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Ray Daniel Kittle
Courtesy Kittle family

West Virginia Veterans Memorial

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Ray Daniel Kittle
1920-1943

"We are determined before the sun sets on this terrible struggle our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on one hand, of overwhelming power on the other."

George C. Marshall

Army Private First Class Ray D. Kittle (also known early in life as Daniel Ray Kittle) was born at Elkins, Randolph County, West Virginia, on August 27, 1920. His parents were Joseph Thomas Kittle and Adeline “Addie” E. Kyle, who were married at Elkins, West Virginia, on June 21, 1917. Ray’s older sister, Josephine, married Charles Wilson Phares. Ray was five years older than his brother, Delmar L. One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, John Hart, was a fifth great-grandfather of Ray Kittle.

Ray attended public schools in Randolph County. On August 21, 1939, he was united in marriage in Monterey, Virginia, to Ruby Gayle Rosencrance, daughter of Floyd Rosencrance and Alice Rush Rosencrance.

In the 1940 Federal Census, Ray and Ruby were listed as living with Ruby’s mother, Alice, in the Valley Bend District of Randolph County. Ray had completed three years of high school and was working as a cut-off saw operator in a local sawmill. Their infant daughter, Eleanor, was born in 1940. A son, Gailord, was born during the following year.

On August 29, 1941, Ray D. Kittle enlisted in the U.S. Army at Fort Hayes in Columbus, Ohio, for service in the Hawaiian Department. The Hawaiian Department, headquartered at Fort Shafter in Honolulu, is part of the United States Army Pacific Service Component Command. U.S. Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, state that he was 69 inches tall and weighed 151 pounds at the time of his registration.

Pfc. Kittle was assigned to the Signal Aircraft Warning Company of the Signal Corps, whose mission was to install and operate radar stations to detect and track enemy aircraft. On December 7, 1941, there were 348 enlisted men and 13 officers assigned to the Schofield Barracks Post Signal Aircraft Warning Company on Oahu. Within half an hour following the initial attack on Pearl Harbor, the six radar stations assigned to the Signal Aircraft Warning Company were manned and operating. Ray Kittle would have been in the midst of the chaos of that fateful day.

Pfc. Kittle loved Hawaii and had planned to settle there with his family at the conclusion of the war. But he lost his life while on active duty on April 4, 1943, and was originally buried in the Military Cemetery at Schofield Barracks Post on Oahu. He was reinterred in Section O, site 381 of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on February 17, 1949.
Grave marker

Grave marker in National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Courtesy Jeff Hall

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu was commissioned by Congress in 1948 as a permanent resting place for the thousands of U.S. servicemen who perished during the battles of Guam and Wake Island, Japanese POW camps, and other locations within the Pacific Theater. The cemetery occupies an extinct volcanic crater referred to as the “Punchbowl.” The first interment in the cemetery occurred on January 4, 1949, and the cemetery was officially dedicated on September 2, 1949, four years after the conclusion of the war. There are more than 44,000 honored dead buried in this cemetery, including World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle and Medal of Honor Recipient Senator Daniel K. Inouye.

medal
Pfc. Ray D. Kittle was awarded a Bronze Star, a medal given to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Army of the United States, distinguishes himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service in connection with military operations against an armed enemy, or while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing armed force.
Ray’s wife, Ruby Gayle Rosencrance Kittle, was born at Valley Bend, West Virginia. After the death of Ray Kittle, Ruby was married on June 15, 1953, in Summit County, Ohio, to Dewaine Carroll Moore (1917-1972). Ruby died at home in Akron, Ohio, on October 20, 2003.

Article prepared by Leon Armentrout, photo provided by Pfc. Kittle’s daughter Eleanor Lucille Licwov
December 2014

Honor...

Ray Kittle

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.


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