Joseph Stanley Rozmus, son of Polish immigrants, Franciszek (Frank) & Maryanna (Potoczna) Rozmus, was born in 1919 in Manchester NH. He grew up on Cedar Street [249 & 253] in Manchester and attended St. Joseph’s, and graduated from Central High School in the class of 1939, playing football and basketball, in addition to being an excellent student. “Tis more painful to do nothing than something,” is the quote under Rozmus’ name in the school yearbook.
On 15 October 1940, at the age of 21 Joseph Rozmus enlisted in the United States Navy in Boston, MA. He went through boot camp and had been assigned to the U.S.S. Arizona, and was received on board 10 December 1940.
The history of the USS Arizona states that “she returned to Long Beach [California] on 30 September 1940. She was then overhauled at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washingotn, into the following her. Her last flag change-of-command occurred on 23 January 1941, when Rear Admiral Wilson was relieved of Commander, Battleship Division 1 by Rear Admiral Isaac Kidd. The battleship returned to Pearl Harbor on 3 February 1941 to resume intensive training maintained by the Pacific Fleet. She made one last visit to the West coast, clearing “Pearl” on 11 June 1941 for Long Beach… returning to her Hawaiian base on 8 July 1941. Over the next five months, she continued exercises and battle problems of various kinds….She conducted her last training in company with her division mates NEVADA (BB-36) and OKLAHOMA (BB-37) conducting a night firing exercise on the 4 December 1941. All three ships moored at quays along Ford Island on the 5th….ARIZONA took the repair ship VESTAL (AR-4) along side on Saturday the 6th. The two ships were thus moored together on the morning of 7 December 1941, among the men on board ARIZONA that morning were Rear Admiral Kidd and the battleship’s captain, Franklin Van Valkenburgh….”
On 7 November 1941, according to ship’s records, Joseph Rozmus was promoted, along with a few others, to Sea1c. (seaman first class). The rest is well known history–“a date that will live in infamy.” Joseph Rozmus was killed when the USS Arizona was attacked on 7 December 1941 at Pearl Harbor. He is still entombed in the USS Arizona. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart medal.
According to an article of June 13, 2011, on that day Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, presented military medals to Gale Dandurand of Manchester, along with his sister, Sandy Bradshaw, and brother Gary Poulin, on behalf of his uncle, the late Joseph Rozmus. The story goes on to say that “Smith and Dandurand had contacted Senator Ayotte for assistance in having the medals issued posthumously.
Sea1c. Joseph Rozmus is recognized at Memorial Cemetery, Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii. His name is also among the 248 names on the Marine Memorial at Hampton, Beach, New Hampshire. BREATHE SOFT, YE WINDS * * * YE WAVES IN SILENCE REST.
[Editor’s Note: This article is one of several I have written at the request of Don Pinard, Department of Public Works, Chief of Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Division, City of Manchester, New Hampshire. It is a volunteer project (on my part) to better record and share the stories of the men memorialized by the city’s “Military Squares.” All the information specifically within the body of this project is shared copyright free with the City of Manchester and its representatives, with the exception of photographs provided by family or friends who still retain whatever rights conveyed to them by law.]
======PARTIAL GENEALOGY OF JOSEPH ROZMUS=====
Stanislaw Rozmus married Apolonia Seliga.
Children of Stanislaw & Apolonia (Seliga) Rozmus: [may be more]
1.+Franciszek Rozmus, b. 18 December 1881 Poland.
Franciszek “Frank” Rozmus, son of Stanislaw & Apolonia (Seliga) Rozmus, b. 18 December 1881 Poland; he m. 25 Feb 1908 in Manchester NH to Maryanna Potoczna, dau of Wojciech & Anna (Ustrobinska) Potoczna. WW2 Draft 1942, 253 Cedar Street; painter
1930 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 249 Cedar Street
Frank Rozmus Head M 45 Poland
Mary Rozmus wife F 40 Poland
Stella Rosmus daughter F 17 NH
Joseph Rosmus son M 11 NH
Josephine Rosmus daughter F 10 NH
1940 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 253 Cedar Street
Frank Rozmus M 58 Poland school 4 yrs painter
Mary Rozmus F 54 Poland school 3 yrs
Walter Rozmus son M 30 NH school 8 yrs painter
Joseph Rozmus son M 21 NH HS4 attendance gasoline station
Josephine Rozmus dau F 20 NH HS4 office clerk shoe shop
Children of Frank & Mary (Potoczna) Rozmus:
