The North Bend Eagle


Son writes tribute to father's WWII heroism

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 6/15/16

Ralph Emanuel medalGeneral Leland S. Hobbs pins the Silver Star on Ralph Emanuel. Emanuel returned to farm northwest of North Bend after the war.

Young boys often idolize their fathers. They love to hear their stories of their past, especially when it involves military experience. Eric Emanuel was such a boy, but his father, Ralph, died when he was 18. That didn’t stop Emanuel from getting to know his father’s military history.

“It begin with the discovery of the box in the closet with its assortment of medals, insignia and mementoes that were meaningless to me but still fascinating,” Emanuel said.

Emanuel found the box when he was young, and pestered his dad for more stories after that. This year he wrote a booklet of his findings about his father’s Silver Star action.

Ralph Emanuel served in the Army from Feb. 11, 1942, until Aug. 18, 1945. After training, he was stationed in Europe and earned the European campaign medal, two Purple Hearts, Combat Infantry Badge, Good Conduct Medal, Marksmanship Medal and the Silver Star.

The Silver Star Medal is the third-highest military decoration for valor. It is awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Army, is cited for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States.

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