Bill graduated from high school at 16 and at 17 embellished his age and enlisted. When he first enlisted he was in the Army infantry and was sent to the Philippines where he was on patrols to seek out the Japanese embedded in the jungles. “It was them against us and I arrived the day we dropped the atomic bomb on Japan. When the Japanese soldiers heard this they surrendered in droves.” Bill was transferred to Japan and served in Gen McArthur’s honor guard.
When asked where he has served he is a world traveler in his response. “Philippines, Korea, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Vietnam to name a few.” He was able to have his family with him in Germany for 3 plus years from 1956 to 1960.
Bill was an enlisted man and was a staff sergeant when he arrived in Korea. In one particular battle to take a hill next to Heartbreak Ridge, he describes the battle like this. “I was a sergeant at the bottom of the hill. By the time we hit the top we had lost so many I was the company commander and made an officer.” He served for 14 months in Korea.
Captain Rowe was sent to Vietnam as a special advisor imbedded with the Vietnamese army on the front line. “It was terrible. We lived like rats, ate dog and rat. I just asked them to not tell me what we were eating. The mosquitos and bugs were awful.”
Bill missed his family very much while he was gone. “I was raised in an orphanage and was so grateful for the home my wife created for us.” He had a son and a daughter, a granddaughter, great and great grand children to his legacy.
Bless you sir for your service to our country.