Memorial Tribute (undated) to Lieutenant Martin H. Ray, Jr., US Naval officer, who dies in the Battle of Midway on June 6, 1942.
Martin Hasset Ray, Jr. was born on August 9, 1913 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the late spring of 1920, his family moved to Bronxville, New York, where Martin enrolled in Yonkers Public School. In 1925, Martin entered Roosevelt high school as a 12-year-old and graduated in 1929. Because he was not yet 16 and therefore unable to attend a service academy, Martin enrolled at New York University. In his first year at NYU, Martin won a Congressional appointment and took an entrance exam for midshipmen. On May 22, 1930, Martin received news that he had passed. On June 17, 1930, he was sworn into Naval service. In 1934, Martin graduated and was commissioned as an ensign.
After graduating, Martin left for California to join the battleship USS Pennsylvania. During his first year, Martin qualified as a turret officer. About a year later, he qualified for waters as the officer-of-the-deck. In 1939 before being transferred to USS Hammann, Martin married Georgiana Solari from New Orleans. While Hammann was being constructed, Martin attended an anti-aircraft school aboard a cruiser in Norfolk in order to train for his new duties as a gunnery officer. In the summer of 1939, Hammann was commissioned at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and ordered to the Pacific in early 1940.
As tensions continued to rise in the Atlantic, Hammann was then staged in the Atlantic on neutrality patrols and escorted convoys threatened by German submarines. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Hammann reported to the Central Pacific. Hammann was engaged in the Battle of the Coral Sea, which aimed to prevent Japanese from attacking Australia. After surviving the Battle of Coral Sea, Hammann participated in the Battle of Midway. During the battle, on June 6, 1942, Hammann was sunk by torpedoes while pumping water from the damaged USS Yorktown. Martin worked as the ship's Engineering Officer and helped with the evacuation. Martin was presumed dead from the battle. A year later, Martin was honored by the dedication of a destroyer escort to his memory. The destroyer escort was launched in Orange, Texas on December 23, 1943. Martin's family and Georgiana attended the ceremony. For his services, Martin received a Navy Cross and a Purple Heart.
The Alan Ray Papers consists of a 31-page biographical tribute to Martin H. Ray, Jr. written and compiled by Martin's siblings in 1992. The memorial documents Martin's life in chapters separated by topics such as family background, childhood, boyhood summers, education, midshipman years, bachelor years on the USS Pennsylvania, his duty years on the USS Hammann, and his final years during the War in the Pacific. The final chapter is an epilogue which documents the events from the war and shares family updates after Martin's death. The last section of the memorial includes memorials to Martin, and certificates for a Navy Cross and a Purple Heart award from the United States for his service. In the middle of the memorial are photographs of Martin and his family.
Sources US Navy Memorial Hall https://usnamemorialhall.org/index.php/MARTIN_H._RAY,_JR.,_LT,_USN
Gift of Capt. Alan Ray, USN (Ret)
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Processed by Aleck Tan, January 2020
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