Last Known Activity|
He was cremated and his ashes were scattered under the Golden Gate Bridge.
His DSC citation:
(Other evidence shows that dates "16 November through 8 July 8, (sic) 1944" are incorrect.
They should be 16 Nov 1942 through 8 Jul 1943.)
Awarded for actions during World War II
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Colonel (Air Corps) Ralph Edward Koon (ASN: 0-17197), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a B-24 Heavy Bomber in the 90th Bombardment Group (H), FIFTH Air Force, while participating in bombing missions from 16 November 1943 through 8 July 8, 1944, against enemy targets in the Southwest Pacific Area. Colonel Koon displayed exceptional courage and daring leadership in leading units of his group in eighteen combat missions over this period. These included strikes against Rabaul, Wewak, Kavieng and Ambon. On 10 April 1943, he commanded a bomber on an individual strike mission against enemy shipping in Wewak Harbor. In the face of heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire, a bombing run was made on a cargo vessel, and a direct hit and damaging near-miss was scored. His aircraft was badly damaged in this attack, and the hydraulic system shot out; nevertheless, a second run was made on another vessel, which was destroyed by two direct hits. Despite the intense anti-aircraft fire and the damaged condition of his airplane, which made a crash-landing inevitable, a third attack was made on a large ship. Although the bombs had been expended, three strafing runs were made at minimum altitude, leaving the vessel in flames. Colonel Koon's skill and heroism contributed substantially to the excellent combat record of his group.
General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, General Orders No. 1 (1944)
Action Date: November 16, 1943 - July 8, 1944
Service: Army Air Forces
Regiment: 90th Bombardment Group (H)
Division: 5th Air Force