S/Sgt was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1922 and was killed in action on June 13, 1944 during the Airborne invasion of Normandy.|
Sgt Speer is the son of Minnie Mae Speer [born July 8, 1882-died June 15, 1972 at the age of 90]. Sgt Speers fathers name is not known, he died sometime between 1921 and 1930.
The 1930 Us Census of Detroit, Wayne Co, Michigan shows Ralph residing at 5085 Greenway, Detroit with his 2 sisters, Doris M [born 1905 in Michigan] a teacher and Evelyn M [born 1910 in Michigan] also a teacher and 3 brothers , Harold S [born Oct 30, 1906 - died Sept 17, 1986 in Michigan] a home decorator, Kenneth G [born Aug 23, 1917-died Feb 27, 1991 in Washtenaw Co Michigan] and Ernest ‘Ernie” F. [born Feb 19, 1920 - died Oct 1976 in Detroit.]Ralphs mother, Minnie Mae is shown as a widow on this censu.
The 507 Boots & Wings newspaper issue of Sept. 13, 1943[page 2] mentions Sgt. Speer, “ …and now we have glamour boy Ralph A Speer, Platoon Sgt of the 1st platoon and some of the time acting platoon leader’….and again in the June 19, 1943 issue…’Three Beer Speer’ had a three day pass and spent every minute of it in Omaha with a red-haired Sgt….Oh Yes ! That red-haired Sgt was from the C.A.P. wasn’t she Sgt Speer?“
Sgt Speer was awarded the Purple Heart Medal and the Croix de Guerre Unit Citation [French].
Sgt Speer is interred in the Detroit area.