Ralph M. Alton, Deadeye

M. Co, 382nd Regiment US ARMY


Alton is the third from the right with his arms folded.


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Ralph Alton hailed from Bruceville, Indiana.

He was drafted into the Army and took his basic training in Camp Blanding, Florida. After returning home he received advance training at Ft Ord, California, Oahu, Hawaiian Islands, and Saipan. He joined the 96th Division Deadeyes in April of 1945 on Okinawa, as an 18 year old.

He served his country with M. Co, 382nd regiment until American forces secured that island. He was then shipped to Mindoro, Philippine Islands, where he reenlisted. Upon the death of his father he was discharged in early 1946.

He received the Bronze Star, Pacific Theatre Operations Medal with one Battle Star, and the most prestigious award; the Combat Infantry Badge, and with the division; the highest award a unit can receive; The Presidential Unit Citation.

Alton was employed in the Steel Industry in Gary, Indiana as a shop foreman, and retired with a full pension with 25 years of service. He spent his final years in Gadsden, Alabama with his wife Christine.


Ralph Alton and his wife, Christine



From a Foxhole Buddy

Ralph Alton and I met in Basic Training and were foxhole buddies.  As eighteen-year-olds we shared several experiences in the Army, beginning in Camp Blanding, Florida where we took basic training together. We served along side each other on Okinawa in WWII, and on Mindoro after the war.  Alton even saved me from drowning once. We were separated when he re-enlisted.

Ralph came to my wedding in 1946, and we attended one Deadeye reunion together. We met with our wives, one weekend in Nashville, Tennessee with a mutual buddy; William Anderson.

In many ways we were opposites by nature, but we were true Army buddies until he passed in 2009.  He suffered his last few years with cancer, and I will always miss his laughter and recollections we shared on the phone.

With Respect, William R. Hill


For more details about our experiences, refer to page 24, in basic training; and intermittent pages 89 through 130 in my memoir entitled: “Blue Star in the Window.” It can be found in the stories section of this website.

Alton, Anderson, & Hill    
Alton & Anderson      
Alton in Later Life