Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ralph Fork, 90, of Gibsonburg, Distinguished Flying Cross recipient

Ralph Charles Fork, 90, of Gibsonburg, Ohio, who died July 18, 2009, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster for his service in the Army Air Forces during World War II.

While serving as a multi-engine pilot stationed in India, the 1936 Gibsonburg High School graduate flew 101 transport missions over the Himalayas, known as "the Hump," into China in support of Chiang Kai-shek and into the jungles of Burma in support of Gen. Joseph Stillwell. Chiang Kai-shek presented Fork with the China War Memorial Medal for meritorious service in the defense of China.

Fork, who also received honorary Chinese Pilot Wings, participated in the India-Burma, Central Burma and China campaigns. Before the war ended, he became an instrument flight instructor and attained the rank of captain. After five years of active duty, he flew C-46 aircraft with the Active Reserves for 10 years.

Fork, a member of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Ironworkers Union, worked in the heavy construction industry for 55 years before retiring in 1981.

He belonged to Gibsonburg Lodge #575 F.A.M., HUMP Pilots Association, Sandusky County Historical Society and Disabled American Veterans.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Anna “Lucille;”s children, Dennis (Xiang Li) of Las Vegas, Nev., Kenny (Diane) and Linda (Dana) Long, both of Gibsonburg, Ronald (Brenda) of Pemberville, Ohio, and Jerry of Bowling Green, Ohio; daughter-in-law, Brenda Fork of Gibsonburg; brother, Ernie of Gibsonburg; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His son, John, is deceased.

Visitation will be from 2-4 and 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, 2009, at Herman-Kinn-Veh Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 319 W. Madison St., Gibsonburg.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 22, 2009, at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 500 S Brentwood Dr., Gibsonburg.

This obituary was posted originally on ObitsOhio.com on July 19, 2009.

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