- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Commanding Officer Company C, 2nd Ranger Infantry Battalion, U.S. Army
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Ralph E. Goranson (0-1299035), Captain (Infantry), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Commanding Officer of Company C, 2d Ranger Infantry Battalion, in action against enemy forces on 6 and 7 June 1944, at Vierville-sur-Mer, France. Captain Goranson landed with his Ranger company at "H" hour on D-Day with the initial assault wave in the invasion of France, in the face of heavy automatic enfilading fire from three different directions and mortar and artillery fire from cliffs overlooking the beach. In spite of extremely heavy casualties, Captain Goranson calmly and courageously reorganized his company and led them in a successful assault upon the enemy positions. He then led his company in an advance to force a junction with the main body of the assault. Though it took ten hours of the heaviest kind of fighting to reach the main body, his men, inspired by his outstanding leadership, continuously advanced until the mission was accomplished. Captain Goranson's heroic actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 28 (June 20, 1944).