|Birth: ||Jan. 13, 1923|
|Death: ||Dec. 15, 1944|
Ralph was the son of World War One veteran De Forest Newkirk of Illinois and Gladys M. Burch of Nebraska. The family moved from Kansas to Arkansas when Ralph was 5 years old. He attended Morrilton High School, where he was a star athlete. After graduation, he attended the University of Arkansas and was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
The 1940 US Census shows Ralph living with his parents and younger sister Pearl in Morrilton. His father was a manager of a J.C. Penney's store at he time.
Ralph married Roberta LaFaye "Bobbye" Scarlett on 7/6/1943 in Morrilton, Conway County, Arkansas.
Ralph enlisted in the U.S. Army on 2/7/1943 and received his basic training at camp McCain, Mississippi, and Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He then went to O'Reilly General Hospital in Springfield, Missouri to receive training as a medical technician. On 11/12/1944, as a member of the 347th Infantry Regiment, 87th Division (nicknamed "Golden Acorn Division"), Ralph was sent to the European Theater of Operations and was stationed in England. However, his stay in England was short-lived. On 12/1/1944, the 87th Division deployed from England and landed in France at Port LaHarve and moved to Metz, France, where it went into action in the Battle of Fort Driant. The Division then shifted to the vicinity of Gross Rederching near the Saar-German border and captured Rimling, Obergailbach and Guiderkirch. Ralph had attained the rank of Technician 4th Grade (sergeant) by this time.
Ralph was killed in action near Obergailbach, France (Northern France in the Lorraine area that borders France and Germany), on 12/15/1944 (as a side note, this is the same day famed band leader Glenn Miller went missing in action over the English Channel en-route from England to Paris).
Tech/4 Ralph R. Newkirk, serial # 38450021 earned the following decorations as a result of his service and sacrifice for our Nation in World War II:
- Combat Medic's Badge
- Silver Star Medal (posthumously - HQ, 87th Infantry Division, G.O. No. 48-1945)
- Bronze Star Medal (posthumously)
- Purple Heart Medal (posthumously)
- Army Good Conduct Medal
- American Campaign Medal
- European Campaign Medal with two battle/campaign stars
- World War II Victory Medal
- French Memorial Certificate (posthumously)
A cenotaph memorial grave marker for him can be seen at the Elmwood Cemetery in Morrilton, Find-A-Grave Memorial #39299391. A beach at Petit Jean, Arkansas was named in his honor after the war.
Ralph's wife remarried a man named Belcher. She passed away in Russellville, Arkansas in July, 2009.
De Forest Newkirk (1899 - 1985)
Gladys Burch Newkirk (1898 - 1980)
Bobbye Lafaye Scarlett Belcher (1924 - 2009)
Ralph R Newkirk (1923 - 1944)
Ralph Robert Newkirk (1923 - 1944)*
Note: Entered the service from Arkansas.
Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial
Departement de la Moselle
Maintained by: Rick Lawrence
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56658961
In honored remembrance of your valiant service and ultimate sacrifice for our great nation and the Allied cause during World War II. May it not have been in vain.|
Rick Lawrence, MSgt., USMC/USAFR (RET)
Added: Nov. 13, 2013
Added: Dec. 27, 2012