The ship honors
the distinguished naval career of Vice Admiral Lawson Patterson Ramage, born
January 19, 1909 in Monroe Bridge, Massachusetts. After graduating from the
Naval Academy in 1931, he saw his first sea duty aboard destroyers and heavy
After graduation from Submarine School in December 1935, VADM Ramage entered
submarine service, serving in submarine S-29 and USS SANDS. He was assigned
on the staff of Commander, Submarine Force Pacific, based in Pearl Harbor,
during the attack on December 7, 1941. He made his first war patrol aboard
USS GRENADIER in the spring of 1942, participating in the sinking of 24,000
tons of enemy shipping.
His first command was USS TROUT, which engaged in successful war patrols in
the areas of Midway, Truk, the Solomons and the South China Sea. On August
28, 1942, Ramage intercepted a Japanese task group consisting of the light
carrier TAIYO, plus cruisers and destroyers. Ramage closed TROUT to short
range and fired five torpedoes at the carrier, scoring the first-ever hits on
a Japanese carrier.
He assumed command of USS PARCHE (SS 384) in July 1943 and led her through
four war patrols in the Southern Pacific Theater. He was awarded the
Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions during a pre-dawn attack by the
PARCHE on a Japanese convoy on July 31, 1944.
Following the war, he commanded Submarine Division FIVE TWO. His duties from
1947 until 1956 included several positions including Special Assistant to the
Chief of Naval Operations.
After serving as Commander, Cruiser Division TWO and a variety of positions
in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, he was designated Assistant
Chief of Naval Operations in October 1960.
From August 1962 until July 1963, he was Deputy Commander of the Submarine
Force, Atlantic Fleet, after which he served as Deputy Chief of Naval
Operations (Fleet Readiness and Operations). In July 1964 he assumed command
of First Fleet, during which time he was awarded the Distinguished Service
Medal for exceptionally meritorious service. In August 1966, he reported as
Deputy Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet and Chief of Staff and Aide to the
Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet. In March 1967 he became the Commander in
Chief of the Military Sea Transportation Service in Washington, D.C.
On April 1, 1970, VADM Ramage retired from Naval service. He died on April
15, 1990 at his home in Bethesda, Maryland.
Medal of Honor:
While conducting operations with USS STEELHEAD (SS 280) and USS HAMMERHEAD
(SS 364) off the coast of Luzon, the group made contact with a large Japanese
convoy. HAMMERHEAD attacked first but was unable to score any hits. Before
dawn the next day (July 31, 1944), STEELHEAD and PARCHE made contact with the
convoy and STEELHEAD scored several kills before having to disengage to
reload torpedoes. Red Ramage saw his opportunity and took PARCHE into the
middle of the convoy, engaging in a 46-minute running surface battle with the
merchantmen and their escorts. Showing incredible poise and determination,
Ramage cleared the bridge and took his boat among the ships, conducting
high-speed evasions while firing salvo after salvo at the high value targets.
He directed his crew to reload the torpedo tubes, something that was never
previously done in combat. At one point, he passed within 50 feet of an enemy
merchant, maneuvering violently to avoid collision while simultaneously
firing three “down the throat” shots at the target. When he withdrew from the
battle, PARCHE had fired nineteen torpedoes and scored hits on 5 ships.
Postwar reconstruction credits him with sinking two and sharing credit for a
third kill with STEELHEAD. For his heroic actions, CDR Ramage was awarded the
Congressional Medal of Honor in January 1945.