Monday, September 6, 2010

A little more about RADM Ralph E. Cook

Rear Admiral Ralph E. Cook, USN (Ret.), enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1934 and advanced to radioman third class before earning a commission in January 1941 on his way to service in the Philippine Islands. Evacuated from Corregidor by submarine in early 1942, he served the next 21 years as a Navy cryptologist. In 1963 he was selected as the director of the Naval Security Group, going on in July 1968 to become the first flag officer and the first officer to serve as the head of the newly established Naval Security Group Command.

RADM Cook passed away recently and would have been 95 in December.

And this via e-mail from Mr. Tim Bovill, EA to RADM Deets, NNWC.

Ralph Edward Cook, Rear Admiral, USN (Ret) passed away on August 27 at Hale Ho Aloha Nursing Home in Honolulu. He would have been 95 in December. He is survived by his wife Clara of 30 years. Admiral Cook retired from the United States Navy in 1974. He became Admiral in 1968.

In 1963 he commanded the Naval Security Group with headquarters at the Navy Security Station in Washington, DC. With rank as Commander at the National Security Agency in 1954 he was Chief of Military Personnel. In 1971 he moved to Honolulu and became Chief of NSA Central Security Service, Pacific. For exceptional leadership in furtherance of United States security interests he was awarded the Legion of Merit in 1968 and again a Gold Star in 1974.

Ralph enlisted in the Navy as a Radioman in 1934 after graduating from Montana State College with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He worked for IBM as a customer engineer prior to being called to active duty. In January 1941 he was commissioned as Ensign and assigned to the Naval Communications Station in the Philippines. When Manila fell to the Japanese he was transferred to the Navy's radio intelligence group in Corregidor.

His IBM experience was invaluable to this group called CAST. On the night Bataan fell in 1942 he was evacuated in the third and last submarine to Melbourne, Australia. As Fleet Radio Unit Melbourne (FRUMEL) his group worked with Royal Australian Navy radio intelligence during World War II. FRUMEL supported HYPO , the radio intelligence group advising Admiral Nimitz at Pearl Harbor, the 7th U.S. Fleet in Australia and Gen. Douglas MacArthur who was Commander in Chief, South West Pacific Area.

FRUMEL made substantial contributions to the Navy's victory at the battle of Midway in June 1942 and supported submarine activities throughout the south west Pacific during the war. His group targeted the flight of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander of the Japanese Navy. It resulted in his death when his plane was shot down over Bouganville. ADM Yamamoto had planned and directed the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941. While in Melbourne Ralph was given a commendation by the Royal Australian Navy.

After World War II, he served at the National Security Agency and the Naval Security Group in Washington. On 23 August 1963 Ralph became Director of the Naval Security Group as well as Deputy Director, Naval Communications. In June 1967 he was appointed Deputy for Cryptology, Office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations. His first wife Valda Thompson, a Pharmacist from Melbourne, died in Washington.

Ralph was a "people" person who supported those who served with him. He was an amateur radio operator and enjoyed listening to tube driven stereo equipment. He was an avid golfer. Admiral Cook will be buried at the Punch Bowl National Military Cemetery on Oahu.

Graveside services are not planned.

September 7, 2010 11:02 AM

Posted On September 17th, 2010

Admiral Ralph Cook who passed away on Aug. 27, 2010 in Honolulu at age 94 enlisted in the US Naval Reserve in 1934. Born in Montana, he earned his degree in Electrical Engineering from Montana State College in Boseman before advancing to Radioman 3rd. Class and being commissioned to active duty in January 1941. His first duty station was to the Philippines where in 1942 he was evacuated from Corregidor to Australia on the last submarine out before the island fell to Japanese forces. He served the next 21 years as a Navy cryptologist and in 1963 was select-ed as the Director of the Naval Security Group. In 1968 he became it’s first Flag Officer commander. His final assignment before retiring in 1974 was as Chief, National Security Agency/CSS Pacific. The contribution of Ralph Cook and the Naval Reserve to the American Victory in the Second World War and since to the security of our country would be difficult to overstate.

Admiral Cook is survived by his beloved wife, Clara G. Cook of Honolulu and Sister Lois Saari of Washington state.

Burial service will be at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on Sept. 21 at 9:30am with full military honors followed by interment of ashes in the grave along side his first wife, Valda T. who died of cancer in 1974. Aloha attire. In lieu of flowers, donations to Bristol Hospice Foundation are welcome.

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