank a heavy cruiser, a light cruiser, destroyer, transport, submarine tender and three other axillaries.

In that running battle, with the BOISE afire and being pounded by an enemy heavy cruiser, the USS SALT LAKE CITY ran in between them to shield the BOISE and quickly blasted the rival heavy cruiser out of the water.

Driscoll describes this action thus: "To the fearless, unselfish maneuvering of the USS SALT LAKE CITY, the BOISE owes her life and her men readily said so after the battle was over.


"However as luck could have it, the BOISE went into the Philadelphia Navy yard for repairs, and received national publicity, whereas the USS SALT LAKE CITY remained word censored in comparative obscurity until now, when Navy chiefs arranged to accord her honors that are her due.

A task force had been built around the USS SALT LAKE CITY after the first battle of Savo Island on Aug. 8, when the Allies lost the four "sitting duck" cruisers, the American QUINCY, VINCENNES and ASTORIA, and the Australian CANBERRA.

Commander of the USS SALT LAKE CITY is ball-red-02 Deceased Capt. Ernest G. Small, New Haven, Conn.; ball-red-02 Deceased Lt. Comdr David Hawkins is navigation officer; Deceased Comdr. Theodore Kobey, Bisby, AZ., engineering officer; ball-red-02 Deceased Lt. Comdr. James Brewer, officer, New York, gunnery officer, ball-red-02 Lt. George A. O'Connell, Jr., Norfolk, VA., assistant gunnery and Lt. Ramsey of Abilene, fire control officer.

Driscoll declared that other officers on the ship term "Uncle Jim" Brewer, "Georgie-Porgie" O'Connell and "Ace" Ramsey the "best gunners in the world."

"Lt. Ramsey, 1940 honor graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, has been continuously aboard the USS SALT LAKE CITY since his assignment to duty.


Driscoll explained that gun crews had been in training for two years, and on the particular night of the second battle of Savo were "as cool and efficient as though at a practice session."

"We have the best eight-inch armor-piercing shells in the business," officers were quoted as saying.

In 15 minutes that night, from 11:47 to 12:03, successive salvos from the USS SALT LAKE CITY disported of an enemy light cruiser, a heavy cruiser, an auxiliary, and a destroyer.

At 12:12 the BOISE was badly hurt and was falling away.

"We took her place and closed in, placing ourselves between the BOISE and the enemy," Driscoll quotes the USS SALT LAKE CITY's officers.

' "The BOISE was on fire and silhouetted, making a perfect setup for the enemy's fire control. We walked into three straddles that hurt us and slowed us, but not enough to help the Jap. We engaged their heavy cruiser at 5,000 yards. At our third salvo the enemy fell silent, fired no more. Then we gave him four more salvos and it sank."

When at home, Lt. Ramsey described the 40-minute toe-to-toe melee with the Japanses at Savo in this way:

"The melee was like getting some of your worst enemies into a darkened room, running into the room and slugging as fast and as hard as you can at whatever you encounter, dodging out of the room and then running hard again to continue the attack."

Battle of Cape Esperance Article Index

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