Ralph G. Swanson

Memorial Location


  • Captain
  • Served: June 16, 1942 – March 22, 1946
  • World War II, 2nd Battalion, 93rd Engineers Regiment, Invasion of North Africa & Invasion of Italy European Theatre
  • Corps of Engineers Military Bridge Building
  • Awarded Campaign Ribbons with Battle Stars

After graduating from high school in Iron Mountain, Michigan, Ralph went to a military training camp in Michigan.  His father then had the finances to send him to college and he joined the Army ROTC.  Four years later, he was given his Forestry degree and orders to report to Fort Sheridan, Illinois.  He then joined a unit in Tennessee and was sent to England in July 1942.  He was in the Corps of Engineers building bridges in Italy.  They built more bridges in Italy than any other place. His unit went to a port in Italy in preparation of being sent to Japan, but they didn’t go because the war was declared over at that time.

He and his Army nurse wife, Harriet, were married after the war in 1946 in Ashland, Wisconsin. They celebrated 73 years together.

Post military Ralph worked for Consolidated Papers, Inc. for 40 years, beginning as a supervisor  of the Pulpwood Rafting and Loading Operations in Ashland for 21 years, during which CPI rafted primarily spruce pulpwood from the bays and harbors in Canada and Minnesota across Lake Superior to Ashland, WI. His love of forests became a passion in his retirement creating his own 45 acres of restored forest, Winchester, WI,  where he taught many the art of Maple Syrup production and respect for the environment.

Ralph was born May 24, 1920 and died November 3, 2020; Interred in Iron Mountain, Michigan.