Ralph Junior Youngman

Posted on Tuesday 3 July 2012

Ralph Junior Youngman
Fireman, Second Class

Age: 22
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio
Marital status: Single
Acknowledgements: James and Raymond Youngman, brothers; Marjorie Squires and Betty Krueger, sisters; Tina Youngman, niece; Bill Cran and Ralph Krueger (nephews); Michael Sangiacomo and Brian Albrecht, The (Cleveland, OH) Plain Dealer

Ralph Junior Youngman, the oldest of nine children, was born to Louise and Ralph Youngman on July 22, 1920 in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from John Marshall High School in Cleveland. On March 21, 1941 before his twenty first birthday, with his father’s signed consent agreeing that at no time would he request his son’s discharge from the United States Navy, Ralph enlisted for six years in the U. S. Naval Reserve at the Navy Recruiting Station in Cleveland, Ohio. He joined the Navy to see the world.

He transferred to the U.S. Naval Training School, Great Lakes, Illinois for recruit training. On June 29, 1941 he transferred to Submarine Base New London, Connecticut for Submarine School. He graduated on February 16, 1942 and was assigned to the U.S.S. Grunion Detail for its fitting out. He was officially transferred to the Grunion at its commissioning on April 11, 1942.

His younger sister, Betty Krueger said, “He was my buddy. He let me tag along wherever he went. We used to do a lot together.” She was expecting a child when she first heard the news that her brother was missing in action. Her little sister ran up to her and said their mother had received a telegram from the government, and that their brother Ralph was missing and presumed dead. When her son was born, Betty named him Ralph.

She attended the Grunion memorial service in Cleveland in 2008, and was grateful to have the opportunity to attend the beautiful service … now she says, “I know that my brother is at peace.”

Although his service records do not verify this, both his sister Betty and brother Raymond say that they are certain that their brother had been scheduled to leave on another submarine, but couldn’t, due to an injury. So he was re-assigned to the U.S.S. Grunion.

The Youngman family had three sons in the Navy in WW II.

Copyright © 2012 Mary Bentz. All Rights Reserved

3 Comments for 'Ralph Junior Youngman'

    September 15, 2013 | 3:34 pm

    I was directed to this website by my brother. This man is my uncle-Mary Youngman, his sister, is my mother. We lost contact with my mother’s family when I was a child. How strange to first see a picture of my uncle on this website, and learn anything about my maternal relatives here. Well, kinship is an accident of birth; family is people who love each other. Peace to all.

    Mary Bentz
    October 5, 2013 | 3:51 pm

    Subject: Obituary Mrs. Pauline Lehman

    Until this week, there have been two surviving widows of crewmen of the USS Grunion.
    On October 3, Pauline Lehman Briggs, wife of Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Lehman, Electrician’s Mate, First Class passed away at age 93. She is survived by a son, Gary Ross Lehman of Southington, Ohio; a sister, Edith Senich of Venice, Fla.; a grandson, Ross Lehman of Cortland, Ohio; three great-grandchildren, Timothy, Dustin and Crystal; and six great-great-grandchildren, Ross J., Woody, Alex, Isabel, Ryan and Christopher.

    In a letter dated November 7, 1942 she wrote to Mrs. Catherine Abele, “I just received your letter today. I have been thinking about the other wives too. You and I are luckier than some, you have your three sons and I have my little boy of 3 years. Woodie was the first man assigned to the Grunion. He spoke to me of your husband real often. I’m praying that our men will all get back safe from somewhere’. I am, Mrs. Pauline Lehman.”

    May she rest in peace.

    Our remaining widow is Mrs. Caroline Surofchek Colson, wife of Steven Surofchek, Ship’s Cook First Class.

    The Grunion Family

    Kimberly Kino
    August 1, 2016 | 1:23 am

    Ralph was my great uncle. My grandmother was your mom’s sister. I hope you see this message, as I would love to get in touch with you and share family. My email is kimlambins@att.net. My grandmother was Irene Youngman Newberger.

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