Rank: Chief Pharmacist Mate
War or Conflict: World War II
Years of Service: 6
Roscoe was onboard the USS Tennessee Battleship BB-43 in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked Dec 7, 1941. He remained on the USS TN throughout the war, including the time that it was back in Bremerton, WA undergoing repairs of damage done at Pearl Harbor and refitting to accommodate larger armament and other improvements. Near the end of the war in the Pacific, the Tennessee was hit by a Japanese Kamikazi attack, while Roscoe was on deck. The explosion of the impact and ship's munitions exploding blew out his right ear drum. After his death by natural causes in 1997, we discovered a Commendation for Bravery from the Secretary of the Navy in his papers. The commendation explained that, though burned, himself, and sustaining his ear injury, he managed to pull over 30 men from the fire and deck, saving many lives. He had never told his brothers or our mother about the commendation or that he had rescued shipmates, other than his pharmacist mate duties to treat injuries. He was awarded a Purple Heart. The Tennessee had the distinction of being in the place of the initial attack of the Pacific war and off the coast of Iwo Jima during the signing of the Peace Treaty, putting Roscoe at both the beginning and ending events of the war. He received an honorable discharge in Millington, TN 1n 1946, where he remained in the same job as a civilian at the Navy Hospital, until he retired in 1983 with 42 years of combined civilian and enlisted service in the Navy.
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