Ralph Hollis was born 10 September 1906 in Crawfordville, Georgia, and served in enlisted status 1923–26. He was appointed Ensign in the United States Naval Reserve on 21 November 1934 and was called to active duty in May 1941. Ensign Hollis reported to battleship USS Arizona (BB-39) in September and was killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.
In 1943, the destroyer escort USS Hollis (DE-794) was named in honor of Ens. Hollis, sponsored by his widow, Mrs. Hermione C. Hollis.