Ralph Logan Houser
Colonel, United States Marine Corps
a contemporary press report:
Ralph Houser, 86, a retired real estate lawyer and Marine Corps colonel who had received the Navy Cross, died February 1, 2001 at his home in Reston, Virginia, after a heart attack.
He received the Navy Cross, the Navy's highest award for valor after the Medal of Honor, in World War II for his actions as a battalion commander in the 3rd Marine Division during the recapture of Guam in July 1944. According to his award citation, he "personally led elements of his battalion in continuous assaults against enemy positions" in a successful maneuver to clear the high ground in his sector for the protection of a beachhead.
Despite being wounded, he organized a tank-infantry fighting group and led its assault on a Japanese strong point until it was destroyed. "Always cool and resourceful, Lt. Col. Houser brilliantly led his men throughout this period," the citation said.
Before his actions on Guam, he commanded the Marine detachment on the carrier Lexington in the Pacific. He also participated in the invasion of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.
Colonel Houser, who was born in Iowa, began his 26-year military career in 1935 after graduating from the University of Iowa. He served in the 4th Marine Regiment in Shanghai and at the Marine Corps School at Quantico, training officer candidates.
His post-World War II assignments involved amphibious training of Army units and tours of duty in Japan and China. He also served on the staff of the Navy inspector general and reviewed medical records at the Pentagon.
Four years after retiring from the Marine Corps in 1961, he graduated from George Washington University law school and opened a private practice in Annandale. He retired in the early 1980s but continued to do some work for First American Title Insurance Co.
His wife, Mildred Phelps Houser, died in November.
Survivors include a son, Raymond, of Jacksonville,
Fla.; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
HOUSER, RALPH LOGAN, Col, USMC (Ret.)
On Thursday, February 1, 2001, at his
home in Reston, VA. Beloved husband of the late Mildred Phelps Houser;
father of Raymond L. (Louise) Houser of Jacksonville, FL; grandfather of
Catherine, Robert and Richard; and great grandfather of Nicole and Noah.
Friends may call at JEFFERSON FUNERAL CHAPEL, 5755 Castlewellan Dr. (just
south of the intersection of Franconia Rd. and S. Van Dorn St.), Alexandria,
VA on Wednesday, February 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. and where services will be
held on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery with
full military honors.