Ace of the Day: Lt. Ralston M. Pound, Jr., USNR (Ret)

RALSTON M. POUND, JR.

Lieutenant, USNR (Ret)

WWII :: Confirmed Kills- 6  and one probable

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Born on December 31, 1920, in Charlotte, North Carolina, Ralston Murphy Pound, Jr., attended North Carolina State University before enlisting in the Navy flight program on August 28, 1941. He received his wings and ensign’s commission on July 18, 1942, at Opa Locka, Florida. Promoted to lieutenant(jg) on July 1, 1943, Pound was assigned to VF-16 flying F6F Hellcats from the USS Lexington (CV-16) in August.

At Kwajelein Atoll, Pound shot down a Zeke and a Hap and probably destroyed another Hap on the 4th of December. The carrier was torpedoed that night and limped back to Hawaii and on to the States for repairs. Pound joined VF-9 on the Essex for strikes on Truk, February 16 and 17 and Saipan on the 22nd. He rejoined the Lexington and VF-16 at Majuro Islands in mid-March. The American carrier force again approached the reinforced Japanese stronghold at Truk in the early morning of April 29th. Pound shot down three Zekes to become an ace. Moving up to the Marianas, he was credited with a Judy during the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot” on June 19 for his last victory.

Leaving active duty in September 1945, Pound remained in the Naval Reserves, retiring in July 1969 as a commander. He joined his father’s office supply and equipment firm in 1946, becoming president in 1968 until he retired in 1985.

Decorations: Distinguished Flying Cross with one Gold Star and the Air Medal with 2 Gold Stars

Source: American Fighter Aces Album ©1996

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