STM1 Ralph Francis Adams

STM1 Ralph Francis Adams

Camden, Camden County, New Jersey, USA
Death 25 Oct 1944 (aged 18)
At Sea
Memorial Site* Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines

* A structure erected in honor of someone whose remains lie elsewhere.

Plot Tablets of the Missing
Memorial ID 56786544 · View Source
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Steward's Mate 1st Class, Ralph F. Adams MIA/KIA
Official Date of Death: December 07, 1945
Hometown: Camden New Jersey
Service # 9066066
Awards: Purple Heart, Navy Presidential Unit Citation W/Star
Navy Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal,
Submarine Combat Patrol Insignia
Captain: Richard H. O'Kane MIA/KIA

Ship: USS TANG SS-306
Mission: Fifth war patrol
Mission Date: 25-Oct-44
Location: Formosa Strait near Turnabout Island
Cause: Sunk by circular run of own torpedo
Crew: of 78 MIA/KIA 9 Survivors POW

The story of Tang's fate comes from the report of her surviving commanding officer.
After a refit, Tang stood out to sea on 24 September for her fifth war patrol.
October 25 the 24th and last torpedo was fired. It broached and curved to the left in a circular run. Tang fishtailed under emergency power to clear the turning circle of the torpedo, but it struck her abreast the aft torpedo room approximately 20 seconds after it was fired. The explosion was violent, and men as far forward as the control room received broken limbs. The ship went down by the stern with the after three compartments flooded. Of the nine officers and men on the bridge, including O'Kane, three were able to swim through the night until picked up eight hours later. One officer escaped from the flooded conning tower, and was rescued with the others.

The submarine bottomed at 180 ft (55 m) and the thirty survivors crowded into the forward torpedo room as the aft compartments flooded, intending to use the forward escape trunk. Publications were burned, and all assembled in the forward room to escape. The escape was delayed by a Japanese patrol which dropped depth charges, and started an electrical fire in the forward battery. Beginning at 6:00 AM on 25 October, using the Momsen Lung, "the only known case" where it was used, thirteen men escaped from the forward torpedo room. By the time the last had exited, the heat from the battery fire was so intense, paint on the bulkhead was scorching, melting, and running down. Of the 13 men who escaped, only nine reached the surface, and of these, five were able to swim until rescued. A total of 78 men were lost. Those who escaped the submarine were greeted in the morning by the sight of the bow of the transport sticking straight out of the water.

Nine survivors, including O'Kane, were picked up the next morning by Japanese frigate CD-34. Survivors of Tang's previous sinkings were on board, and they beat the men from Tang. O'Kane stated, "When we realized that our clubbing and kickings were being administered by the burned, mutilated survivors of our handiwork, we found we could take it with less prejudice." The nine captives were placed in prison camps until the end of the war.

Steward's Mate Adams appears Tablets of the Missing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial Metro Manila National Capital, Philippines lost October 25th 1944 officially declared killed December 7th 1945. He also has a cenotaph memorial Beverly National Cemetery Beverly Burlington County New Jersey his body was never recovered.

Visit the virtual cemetery of USS TANG

Gravesite Details Entered the service from New Jersey.



  • Maintained by: John Dowdy
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 8 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56786544
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for STM1 Ralph Francis Adams (11 Jan 1926–25 Oct 1944), Find a Grave Memorial no. 56786544, citing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by John Dowdy (contributor 47791572) .