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Ralph William Cavin was born in Sterling, Kansas, on March 9, 1921. He graduated from Sterling High School and on November 11, 1940 enlisted in the US Navy. He was advanced through the rating Seaman to Chief Yeoman and was subsequently commissioned Lieutenant to date from July 1, 1960.
After enlisting in the US Navy in 1940, he had recruit training at the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois, and in January 1941 joined USS Arkansas. He was on board that battleship when the United States entered World War II, December 8, 1941 and continued duty in her until October 1942. He next severed consecutively in USS LSTs 28, 83 and 1032. On board the latter he participated in operations at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Detached from LST 1032 in September 1945, he had administration duties at the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes and in October 1946 reported for instruction at the Naval Justice School, Port Hueneme, California.
During the period January 1947 to June 1948 he was a Legal Yeoman at the Naval Base, Argentina, Newfoundland, after which he had duty in connection with personnel at the Naval Recruiting Station, Denver, Colorado. He remained there until August 1950, when he was assigned to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe, with headquarters in Paris, France, his duty, supply administration. Returning to the United States in November 1953, he is now attached to the Immediate Office of the Secretary of Navy, Navy Department, Washington, DC.
Military awards include the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon and the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, while serving in the USS LST 1031. In addition he has the Good Conduct Medal with four stars; American Defense Service Medal with bronze star; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze stars; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon.