Sgt Leonard Eugene Rose was assigned to the 459th BG 758th Squadron.
Military Occupational Specialty (MOS): Ball Turret Gunner.
Leonard Rose passed away in November 2006.
Leonard Eugene Rose (Rosie) joined the US. Army Air Force February 1943. Went to Radio School at Scott Field, IL; Armorer School at Denver, CO; Aerial Gunnery at Laredo, TX; Crew Training at Davis Monthan, Tucson, AZ. Then to Oran N. Africa and the 15th Air Force at Ceregnola Italy - 459th Bomb Group, 758th Bomb Squadron. Flew first combat mission July 17, 1944 and was shot down on 30th mission August 29, 1944 to Morostrava, Czechoslovakia. After bailing out made it to Osijak, Yugoslavia where they were captured and the next day turned over to the Germans who took them to Budapest, Hungary where they spent 3 weeks in solitary confinement. Then by boxcar to Stalag Luft IV at Grosstychowo, Poland. On February 6, 1945 they were walked back into Gemany for 90 days. The Russians liberated them at Annaberg and at Torgau, Germany the Russians locked Leonard up for 13 days at Reisa, Germany, when they went over the wall and walked 2 nights, hiding in the forest by day, to the American 69th Infantry. Div. at the Maulda River on May 15, 1945.
Leonard has been married to Ella May (Williams) Rose for 46 years and has two children, Gina and Barry and 2 grandchildren, Kenny and Maddie. Leonard retired from Ford Motor Co. in 1981 after 25 years.
Life Member LM 2779. Helped organize the first chapter of the Indiana, Hoosier Chapter in 1979 and was elected Adj./Treasurer. Helped organize 11 chapters in Indiana. Helped to organize Indiana State Department and was Department Commander 4-1/2 years.
Current Executive Director for the Indiana State Dept. of AXPOWs. Worked with the Indiana Chapters in hosting the National Convention in Evansville, IN 1992 and 1999. Chairman 11 of 15 State Conventions. National Director for 6 years. Top Recruiter for Membership for National 9 out of 10 years. Recruited over 1,000+ POWs, spouses and next of kin as National members. In 1989 made a Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest award the Governor of Indiana can award a citizen of Indiana. Awarded an Honorary Secretary of State of Indiana 1990.
In 1992 presented the Indiana Outstanding Citizenship Award for the year at a ceremony in Philadelphia, PA and rewarded with a $500 Savings Bond. Over 2700 members in Stalag Luft IV association. Has organized Reunions since 1980 with attendance each year of 300 to 400 at National Conventions. Elected National Jr. Vice Commander in 1993, 1994. Publish a quarterly Newsletter to all 2700 Luft IV members, a Newsletter every other month for the Indiana Hoosier Chapter, the State Dept. Newsletters and the State Dept. Convention Newsletters, 946 POWs. Worked on getting EXPOW license plates in Indiana. Worked to retain EXPOW plates for Surviving Spouses and removal of the registration fees from EXPOW's plates. Work for all Veterans, EXPOWs, Spouses and families. Write disability claims for POWs and helps widows get their DIC.