Coronado’s “Avenue Of The Heroes” ... Capt. Hugh J. Rosania, USN - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado City News

Coronado’s “Avenue Of The Heroes” ... Capt. Hugh J. Rosania, USN

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Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 5:22 pm

Captain Hugh J. Rosania served his country with distinction for over 30 years in the U.S. Navy and National Guard. He served in three wars and was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Legion of Merit. Devotion to duty, service to others, and care for his family were the hallmarks of Rosania’s life.

Born in Somerville, New Jersey, in January 1921, Rosania was the youngest of eight children. He joined the National Guard and was attending Rutgers University when he received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, class of 1944. At Annapolis, he played attack on the Navy Lacrosse team that won the National Championship in 1943.

In response to wartime demands, he graduated a year early in June, 1943, and reported aboard the destroyer USS Wadsworth (DD 516) in the Pacific, seeing action at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Iwo Jima, the Philippines and Okinawa. He was awarded the Pacific Asiatic Theater Service Award with seven stars and shared in the Presidential Unit Citation. He was Officer-of-the-Deck during the initial Marine landings on Iwo Jima.

At Iwo Jima, his ship provided support for the Marines on the island. He was on station giving bombardment support when he heard that the Marines had reached Mount Suribachi and that they were going to raise a flag. For a few moments, everyone stopped shooting as they watched the Marines raise the U.S. Flag on top of Mount Suri.bachi.

After the war, Rosania qualified as a submariner and served on several submarines. This was followed by orders to the Armed Forces Staff College, command of the submarine USS Entemedor (SS 340) in 1955, and command of Submarine Division 51 from February 1962 to August 1963. In 1963, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and assumed command of the USS Henrico (APA 45), an attack transport that would participate in landing the first U.S. combat units in Vietnam.

Then, Rosania was transferred to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as Operations Officer on the staff of Commander in Chief, Pacific. His last assignment was at the Amphibious Base in Coronado, training Navy SEALs prior to their deployment to Vietnam. Rosania went to Vietnam himself as part of this assignment. After two years, he retired in 1969 as Chief of Staff and was awarded the Legion of Merit.

At this point, Rosania thought that his Naval career was over, but the Navy wanted him for one more assignment. In 1973, he was recalled for training as a Convoy Commodore and led a convoy of Navy and civilian ships across the Pacific…an assignment of which he was extremely proud.

He lived in Coronado a total of 43 years. He was a member of the Optimist Club of Coronado for more than 20 years, and was a volunteer at the Coronado Historical Association and at Coronado Public Schools. He was very active at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, including service as Chair of the Administrative Board. He was a mainstay at the Optimist Youth Sports Festival and thoroughly enjoyed winning a few quarters from his Coronado Men’s Club golfing buddies.

Rosania passed away in 2008. His wife, Lois, still resides in Coronado. Rosania has three sons, Tom, Jim and Rob; four grandchildren, Rebecca, Jimmy, Allison and Colleen; and two great grandchildren, Will and Tommy.

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