Honoring our Fallen Heroes

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World War II

Tustin, California
Ralph Peter Plumb - Ensign, U.S. Navy

Ralph Peter Plumb

Ensign, U.S. Navy

July 21, 1916
May 7, 1942
Coral Sea

Tustin, Military Heroes

Ralph Peter Plumb was born July 21, 1916 in Tustin, California, the oldest son of Hugh
J Plumb and Frances Adams Plumb. The family was well known in Tustin as Frances Adams was born in Tustin in 1888 while Hugh Plumb arrived in 1906.

Hugh Plumb served as the Orange County Tax Assessor and Frankie, as his mother
was called, was one of Tustin's first settlers. She was involved in many philanthropic organizations such as the Ebell Club, the PEO Sisterhood Chapter DI and the
Assistance League.

Peter, as he was known in Tustin elementary and at Tustin High, could be described as the All-American boy. He was an athlete, participating in Football, Basketball, Track and Swimming, Although described as shy, he was an officer in the Drama Club, Choir, a Broadcaster and member of the Spanish Club.

After graduating from Tustin High in 1934, Peter attended Santa Ana College and received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Berkley, where he majored in Agriculture.

He joined the United States Naval Reserve in 1939 receiving his military training at Northwestern University and began active duty in March 1941. He was assigned to the supply ship, the USS Neosho.

The USS Neosho participated in rates on Leyte and the Salomon Islands. On May 7, 1942 at the Battle of Coral Sea, the Neosho was mistaken as an aircraft carrier and attacked by Japanese bombers. The Neosho was directly hit seven times, including by a suicide dive bomber. More than two-thirds of the crew were killed, including Ensign Ralph Peter Plumb. He was 25 years old and Tustin's first soldier to die during War.

Ensign Plumb is the recipient of the Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with three Battle Stars, the American Theater Ribbon, and the pre-Pearl Harbor Ribbon. His body was buried at sea with the sinking of the USS Neosho.

Location for Plumb Drive, Tustin, CA - Map

Provided By:
Tustin Patriots & Pioneers - Chairperson Donna Perry 714 838-1806 e-mail

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