Ralph Loux was born on April 30, 1938, in Lebanon, Oregon. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on his 17th birthday, April 30, 1955, and completed basic training at NTC San Diego, California, in July 1955. Loux attended Gunner's Mate A School at NTC San Diego from July to September 1955, and then served aboard the destroyer USS Knapp (DD-653) from September 1955 to January 1957. His next assignment was at Naval Station Adak, Alaska, from February 1957 to May 1958, followed by service aboard the radar picket destroyer USS Dennis J. Buckley (DDR-808) from May 1958 until he left active duty on April 23, 1959. Petty Officer Loux reenlisted in the Navy on July 11, 1961, and attended Mineman A School at Naval Base Charleston, South Carolina, from July to November 1961. His next assignment was with Naval Ordnance Facility Yokosuka, Japan, from December 1961 to March 1964, followed by Underwater Swimmers School at Naval Base Key West, Florida, from April to June 1964. Petty Officer Loux attended Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) School at Indian Head, Maryland, from July 1964 to February 1965, and then served as an EOD Technician with Naval Support Activity Saigon, South Vietnam, from March 1965 to February 1966. After attending additional training at NTC San Diego he served at Naval Station Kodiak, Alaska, from August 1966 to July 1968, followed by additional EOD training at Indian Head from August to October 1968. Petty Officer Loux served with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit, Pacific, at Concord, California, from November 1968 to July 1971, and then with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training and Evaluation Unit ONE (EODTEU-1) at Naval Base San Diego from July 1971 to January 1975. During this time, Petty Officer Loux deployed to Southeast Asia as part of Detachment 5, Team 82 of EODTEU-1. His final assignment was with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group ONE at Naval Air Facility China Lake, California, from February 1975 until he was killed in a Fuel-Air Explosive accident on one of the ranges of Naval Weapons Center China Lake on May 21, 1976. Ralph Loux was buried at the Liberty-Nye Cemetery in Sweet Home, Oregon.
His 2nd Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For heroic achievement while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong communist aggressors in the Republic of Vietnam on 5 February 1972. While serving as a member of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training and Evaluation Unit One, Team Eight Two, Detachment Five, Petty Officer LOUX was summoned to the Vietnamese Navy Harbor Defense Pier at Intermediate Support Base, Qui Nhon to investigate a possible enemy mine. Upon arrival at the scene, Petty Officer LOUX immediately introduced measures to prevent bodily harm to a large group of Vietnamese who had refused to move to an area of safety away from the pier. Realizing that an unknown amount of time remained to disarm the mine, he reacted in a highly professional and timely manner and succeeded in neutralizing it. Upon completion of the mine deactivation, Petty Officer LOUX and his partner searched the area and discovered an identical mine. One again, with complete disregard for his own safety, he participated in disarming the mine. Petty Officer LOUX's professionalism, devotion to duty, and courage in an extremely dangerous situation reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.