S1c Joseph Stanley Rozmus

Unknown Sailor

S1c Joseph Stanley Rozmus

oseph Stanley Rozmus was the son of Polish immigrants, Franciszek “Frank” Rozmus and Maryanna “Mary” Potoczna Rozmus. From 1911 they both worked at Amoskeag Mfg. Co., then the largest cotton textile plant in the world. He was a weaver and she worked in carding rooms where cotton fibers were cleaned and separated.

Joseph was born Aug. 31, 1918 in Manchester, New Hampshire, and graduated from Central High School in 1939. The yearbook shows that he was a basketball and football player and a member of the rifle club.

By the time of the 1940 census, Mr. Rozmus was an attendant at a gasolene filling station, a job that must have been new because he registered no employment or earnings for the previous year. As with so many families during the Depression, all but his mother were employed outside of the home in 1940. His father and an older brother had become painters after the 1935 bankruptcy of the textile company, and a younger sister was an office clerk in a shoe shop.

Mr. Rozmus, known as Joe, enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 15, 1940 in Boston and went aboard the U.S.S. Arizona on Dec. 10, 1940. Three days shy of a year later he was a seaman first class when he was killed on the Arizona in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

A friend from back home, Marine Sgt. Walter Welch was at Pearl Harbor aboard a heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. San Francisco less than a mile away. He said they planned to visit Waikiki Beach that Sunday. Instead, he watched in horror as the Arizona exploded and huge fires raged on and on.

Sources: Janice Brown for the Cow Hampshire blog; historian Aurore Eaton; Census; Central High yearbook; New Hampshire marriage record; John Clayton of the Manchester Historic Association. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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