A member of Crandon graduating class of 1913 tells his story

Good afternoon Forest County residents.  It’s been awhile.  We’ve been busy developing a new online platform that highlights our holdings found within our Local History Room.  The resource is titled “The Crandon Public Library Local History Archives” and can be found at www.crandonpl.org/archives

One of the items found within the site is an one page questionnaire completed by an unknown source regarding the World War 1 military service of Forest County resident Ralph Owen Wyman.

Ralph Wyman, son of Eggbert and Jennie Wyman, entered the United States Navy on April 10, 1917 in Milwaukee.  He trained aboard the U.S.S. Oregon and was promoted to the rank of Engineman aboard the U.S.S Mississippi.   A year later, in April of 1918, Ralph was aboard the U.S.S. William Rockefeller when it left New York carrying a cargo of fuel oil.  The ship successfully made its way to Lamlash, Scotland on May 15th continuing on its course, escorted by two destroyers, for Rosyth, Scotland.   On 21 May 1918 the William Rockefeller was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sank in 13 minutes. Three of her crew of 51 were lost. [source: shipscribe.com/usnaux/ww1/ships/w-rockef.htm]

Within two days Ralph Wyman and the other young men that were aboard the U.S.S. Rockefeller were rescued by the U.S.S. Megantic and arrived at the Port of New York on June 2, 1918.  

According to Ralph Wyman’s military headstone application, Ralph continued his military service in the U.S. Navy, mustering out in July of 1919.

Two photos of Ralph Wyman exist in our local history photo collection.  A portrait of the Wyman brothers, and a photo of the 1913 Crandon High School graduating class.

The graduating class of 1913. (Names not in order: Rosslyn McCoy, Amy Grandine, Emma Beggs, Della Ferguson, Flourice Laatsch, Joy Woodbury, Russell Bailey, Joy Riggs, Will Shay, and Ralph Wyman

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