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Medal of Honor Recipient Ronald E. Rosser

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    Posted: Mar 04 2016 at 12:16am

March 2016-H

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RONALD E. ROSSER, MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT, KOREAN WAR

 

In the January 23,1952 dated photo above, note the M2 "potbelly" stock, milled adjustable rear sight, rotary safety, "seam back" 30 round magazine, and 15-round mag pouch mounted on the stock. While the photo was being taken, a fellow GI kidded Cpl. Rosser about this, saying "Why are you carving the notches?…so you’ll remember how many you killed?"…Rosser replied "No, so you’ll remember!"


 

In a telephone interview conducted by Marty Black, Mr. Rosser told of his experiences with the M2 Carbine during the Korean War:

The carbine cartridge would indeed penetrate the heavy quilt jackets worn by the Communist Chinese forces, but often their momentum, fueled by opium, would allow the enemy to continue forward for several steps, much like a wounded deer. In such cases, Mr. Rosser would aim for the head…The M2 Carbine was very effective if kept clean. “If you took care of it, it would take care of you.” His favorite weapons were the M2 Carbine and the hand grenade. He became skilled at holding the carbine tightly with his right arm, while he kept a grenade handy in his other hand. “Point and fire.” Although he mounted a bayonet a few times in combat, he never had to use it. He did, however, use a carbine to buttstroke a wounded enemy soldier on several occasions. He never doubled-up the 30-round magazines with tape, as some soldiers did, because it made the carbine too heavy and caused problems with failure to feed.

Corporal Rosser served as a Forward Observer with the Heavy Weapons Company, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, and earned the Medal of Honor near Ponggilli, S. Korea on January 12, 1952. He was the oldest of 17 children. One brother was killed early in the Korean War, and another in 1968 during the Vietnam War. More information on Mr. Rosser can be found on the internet, including Youtube.

Rosser's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

 Cpl. Rosser distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty. While assaulting heavily fortified enemy hill positions, Company L, 38th Infantry Regiment, was stopped by fierce automatic-weapons, small-arms, artillery, and mortar fire. Cpl. Rosser, a forward observer, was with the lead platoon of Company L when it came under fire from 2 directions. Cpl. Rosser turned his radio over to his assistant and, disregarding the enemy fire, charged the enemy positions armed with only carbine and a grenade. At the first bunker, he silenced its occupants with a burst from his weapon. Gaining the top of the hill, he killed 2 enemy soldiers, and then went down the trench, killing 5 more as he advanced. He then hurled his grenade into a bunker and shot 2 other soldiers as they emerged. Having exhausted his ammunition, he returned through the enemy fire to obtain more ammunition and grenades and charged the hill once more. Calling on others to follow him, he assaulted 2 more enemy bunkers. Although those who attempted to join him became casualties, Cpl. Rosser once again exhausted his ammunition, obtained a new supply, and returning to the hilltop a third time, hurled grenades into the enemy positions. During this heroic action, Cpl. Rosser single-handedly killed at least 13 of the enemy. After exhausting his ammunition, he accompanied the withdrawing platoon, and though himself wounded, made several trips across open terrain still under enemy fire to help remove other men injured more seriously than himself. This outstanding soldier's courageous and selfless devotion to duty is worthy of emulation by all men. He has contributed magnificently to the high traditions of the military service.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote David Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2016 at 6:40pm
Thanks for posting this. I take a keen interest in Medal of Honor recipients, as I was very fortunate as a 15-year old Boy Scout in Hawaii in 1981 to have met many who earned the MOH. Our Scoutmaster's wife was head of the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce, and when the MOH Society had their convention there in 1981, she arranged for our troop to meet the MOH recipients at their airport gates, and we helped them get their luggage, and to their transportation to Waikiki. I was honored to spend about 45 minutes 1x1 with Joe Foss and his wife. I also met General Doolittle, Pappy Boyington, a Commandant of the USMC, and many, many others. The oldest was 99 or 100 at the time, and had earned the award during the Spanish American War. He was in a wheelchair. I met a few WWI recipients, and lot of WWII and Korean War recipients, as well as some from Vietnam, one of which was an enlisted man still on active duty, married to a Captain. He sent me a letter of thanks afterwards. Anyway, I've always maintained an interest in the award, and those who received it. We were able to read the citations of those we were about to meet, and it was awe inspiring at times.

I don't know if anyone has ever accumulated a list of those who received the award using the Carbine, but on Machinegunboards.com, we have put together a list of those who received the award using the Thompson Submachine Gun. If you have any interest, here is the link:

http://www.machinegunboards.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=13514

David Albert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darrylta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2016 at 10:23pm
I own a M1 Thompson amnesty bring back from the Pacific theater that has nine similar notches in the same area of it's stock. I've always thought that they were kill notches. This story confirms it in my mind.
Thanks much,
Darryl
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 06 2016 at 7:43am
Darryl,

I would think so. I want to see that M1 TSMG sometime...

David Albert
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