In Honor of Captain Ralph Styles (a Decorated WWII Submarine Captain in the Pacific Theater), who began this Tribute Ceremony about 30 years ago.
Each Sunset, our community comes together with new friends from around the world, on Siesta Key at 10 Beach Road , and say:
“Welcome to Patriots Pier at Sunset Point! We thank you for joining our nightly tribute to honor the sacrifices of our military and service personnel and first responders in protecting our country and our freedoms! We are the land of the Free because of the Brave!”
On June 2, 2020, we honored Anne Styles and the awesomeness memories of her father, Sea Devil Captain Ralph Styles, and their years of service and teaching our next generations.
A Little History on Captain Styles
An inspirational leader and veteran, retired Navy Captain Ralph Emerson Styles was a beloved husband, father, naval officer, educator, businessman, patriot and Navy Leaguer.
He was born in Asheville, North Carolina on February 27, 1910. After briefly attending Weaver College and the University of Tennessee, he entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1929, graduating in 1933. Because he graduated in the upper half of the class, he was offered a commission and was assigned to the U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2).
In 1937, he attended submarine school. From 1938 to 1942, he was assigned to the submarine USS Narwhal as an engineering officer. On December 7, 1941 he was aboard Narwhal (SS-167) in port Pearl Harbor. While assigned to Narwhal he participated in two war patrols and the battle of Midway. In December 1943, he assumed command of USS Sea Devil (SS-400). As Commanding Officer of Sea Devil, he led three war patrols. Under his command, the Sea Devil is credited with sinking 13 Japanese ships.
After a number of staff tours and command of a Submarine Division, a Submarine Tender and Submarine Squadron he was assigned to ONI or the Office of Naval Intelligence, first as head of the Foreign Branch and then as the Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence for Production.
In 1958, Captain Styles was detached from ONI and assigned as Commander Submarine Flotilla One. But, by 1960, he was back in the intelligence business. Until 1962 he was on the Joint Staff involved in the establishment of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
At various times, he was an advisor to Hollywood productions about the Navy assisting in such movie notables as “Operation Petticoat” with Cary Grant and “The Gallant Hours” with James Cagney. He retired from the Navy in 1962. For his service and bravery, he earned two Navy Crosses, the Legion of Merit and a Navy Unit Citation.