Ralph Lyndon Grindal
T/4 in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co D, HQ Platoon
ASN#11043137 Casualty: Wounded
Born 1907 in ME, Died 1985
County of enlistment: Bangor, ME
Other residence(s): Bangor, ME; New York, NY; Annapolis, MD
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: unskilled sailors and deckhands, except U.S. Navy
Ralph Grindal was born on May 31, 1907 in Bangor, ME. He was an only child; his father worked as a traveling salesman in the grocery industry. By 1920 Ralph and his family had moved in with his paternal grandparents. In 1926, probably shortly after graduating from high school, Ralph took a boat to Boston where he enrolled at the J.P. Quimby art school to study interior decorating and architecture. Either following that, or later in the 1930s, he also studied at Boston School of Decoration and the New York School of Design.
By 1930, the census listed Ralph's profession as "yachtsman," and he was found as a crew member on at least one sea voyage—serving as a lounge steward on the American steamship "Virginia" as it sailed from New York to San Francisco, via Cuba and the Canal Zone, and then back to New York. A 1936 Bangor city directory also described him as a "seaman." Other articles in the later 1930s show him living and working in New York, with several winters in South Carolina. In 1940-41 he was living in Annapolis, MD, and working for the Glenn Martin Company, an aviation designer/manufacturer, in Baltimore, MD.
Ralph enlisted in the Army on June 10, 1942, and his art education got him a place in the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion. He served in Europe with the unit, and received a Purple Heart after being wounded in Germany on March 13, 1945.
He was discharged from the Army on August 31, 1945 with the rank of T/4 and returned to Bangor where he would live the rest of his life. He married Dorothea Powers, a nurse, on July 25, 1953 and they became the parents of a son, Lyndon. Ralph worked at the Bangor Furniture Company for many years as a shipping clerk.
In his retirement years he wrote a number of letters to the editor of the Bangor Daily News, supporting such disparate causes as saving the Old Morse Bridge and setting up a dialysis center at the Maine Medical Center.
He died on July 6, 1985 in Bangor, and is buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery there.
1907 birth record (name misspelled on document but has been edited in ink on original)
1926 article in the Bangor Daily News (ME); he is studying in Boston
1930 steamship passenger and crew list (he is a crew member)
1930 steamship crew list (continuation of above voyage)
1935 article in the Bangor Daily News (ME); he has taken a job in NYC
1936 Bangor ME city directory
1939 article in the Bangor Daily News (ME) indicating he is living in NYC
1939 article in the Bangor Daily News (ME); he is working in SC
1941 article in the Bangor Daily News (ME); he is working in Baltimore, MD
1942 enlistment record
1943 article in the Bangor Daily News (ME); he is stationed at Fort Meade with rank of CPL
1945 article in the Bangor Daily News (ME); he has been discharged from 603rd with rank of SGT
1949 Bangor ME city directory
1953 marriage record
1953 marriage announcement in the Bangor Daily News (ME)
1960 Bangor ME city directory
1961 Letter to the Editor, Bangor Daily News (ME)
1964 Bangor ME city directory
1970 Letter to the Editor, Bangor Daily News (ME)
1985 Social Security death index
1985 burial record
1985 Find a Grave record
1985 obituary in the Bangor Daily News (ME)
1985 VA death record
1985 photo of gravestone