Retired Jan. 1, 1968. Died April 21, 2004.
Ernest Lester Ramme was born in Streator, Ill., in 1916. He graduated from Streator High School in 1935 and from the University of Illinois in 1939 where he received his bachelor of science degree. During college he joined the Illinois National Guard with which he trained concurrently with his ROTC studies.
In 1939 General Ramme was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery Reserve, and entered active duty with the 3rd Field Artillery at Fort Sheridan, Ill. This active duty was under the Thomason Act and at the completion of one year's active duty he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Regular Army. In 1940 and 1941 he was assigned as commanding officer of Headquarters Battery, 83rd Field Artillery and attended Field Artillery Communications School. He was assigned to the U.S. Observer Group in Egypt in August 1941 where he established a communications school for the British and served as an adviser on communications matters. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for this duty.
At the outbreak of World War II he was assigned to the U.S. Iranian Mission at Basra, Iraq and was commander of the field headquarters, handling lend lease to Russia. He then served two years in the China-Burma-India Theater in Services of Supply, providing logistics support to U.S. forces in China, Burma and India. During this period he was promoted to captain, major and lieutenant colonel and was awarded the second Legion of Merit. He then returned to the U.S. for six months and attended the Field Artillery School for this period. Upon completion of this school he was assigned to General MacArthur's headquarters in the Philippine Islands as assistant in logistics planning until the end of World War II.
Subsequent to World War II he attended the Army Command and Staff College and then rejoined General MacArthur's headquarters in Japan on his logistics staff. He then was assigned to logistics planning, the Pentagon, for four years, serving two years in the Army and two years in the Air Force. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh and received a master of letters degree in business administration.
He was assigned as director of supply and transportation of the Sacramento Air Materiel Area from 1951 to 1954 with primary responsibility of supporting the U.S. Air Force's Korean war efforts. From 1954 to 1957 he was assigned as director of supply and services, Far East Air Forces in Japan and then attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. He was then assigned as director of supply and transportation of the Oklahoma City Air Materiel Area from 1958 to 1960.
He was one of the individuals selected to command a Site Activation Task Force and was responsible for the construction, installation and turnover to SAC of the Atlas F ICBM Squadron at Altus Air Force Base, Okla., which was completed in July 1962. He then commanded the SATAF and completed the installation and turnover of the Titan II ICBM Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., in October 1963.
He was then assigned as director of materiel management of the San Antonio Air Materiel Area and subsequently as deputy commander of the San Antonio Air Materiel Area until September 1964. In September he was assigned as director of supply and services, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He is a member of the Armed Forces Exchange and Motion Picture Services Board and a member of the President's Committee on Purchases of Blind-Made Products.