1933 - As a young boy I was always fascinated by airplanes. At about 10 years old I was building model planes that I could fly. In 1933, models cost 10 cents and had a wing span of 12". When ever my mother could not find me, I was usually at Roosevelt field watching the planes.
1939 - When I was in high school, the principal of the junior high got me a job building model planes in Woolworth's (department store window at Easter time.
1940 - I got a job at Grumman Aircraft Corp., assembling wings and riveting them together. I worked on civilian planes, G21 Goose and G44 Gedgon.
I took my first paycheck and bought flying lessons at Zahn's airport in Farmingdale, Long Island, in a Piper J3 Cub. I got 30 hrs in the J3 when the government closed down all private flying within 50 miles of the coastline.
1943 - I joined the army in 1943. I was 20 years old. I took the cadet test and passed. I took my primary flight in a Stearman PT19 at Americus, GA. Then I was sent to Bainbridge GA for basic in a Voltee BT13. Then I advanced to Marrinana FL in a T6.
1944 January - Graduated a 2nd LT in class 44a. Then I was sent back to FL to learn how to fly a P40 Warhawk.
1944 April - Now I got sent off to Camp Springs MD (now called Andrews AFB) to fly P47's. After that I was sent to Millville, NJ to shoot gunnery.
1944 June - On about June 1st 1944 I was off to Italy, and arrived in Naples around July 1st. I was assigned to the 86 FTG - 527 SQ 12th Air Force and went to Orbitelo Italy. I started flying dive bombing and strafing missions about 1 week later. We then moved to Corsica, then to Piza, then France, then Germany.
After flying 112 missions the CO said I did enough and it was time to quit. One week later the war was over in the European Theater.
1945 - Back now at Fort Dix NJ, THE bomb was dropped in Japan and I was discharged.
While in the Air Force I was awarded many medals - battle & campaigns.
I am very proud of all of these medals to this very day.
After the big war, I had 36 row boats in Oyster Bay Long Island that I rented to fishermen, that lasted for about 3 or 4 years.
1950 - I started Mineola Bicycle Service in Mineola, Long Island, NY - BUT I had to fly - So I joined the CAP and rented a plane at Zahn's Airport. I also joined the Air Force Reserve at Mitchell Field, NY and got to fly T6's and got 10 hours in a P51.
Reserve time ended so I found a flying club with 8 members. They had a piper Tripacer. We flew that for about 2 years and then bought a new Cessna 172 Skyhawk. That lasted for a few years until the 172 had a small ground accident. We bought a new Piper 180 Cherokee. We had that for about 3 years and one day one of the members was coming back to Flushing Airport, near LaGuardia, and one half of the prop blade broke off. He put it down in the water, so now I had no plane to fly.
I found 3 fellows that had a Piper Comanche and I bought one of their shares. We owned that plane for a long time, then we found a great buy in a F33 Beech Bonanza straight tail.
I flew that Bonanza like a P47. It was fast and it was great. I had to sell my share when, I started to spend more time in our Florida home.
1999 - As I write all this down, I am in Old Bethpage, NY, now my summer home. I have become a volunteer for the American Air Power Museum at Republic Airport, Farmingdale, NY. All the planes at the museum fly & they even have a P47 D30 that looks great, plus many more planes.
The other museum that I volunteer at is the brand new Cradle of Aviation Museum at Mitchell Field, NY. The theme of the museum is aviation history on Long Island. It starts off before the Wright brothers and goes through time to space travel to the moon. The museum also has an IMAX theater that is spectacular. This museum is home to a P47N, one of the last P47's built.
Dedicated to our Dad.. Lt. Benjamin Rosman
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