Ralph "Bud" Kermen Aakhus

Navy Badge
  • Name: Ralph "Bud" Kermen Aakhus
  • Location of Birth: Erskine, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: June 20, 1923
  • Date of Death:
  • Parents: Halvor and Olive Aakhus
  • High School and Class: 1941 - Bigfork High School, Bigfork, Minnesota
  • College:
  • Highest Rank:
  • Branch: Navy
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In:
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge:
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Units and Locations:
    Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served
    May 17, 1943 February 18, 1946
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    Bud was assigned to the Sixth Fleet. He served aboard the Argus 16, the Argus 15, the USS Vulcan, and the USS Haynsworth (DDS 700). He received his training at the Naval Training Station in Farragut, Idaho.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Article from Grand Rapids Herald Review dated October 2, 2011:
    "Four local WWII vets to visit memorial this week.

    On October 4, 2011, the second flight from Honor Flight Northland will take off from Duluth to Washington, D.C. bringing World War II veterans to see their war memorial in the nation's capital. The premier flight was on May 14, 2011, which brought 104 WWII veterans from 18 different counties in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Because of the unfortunately high cost of each flight (nearly $ 90,000), which is paid for entirely by donations, Honor Flight Northland plans on having only two flights per year.

    For the fall flight, there will be four WWII veterans from Itasca County making the long day journey to D.C.; Harley Kiger and Bill Martineau from Grand Rapids, Minnesota and Ardean and Ralph "Bud" Aakhus from Effie, Minnesota. Tuesday will be the first time that each of these men will see the World War II Memorial.

    Whereas they find themselves in the same situation, right now, each of their contributions to the war effort during the early 1940s was quite different. Each has a different personal perspective of the war most of us only know from books, movies, and documentation on the History Channel. And each has their own personal contribution, whether directly or indirectly, to this history.

    All four men feel very honored to be chosen for the Honor Flight to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Though it will be a long day, waking early and coming home late, they each feel a bit of excitement about joining their fellow veterans to visit the memorial that was erected to honor them as well as their friends who were unable to come home following the war.

    Ralph was stationed at a land-based radar unit at the Gilbert Islands for six months prior to moving on to the island of Tinian in the Pacific Theater. While at the Gilbert Islands, Ralph often heard Japanese bombs falling on the island. Fortunately, the bombs fell among the beaches and the base itself was further inland. From the base, the radar could survey upwards of 200 miles of surrounding air space looking for Japanese planes.

    Tinian was the home of a Japanese air base that was taken by the United States. An island with a large plateau where one could even see Guam under proper atmospheric conditions, Ralph's new radar station was set there along with the air base, which was not being used by the United States.

    "That's where the atomic bomb was flown from; off the island of Tinian to Japan," said Ralph. "They flew a lot of other flights from there first to bomb Japan."

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):