1. Walter F. Rozmus, b 2 August 1909; d. 7 Feb 1990; m. Gladys G. — . She b 22 Oct 1910, d 22 June 1989 NH.
2. Stella Rozmus, b. abt 1913, m. 10 Sep 1938 in Manchester NH to Andrew Poulin, son of Lucien & Rose (Neveu) Poulin
3. **Joseph Stanley Rozmus, b. 1919 Manchester NH [this story is about him]
4. Josephine Frances Rozmus, b abt 1920, m. 7 June 1947 in Manchester NH to Roger Ernest Paris, son of Frank & Rosalie (Doucet) Paris
EDITORS NOTE: There were 3 families (possibly more) with the surname ROZMUS and ROZAMUS in Manchester NH. The families listed below I believe were related in some way to Joseph Rozmus’ family above, but I have not been able to determine the exact relationship. I will be updating this family as I find more information.]
Wauzyulec Rozmus married Maryanna Gajko.
Childen of Wauzyulec & Maryanna (Gajko) Rozmus: [may be more]
1. Jan Rozmus, b. abt 1881; m. 5 Sep 1904 in Manchester NH to Julianna Zabawa, dau of Powet & Justyna (Kula) Zabawa. In 1911 living in Lawrence MA, residing rear 410 Common street along with Antoni Rozmus. No more info.
Antonin/Antin “Anthony” Rozmus son of Albert & Anna (?) Rozmus, b 15 April 1870 Poland/Austria [Kroszro/Krosyro, Austria per passport) d 19 December 1942 in Manchester NH; m. 5 Aug 1893 in Manchester NH to Maria “Mary F.” “Marryanna” “Marianna” Mastol/Masztal/Mactak, dau of Ludwig & Fanny Masztal. She b abt 1873 Poland d 16 August 1939 in Manchester NH. His occupation mill operative and weaver, and a grocer. He immigrated 14 January 1891 on SS Rotterdam from Rotterdam Holland. Naturalized 16 June 1911 Manchester NH. In 1911 Living in Lawrence MA [directory at 410 Common Street, laborer, with Jan Rozmus boarding same place
1930 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 21 South Elm Street
Anthony Rozmus Head M 58 Poland
Mary F. Rozmus F 52 Poland
Joseph L. Rozmus son M 21 NH
Francis A. Rozmus son M 19 NH
Walter Rozmus M 16 NH
Children of Antonin & Maria (Masztal) Rozmus:
1. Anna Rozmus b 1 April 1895 in Manchester NH; she m. 30 Sep 1912 in Manchester NH to Joseph Gladysz, son of John & Julia (Wajs) Gladysz. He was b abt 1893 in Austria, occupation: clerk
2. Katherine Rozmus, b. 18 Sep 1898 Manchester NH; traveled with her father
3. Alice Rozmus, b abt 1904 Manchester NH; m. 3 Sep 1924 in Manchester NH to Walter D. Guiney, son of David E. & Catherine (Hackett) Guiney.
4. John A. Rozmus, b 4 Sep 1906 Manchester NH, d. July 1985 NH; m) 3 Sep 1928 i Manchester NH to Helen Rzeznikiewicz, dau of Charles & Josephine (Filip) Rzeznikiewicz. She b 7 December 1906, d. September 1969 NH;
5. Joseph Louis Rozmus, b 22 January 1909 Manchester NH; d. 22 March 2002 NH; m.23 June 1934 in Nashua NH to Genevieve Jeglinski, dau of Stanley & Helen (Zutowl) Jeglinski. They had a son Jay F. Rozmus. She was b. 8 Feb 1914 and d. 17 October 2006
6. Francis A. “Frank” Rozmus, b abt 1911 Manchester NH; enlisted 12 Oct 1942 at Ft. Myer VA; 2 yrs of high school, single
7. Walter J. Rozmus, b. 29 June 1913 Manchester NH, d. January 1983 in NH; in 1930 at USN Training Station in Newport RI, Sea2c; He m. 26 Nov 1936 in Manchester NH to Blanche Mrozek, dau of Jan & Agata (Pijanowski) Mrozek. Blanche was b 5 May 1914, d. 15 Dec 2007 NH
8. Stanislaw Rozmus b 1917, d. 12 October 1918