Ralph Robert Wensinger

Fallen Hero’s Hometown and State: San Mateo, CA

Branch of Service: United States Army

Rank: Cpt.

Captain Ralph Robert Wensinger enlisted in the Army in 1952. Subsequently, he entered West Point and upon graduation, entered the Air Force, receiving his wings in 1960. Wensinger was assigned to the 19th Tactical Air Support Squadron in Vietnam, where he volunteered for the most hazardous of flying assignments – low-level reconnaissance.

He was killed in a heroic action that won him the Distinguished Flying Cross. One of Wensinger’s classmates said, “Those of us who knew Ralph see in the Distinguished Flying Cross citation a display of those character traits which made him a leader and a winner on the gridiron; he went in low and aggressively, ignored his vulnerability during darkness and under monsoon conditions, to do the job.”

At West Point Wensinger quarterbacked the newly formed 150-pound football team. Army Sprint Football went undefeated in his first two years, including a 7-0 win over Navy in 1957 in Annapolis. In that game, Wensinger bootlegged around Navy’s goal-line defense to score in the final minute of play in front of 13,000, including President Eisenhower.

Age: 32

Date of Death: October 21, 1968

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