Henry Raymond Ringness, born in Morris, Minn., 17 August 1912, was appointed 1st Lieutenant, Medical Corps Reserve, U.S. Army, 14 June 1939. Two weeks later he resigned from the Army to accept a commission in the U.S. Navy. He was commissioned regular assistant surgeon with rank of lieutenant (junior grade) from 7 July 1941. He served at the Naval Medical School, Washington, D.C.; Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla.; and First Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force. He was promoted to lieutenant 15 June 1942. He received the Navy Cross posthumously "for extraordinary heroism as Flight Surgeon of a Marine Aircraft Group during action against enemy Japanese forces on Guadalcanal on the night of 13-14 October 1942. When a hostile task force moved in off our beachhead and commenced a vigorous bombardment of the island airfield, Lieutenant Ringness, trapped in a foxhole in the camp area by the sporadic bursting of shells, was mortally wounded by a near miss which killed four of his companions and wounded four others. Although completely paralyzed in the lower half of his body and suffering great pain because of his immobility, he persisted in administering morphine and blood plasma to wounded personnel until he was finally evacuated to a base hospital." Three days later, on 17 October 1942, he died as a result of his injuries.
(APD - 100: displacement 2,130 (full load); length 306’0”; beam 37’0”; draft 12’7”; speed 23 knots; complement 204; troop 162; armament 1 5”, 6 40mm., 6 20mm., 2 depth charge tracks; class Crosley)
Ringness (APD-100) was laid down as DE-590 on 23 December 1943 by Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Inc., Hingham, Mass.; launched 5 February 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Henry R. Ringness; reclassified APD-100 on 17 July 1944; and commissioned 25 October 1944, Lt. Comdr. William C. Meyer in command.
Following shakedown off Bermuda and amphibious exercises in Chesapeake Bay, Ringness steamed in convoy for the Pacific 21 December 1944. She transited the Panama Canal, stopped at San Diego, and reached Pearl Harbor 15 January 1945. After training in the Hawaiian area, she departed Pearl Harbor 1 March for Funa Futi [sic; Funafuti], Ellice Islands; Port Purvis, Florida Island; and Ulithi, Caroline Islands, where she arrived 22 March.
After further training Ringness proceeded on 24 March to Saipan, getting underway for Okinawa on the 27th, escorting TG 51.2 composed of escorts, transports, and cargo vessels.
The landings took place on Easter morning, 1 April, and during the 2 days following, Ringness engaged in anti-suicide boat patrol along the southeast coast of Okinawa, where intelligence reports had located Japanese nests. On the night of 2 April, Ringness attacked an enemy midget submarine with undetermined results. On 3 April she steamed to Ulithi for supplies, returning to Okinawa with TG 53.8. Upon arrival she was assigned to antisubmarine and antiaircraft patrol, undergoing numerous air attacks. This patrol lasted only 4 days before she steamed as a convoy escort to Saipan. On 23 April she again steamed for Okinawa escorting a convoy of LSTs and LSMs. Four days later, a Japanese submarine fired two torpedoes at her. Ringness replied with gunfire and a depth charge attack, with undetermined results.
On 30 April Ringness arrived at Okinawa for the third time since the invasion began, remaining there for the entire month of May. During this time she maintained her various antisubmarine and antiaircraft screen stations. On 4 May Ringness witnessed the death dive of a Kamikaze on to the flight deck of Sangamon (CVE-26), turning her into a roaring inferno. Ringness stood by the crippled vessel and rescued some of the men forced over the side by flames and explosions.
On 11 May Ringness proceeded to Radar Picket Station 15 for rescue and salvage work on Hadley (DD-774) and Evans (DD-552) which had born the brunt of one of the heaviest air attacks of this period. On the night of 16 May, just off Okinawa, Ringness dodged an oncoming kamikaze, getting credit for a splash. At the end of May, Ringness escorted a convoy to Ulithi, arriving 6 June. She then proceeded on to Leyte, Philippine Islands.
After further convoy escort duty between Leyte, Okinawa, and Ulithi, on 3 August Ringness was diverted from her escort duty and rescued the 39 survivors of the USS Indianapolis (CA-35).
Ringness was in Leyte Gulf at war's end. She proceeded to Okinawa, then participated in the occupation landings at Jinsen, Korea. On 26 September, Ringness was detached and departed Jinsen for Okinawa.
Three days later, Ringness commenced her second occupation operation as sole escort for TU 78.1.94 bound for Tientsin, China. On 9 October she shifted to Tsingtao serving as 7th Amphibious Force Beachmaster Flagship. She remained at Tsingtao until departing for the United States 29 January 1946. She arrived San Pedro 23 February, transited the Panama Canal, and put into Norfolk 14 March.
Ringness reported for lay-up at Green Cove Springs 4 April 1946. She was subsequently towed from Green Cove Springs to Mayport and Charleston at various times in 1947 and 1948. Ringness was placed out of commission in reserve in January 1951, berthed at Green Cove Springs. In 1959 she was towed to Norfolk, where she remained until berthed at Orange, Tex., in 1956. She decommissioned and was struck from the Navy list in 1968.
Ringness earned one battle star for World War II service.
29 September 2005