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Ofstie, Ralph Andrew (1897-1956)


Photograph of Ralph A. Ofstie

National Archives #80-G-13982

Ralph Ofstie was a naval aviator who set three air speed records in 1924. He later served as naval attaché to Japan and was the first captain of the Essex. By late 1944 he was a rear admiral in command of an escort carrier division, Carrier Division 26. His division participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and suffered some of the first kamikaze attacks of the war, which sank St. Lo and inflicted damage on Kitkun Bay.

Postwar, Ofstie conducted many of the interrogations of former Japanese naval officers for the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. He was later entangled in the "Revolt of the Admirals", testifying before Congress on 11 October 1949 that

Strategic air warfare, as practiced in the past and as proposed for the future, is militarily unsound and of limited effect, is morally wrong, and is decidedly harmful to the stability of a post-war world.

Ofstie later commanded carrier task forces off Korea during the Korean War.

Service record

1897-11-16     

Born at Eau Claire, Wisconsin
1918-6
Ensign
Graduates from Naval Academy
1918-8
Lieutenant junior grade     
DD Whipple
1918

CL Chattanooga
1919

DD O'Bannon
1920

Flight training
1922

VF-1
1924
Lieutenant
Commander, VS-6
1927

CL Detroit
1929

Flight Test Division, Naval Air Station Anacostia
1933

Commander, VF-6, CV Saratoga
1935
Lieutenant commander     
Assistant naval attache, Japan
1938

CV Enterprise
1939

CV Saratoga
1940

CV Enterprise
1940

CV Yorktown
1941
Commander
Assistant naval attache, Britain
1942

Staff, Pacific Fleet
1943-11-6
Captain
Commander, CV Essex
1944-8-7
Rear admiral     
Commander, Carrier Division 26
1945-2

Commander, Carrier Division 23
1945-4

Chief of staff, Air Force, Atlantic Fleet
1945-8

U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey
1946

Joint Chiefs of Staff Evaluation Broup, Operation CROSSROADS
1950

Commander, Task Force 77, Korea
1953
Vice admiral
Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air
1955

Commander, 6 Fleet
1956

Retires
1956-11-19

Dies in Maryland

References

Morison (1958)
Naval Historical Center (accessed 2008-6-17)

Pettibone (2006)
The Battle Off Samar (accessed 2008-6-17)
Tuohy (2007)


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