Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

June 15, 2012

Rose awarded WWII service medals

CROSSVILLE — Tech. Sgt. Marvin Rose was awarded his medals for service in the Pacific Theater during World War II recently.

Rose grew up in Cumberland County, graduating from high school in 1940. He entered the U.S. Army in September 1942, serving in the U.S. Army Air Force.

"We had been attacked," Rose said of his decision to enlist following the bombing of Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.

After completing his training in the United States, he was sent to Australia and assigned to Gen. Douglas MacArthur's forces in the Western Pacific.

Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces attacked the Philippines and took control of the island to prevent American forces from having a base of operations in the Western Pacific. MacArthur vowed to return, and over the next two years, he and the Allied troops serving in the southwest Pacific fought for two years to regain control of the island.

Rose was part of that campaign, starting in New Guinea and advancing through New Britain and all the islands that led to the Philippines. There, he and his unit took part in three major invasions to recapture the Philippines.

"We organized in Australia for the invasion of New Guinea," Rose explained. "New Guinea had been settled by British and Dutch, and the British brought 3,000 troops from North Africa to help take back their part of the island."

Rose and the 475th Fighter Group, 5th Air Force, were awarded three Presidential Distinguished Unit citations for outstanding performance of duty in action and he was awarded seven bronze battle stars for his role in seven major battles.

"There were thousands of soldiers on each side," Rose said. "The Japanese believed if they surrendered, they would be embarrassing the Emperor and go to hell. We never took a prisoner until after we dropped the bombs. Then Japanese soldiers started surrendering to us."

After the Japanese surrendered Sept. 2, 1945, MacArthur was sent to Japan with an army of occupation, which included Rose.

"I went with MacArthur to Japan right after he got off the USS Missouri and was part of the occupation force," Rose said.

Rose was discharged in September 1946. At that time, he was to receive medals for participation in the New Guinea Campaign, Southern Philippine Campaign, Luzon Campaign, Bismark Archipelago Campaign and Western Pacific Campaign, as well as the Japan occupation. Medals awarded include the Asiatic Pacific Theater medal with five bronze stars, Philippine Liberation medal with two bronze stars, American Theater medal, Good Conduct medal, World War II Victory medal and Distinguished United Badge. But the metal needed to make medals for Rose and many other soldiers leaving service was scarce and being used to make ammunition so some of the medals were not presented to him at the time he was discharged. Rose contacted Veterans Service Officer Mark Daniels for assistance in having the medals awarded as he moves toward his 92nd birthday.

Following his discharge from the Army, Rose returned to the Philippines where he was in business for many years before returning to Cumberland County in 1971. He is married to Patricia and is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9686 in Crab Orchard. He serves as assistant chaplain to the chapter.

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