Sac County

Ronald Ralph Manly






Ronald Manly was born and raised a true Midwestern boy in rural Early, Sac County, Iowa. Ron’s interests always ran towards mechanical and electrical endeavors, thus, upon graduation, he enlisted in the Army on 9 October 1939, at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, to fulfill some of his dreams. The service took him to Camp Jackson, South Carolina, and then to Fort Leonard Wood in Rolla, Missouri, where he received training as a radio operator in the Sixth Signal Corp.

Ronald was born 17 February 1919 to Ralph and Edith A. (Parrott) Manly. He graduated from Early in 1937. Siblings are Vivian and Pauline.

In July of 1941, Ron found himself headed to Newfoundland where he was stationed with the 21st Signal Corp until September of 1944. During those years, the U.S. Army Airbase, Newfoundland Airport, was his home. This airport was often referred to as “Ten Hours to Britain”. This northern Newfoundland airport was where U.S. bombers-for-Britain unhinges them from the American continent.

In September of 1944, Ron was transferred to serve at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, where he was a Cryptographic Technician enciphering and deciphering classified messages and secret communications. In August of 1945, Ron was Honorably Discharged but two months later returned to Washington, DC as a Civilian Senior Cryptographic Technician. His most vivid memory was decoding a message, calling his girl and saying “Meet me at the bus t station. We’re going downtown.” They were downtown when the word was brought that Japan had surrendered. That “girl” was Dortha Bishop, an Army WAC who was also stationed at the Pentagon as a Cryptographic Technician. He married Dortha in 1946. [Link to Dortha Bishop Manly page]

Keepsakes that are valued most by Ron’s family are his letters home to his parents, especially his mom. His words of encouragement in the midst of his own concerns were in every letter home. At one point, he purchased War Bonds in his Mother’s name so she would have something of her own.. His letters always ended with two statements. “Just something for our Country.” and “With all my love”.

Ron was a member of American Legion Wink-Sparks Post 303, where he served as commander for six years. Ron received the Good Conduct Medal, and was entitled to wear the American Theatre Campaign Ribbon, the American Defense Service Ribbon with one Bronze Star, and Five Overseas Bars.

He and Dortha had one child, a daughter, Rhonda, who was very proud of her parents and the part they played in World War II.

Ron passed away on 25 February 1999. Ronald Manly was a man of integrity.

Submitted by his daughter, Rhonda Manly Carnell.