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"Well, I hoped. I hoped. I think that was one reason I was able to survive. I still retained hope. People ask me, ‘Well, how did you survive?’ I said, ‘If I hadn’t come home, my mother would’ve killed me.’" (Video Interview, 45:27)

   Herman Eric Rosen
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Herman Rosen [2008]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Merchant Marine
Service Location: Atlantic Ocean; Pacific Ocean; Mediterranean Sea; Middle East
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
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Herman Rosen longed to be at sea, and he got his opportunity after he graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point, New York. However, his dream became a nightmare after his ship was torpedoed by two Italian submarines off the coast of South Africa, and he was forced to abandon ship to a lifeboat with 23 other men. After capsizing in rough seas on the eighth day, the men survived, but lost all of their supplies, including food. After thirty harrowing days at sea, the survivors--down to five men-- were rescued.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (3 clips)
» Part 1 
Download: video (57 min.)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (3 items)
Meeting Eleanor Roosevelt when she toured the Merchant Marine Academy; later visiting with her at her apartment in Greenwich Village. (01:14) Mother receiving a telegram that Rosen was missing and presumed lost; she went to her temple and had a name-changing ceremony so that the angel of death wouldn't be able to find him; later that same night, receiving another telegram that he had been found. (00:60) Recollection of his ship being torpedoed and being adrift at sea for 30 days; boat was torpedoed by two Italian subs; one lifeboat for 24 men; on eighth day at sea, boat capsized, no men lost, but all the supplies were; only 5 were alive when the boat was spotted by a plane and rescued by a Greek freighter. (06:49)

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  October 26, 2011
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