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30.11.15

I wanted to re-post this about my Dad. I wanted to put in on my site here on his yarzeit but better late than never.

I know I should have posted something about my fathers military record on June 6, D-day. I am sorry I did not so at least for today I am putting it here. The reason I have not mentioned it much is that it always seemed to me that what he accomplished after World War II eclipsed what he did during WWII.

He enlisted on October 12, 1942 when he was 24 years old. He attended the Yale Airplane Maintenance Engineering Class 44-33. According to his enlistment record, he was qualified in arms—carbine and was an expert with a pistol and a sharpshooter. He was an aviation cadet for maintenance engineering. He was discharged so that he could receive a commission as a second lieutenant. This record indicates that he was called to active duty on November 4, 1943.


He entered active duty on July 20, 1944, and was an aircraft engineering officer 4823. His medals were the American Campaign Medal, Army of Occupation Medal and World War II Victory Medal. He served 1 ½ years in the US and almost 8 months in Europe. He left active duty on September 29, 1946. His serial number was 0 872 281. He was promoted to captain just before he left the US Army, and served in the US Army, Headquarters and Base Service Squadron 413th Air Service Group 40th Bomb Wing United States Air Forces European Theater. In the US, he served at Great Bend , Kansas and was in charge of maintaining 6 B-29 aircraft for the unit. He supervised the work of 75 enlisted men. In Europe, he was a civilian personnel officer. He served 8 months in the European Theater of Operations (France, Germany and Switzerland ) with the 413th Air Service Group and was in charge of 1500 German civilians, supervising 1 officer and 20 civilians. He spoke German fluently at the time.
[He was responsible to decide whether to hold a German for war crimes or not. So besides the specific Germans that he was in charge of, he had to sign the release forms of thousands of Germans. That he why he decided eventually to shorten his name from Rosenbloom to Rosten. I think this was someone's idea of a great joke--to have a Jew sign the release papers of  Germans.


He had a base in France in which damaged aircraft could come in and be repaired within minutes. He trained different personal to how to check and fix only one small part of the plane. So when a plane came in with damage his whole crew swarmed over the ship and fixed it up in minutes and sent it on its way. This was the reason for one of his medals.



The most interesting time of Dad’s professional career was when he returned and was at Fort Monmouth and then his very secret work at Hycon, Ford Areospace and created the camera of the U-2, and on the highly secretive SDI Star Wars project.

Much of this information I found out after he was gone. As a father I knew him as a very simple person that loved me, my brothers and my Mother very deeply.
He never talked about his work of his WWII experiences. The peak of living for him was taking us all to the beach on Sunday, and going into the mountains of Southern California skiing once or twice a year. We could not go to the beach on Shabat because I had to spend my time learning Hebrew and Torah.

After seven years working on SDI [star wars] he left TRW and began private business and also he invested in the Stock Market.

This was the general Jewish path in those days. Torah with "Derech Eretz", (the path of the world). Torah and work as two sides of the same coin--but not  any work but some work for the benefit of others. I can't explain this but my brother used the word that I think describes it best "Balance."
A word that describes it is Yiddish is to be a "mensch"
He invented a machine called the "copy-mate" which was an extra sharp kind of zerox machine based on focusing of x rays. And he marketed it for about five years until the American military swooped down and recruited him for SDI. So from what I can tell it seems his major contributions to the American Military were night vision and focusing of infra red -- and laser communication between  satellites. He might get honorable mention for the U-2 camera but there apparently were two teams for that and I am not sure whose actual camera was used in the end.