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Henry Raymond Ringness
Born (1912-08-17)August 17, 1912
Died October 17, 1942(1942-10-17) (aged 30)
Place of birth Morris, Minnesota
Place of death Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army 1939
United States Navy 1939-1942
Years of service 1939 (U.S. Army)
1939-1942 (U.S. Navy)
Rank Lieutenant
Unit Naval Medical School, Washington, D.C.
Naval Air Station Pensacola
First Marine Aircraft Wing
Battles/wars World War II
*Guadalcanal Campaign
Awards Navy Cross

Henry Raymond Ringness (1912–1942), was a United States Navy officer who received the Navy Cross for his actions during World War II.


Ringness was born on 17 August 1912 in Morris, Minnesota, was appointed First Lieutenant, Medical Corps Reserve, United States Army, on 14 June 1939.

On 28 June 1939 Ringness resigned from the U.S. Army to accept a commission in the U.S. Navy. He was commissioned as a regular assistant surgeon with rank of lieutenant, junior grade from 7 July 1941. He served at the Naval Medical School in Washington, D.C., at Naval Air Station Pensacola at Pensacola, Florida, and in the First Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force. He was promoted to lieutenant on 15 June 1942.

Ringness served on Guadalcanal during the Guadalcanal campaign in 1942, and was mortally wounded during the Japanese battleship bombardment of Henderson Field on the night of 13–14 October 1942. Despite his wounds, he continued to assist other wounded personnel. Three days later, on 17 October 1942, he died as a result of his injuries.[1]


Ringness received the Navy Cross posthumously. The award citation reads:

for extraordinary heroism as Flight Surgeon of a Marine Aircraft Group during action against enemy Japanese forces on Guadalcanal on the night of 13–14 October 1942. When a hostile task force moved in off our beachhead and commenced a vigorous bombardment of the island airfield, Lieutenant Ringness, trapped in a foxhole in the camp area by the sporadic bursting of shells, was mortally wounded by a near miss which killed four of his companions and wounded four others. Although completely paralyzed in the lower half of his body and suffering great pain because of his immobility, he persisted in administering morphine and blood plasma to wounded personnel until he was finally evacuated to a base hospital.


The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Ringness (DE-590) was named for Lieutenant Ringness. During construction she was converted into the fast transport USS Ringness (APD-100), and was in commission as such from 1944 to 1951.


  1. "Ringness". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. United States Navy. 2005-09-29. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 

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