Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Navy

Milton Ernest Ricketts

  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    U.S.S. Yorktown
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: May 8, 1942
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Coral Sea
For extraordinary and distinguished gallantry above and beyond the call of duty as officer-in-charge of the Engineering Repair Party of the U.S.S. Yorktown in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea on 8 May 1942. During the severe bombing of the Yorktown by enemy Japanese forces, an aerial bomb passed through and exploded directly beneath the compartment in which Lt. Ricketts' battle station was located, killing, wounding, or stunning all of his men and mortally wounding him. Despite his ebbing strength, Lt. Ricketts promptly opened the valve of a near-by fireplug, partially led out the firehose, and directed a heavy stream of water into the fire before dropping dead beside the hose. His courageous action, which undoubtedly prevented the rapid spread of fire to serious proportions, and his unflinching devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Medal of Honor Recipient Milton E. Ricketts
Medal of Honor Recipient Milton E. Ricketts
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Maryland
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: August 5, 1913, Baltimore, Baltimore County, MD, United States
  • Died: May 8, 1942, Coral Sea, Philippine Islands
  • Buried: A.B.M.C. Manila Cemetery (Wall of the Missing) buried at sea, Manila, Philippine Islands

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