Ben's Story
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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! 

Benjamin 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 birthday.

Born the second of four children in Brooklyn on March 7, 1923, to Jacob and Molly Rosman, "Benny" had an early interest in aviation.

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 1944-45.

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.

Special thanks to Steve & Lori of LSB Photography for this fine tribute
(and the image top right of this page also) to Ben's service
to both his country and the American Airpower Museum (July 2013)

 


 


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.

Dedicated to our Dad.. Lt. Benjamin Rosman
All our love, Debbie & David Rosman

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