|After a 9 month battle with Pancreatic Cancer, Ben
passed away on February 28, 2014 - just 7 days shy of his 91st birthday,
surrounded by his family..
Fly straight dad.. keep that canopy closed
if you go inverted....
Donations to Ben's memorial are to be made to the
American Air Power Museum of Farmingdale, NY. The museum held an
evening ops flight of a Missing Man Formation in honor of Ben and
another vet/volunteer who also passed this year. Please see below the
YouTube video of the flyover and the
Memorial Day 2014 page linked to your left.
Lt. Ben Rosman, USAAC, sitting on the wing of a P-47D30
at American Airpower Museum, Summer 2001
Saturday May 24, 2014 a "Missing Man" formation was flown at Republic
Airport's American Airpower Museum honoring both Ben and another museum
volunteer who passed this year. Thank you
Manny Gonzalez for capturing this video so clearly!
Rosman was a World War II fighter pilot, owner of Mineola Bicycle and
was living history at the American Air Power Museum in Farmingdale, NY.
Rosman, a lifelong Long Islander, died on February 28th after a 9 month
battle of pancreatic cancer. He was just 1 week shy of his 91st
Born the second of four children in Brooklyn on March 7,
1923, to Jacob and Molly Rosman, "Benny" had an early interest in
His first job after graduating Hempstead High School was building
aircraft at Grumman Aviation in Bethpage, NY. His very first paycheck
was spent on flying lessons.
Ben joined the Army Air Corp during World War II and became a fighter
pilot earning the rank of First Lieutenant with the 527th Fighter
Squadron, 86th Fighter Group stationed in Pisa, Italy. He flew P-47
Thunderbolts in more than 112 missions over Germany, France and Italy,
winning numerous citations including the Distinguished Flying Cross in
After the war Rosman bought Mineola Bicycle, then on the corner of
Jericho Turnpike and Mineola Boulevard, later partnering with his
brother, Seymour. In 1959 the business moved to 475 Jericho Turnpike
where it is still in business today.
His love of flying never waned. As a pilot, Ben was checked out in
over 30 aircraft, from a Piper J-3 Cub to his beloved Beechcraft A-33
Debonair and numerous WWII fighters and trainers.
"He would go flying every Sunday," recalls his daughter Deborah. "My
brother rode his bike to take his own flying lessons and dad would pick
him up in the (Piper) Comanche, putting David's bicycle in the back of
the airplane and fly some more."
At the bicycle store or at home, you would only have to prompt Ben to
tell you a flying story. He told his stories so well that he was often
referred to as "living history" at the American Air Power Museum at
Republic Airport in Farmingdale that has on display a flying P-47, the
plane Ben flew in WWII. He was the only fighter pilot from that era with
the museum and only needed a slight nudge to regale the visitor with
stories about the war. His stories are archived in the Library of
Congress Veterans Project, linked at his website, www.jugpilot.com, and
he has been featured in two books concerning World War II.
He remarried in 1974 to Cecile Gold of Old Bethpage, NY and recently
celebrating their 39th anniversary. They maintained homes in Old
Bethpage and Boca Raton, FL.
Unique first hand recanting of WWII stories
Kindle format @
Amazon Book Store
THE PILOT'S PARADISE
High above Betelguese, they say,
Beyond Orion's questing eyes,
Ten million star-strewn years away,
There hangs a Pilot's Paradise.
Thither when Airmen's bodies fall
Their Spirits climb on eager wing
To grey? old comrades and recall
Old days of earthward sojourning
They talk of flak, intruders, beams,
Of dummy runs and how to weave
Sorties and strikes and tales like dreams
Which none but Airmen would believe
From aerodromes like cloth of green
Mid cloudless skies forever blue
They sport themselves and each machine
Is every morning bright and new
And every Pilot when he lands
Three pointed sweeps the glossy lawn
With young keen eye and strong young hands
He climbs to meet each glowing dawn
What dawns are those, what noonday sun
From which non enemies descend
What flights when duty here is done
To enter at your logs book's end!
An unknown SAAF Spitfire's Pilot
This poem was
sent to Ben's daughter after his passing by
Agostino Alberti. The piece was
shared with Alberti in 2009 from a former South African Air Force
Spitfire pilot, Mr. Bill Tatham from Cambridge, South Africa. who fought
in Italy during WWII and passed away in November, 2011. Agostino is an
Italian professor doing research on the pilots who fought the battles in
his area of Italy called Po Valley. He contacted Ben several years ago
to get additional first hand information on particular bombing runs and
stayed in contact since then.