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Subase Pearl Harbor Det 716 

 

Born to George M Rowe and Harriet P (Koller) Rowe in Gemmell, Minnesota, a small town located in the upper center of the state and about 45 miles south of the Canadian border on 10 November 1924 Guy Rowe began a life that would find him some twenty years later in the South Pacific during WW II serving his country and fighting for freedom.

Guy spent his early years growing up in Northern Minnesota and later relocated in the Twin Cities area where he attended Murray High School located in St. Paul, Minnesota.

After graduating from high school in June of 1942 he went to work for the U S Weather Bureau at Holman Field, also in St Paul.

Guy wanted to join the Coast Guard, as they had offered him a chief rating due to his experience with the U S Weather Bureau, but the draft board would not release him.  The Coast Guard was under the Dept of Transportation and not the Dept of Defense.

He decided he wanted to join the Navy because, as he said, “the Navy has clean sheets,” but due to snag in the enlistment process he told the petty officer who was handling his enlistment he had changed his mind and was going to join the Marine Corps instead, at which the petty officer said “you’ll be sorry”.

PFC_Guy_F_Rowe_(USMC).JpegOn 9 June 1944 he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve for the duration of the war plus 6 months.  He attended boot camp in San Diego California then a short stay and Camp Pendleton. Later, along with the 24th Replacement Draft, of which he was attached to, he boarded a ship and was transported to Camp Maui, Territory of Hawaii where he arrived on Thanksgiving Day 1944.

In January 1945 the 24th Replacement Draft was assigned to the 4th Marine Division that was being dispatched to the Bonin Islands 620 miles south of Tokyo Japan.

On 19 February the the 24th Replacement Draft boarded LSI boats which was to land on the beach at Iwo Jima.   After general quarters sounded, the LSIs started zigzagging and making black smoke to provide cover for the landing boats.  After landing on the beach they saw countless dead American troops.

The next day Guy, and about a dozen of the 24th Replacement Draft was sent to join up with “Charley Company” 23rd Marines with Guy as a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) man.  Charley Company was located inland between the two airfields.  They fought for several days before leaving Iwo Jima to return to Camp Maui.

Later Charley Company and the 4th Marines returned to the states and Guy was then assigned to the 6th Provisional MP Battalion from which he departed for Guam, assigned to guard Japanese POW’s.

He left Guam in 1946 and returned to Naval Station Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay where he boarded a troop train for Great Lakes, Illinois, where he was honorably discharged on 15 June 1946.

Guy retuned to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and civilian life where he worked several jobs and was active with the Boy Scouts of America.

In October of 1956 Guy reenlisted in the Marine Corps and was restored his previous rate of PFC.  He was assigned to the Data Processing Unit at MCB Quantico, Virginia, but he protested saying, he had enlisted to be assigned to Aviation Electronics but if ordered to do so, would work in Data Processing until his four year enlistment was up and then leave the Corps.  With this they changed their minds and sent him to the airfield in Quantico for OJT in Aviation Electronics.

In 1957 he was sent to back to Treasure Island after an absence of eleven years to the Basic Electronics School after which he was sent back to San Diego for Advanced Electronics.

Guy married Evelyn Madsen on the 25th of April 1958 in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.  A few days later Guy reported as ordered to the 1st MAW (Marine Air Wing) at MCB El Toro in California.  Upon arriving at El Toro he learned his younger brother, a pilot in the Air National Guard out of Duluth, Minnesota, had been killed while taking off in an F-89.  He was flown home in an F3D to attend the funeral.  After the funeral he returned to El Toro and immediately shipped out for Japan.  On the way to Japan he was promoted to sergeant.  After the ship made port in Yokohama, Guy made his way to the Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni where he joined up with MATCU-60 which would be his home for the next 15 months.

In September 1959 he returned to El Toro where he was assigned to MASS-3.  The following year he reenlisted for another 6 years.

In May of 1961, Guy became a father to his first child, a boy he and Evelyn named George. He also made Sergeant (E-5) and was ordered to report to MATCU-65 in Yuma, Arizona.

In 1962, a second child was born, a girl named Harriet.

Guy was again ordered in 1964 to report to MATCU-60 in Iwakuni, Japan, but upon arriving was told there had been a change to his orders resulting in an assignment to the Naval Air Facility at Atsugi, also in Japan.

In February, 1965, he was selected for the Warrant Officers Candidate Screening Course at Quantico, Virginia, which led to appointment as a Warrant Officer. Then in December, 1965, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant (temporary).

In 1966 after undergoing Infantry Refresher Training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina he was on his way again to the Far East.  This time to Chu Lai in the Quang Nam Province of Viet Nam as CommMaint Officer for the 1st Marine Division 5th Marine Regiment.  He was also ordered to assist the 7th Marines and 11th Marines with maintenance.

On 1 April 1967 he was advanced to 1st lieutenant and soon thereafter was assigned as Maintenance Battalion S-4 until his return stateside in 1968 to become the Radar Officer for MACS-6, MACG-28 and 2nd MAW located at the Marine Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina.

Guy was promoted to Captain in 1969 and reverted to his permanent rank of CWO-2 the following year.CAPT_Guy_F_Rowe_(USMC).jpg

In 1971, he received orders to become Radar Officer and assistant S-3 for the 11th Marines on Okinawa, later transferred to become Registered Publications Officer for Maintenance Battalion 3rd Marine Division and Radar Maintenance Officer for the Electronics Maintenance Company.

Guy was promoted to WO-3 in 1972.  The following year he received orders for stateside duty at NAS Memphis Tennessee for duty with MATSG-90 and Instructor/Course Officer for the six week Management Analysis Course.

In October 1976 Guy was told he was being involuntarily retired from the Marine Corps as Captain (O-3) with 1 December 1976 the official date.  So after 22 years of faithful service and two wars, WW II and Viet Nam, Guy hung up his uniform, donned civilian attire and bid farewell to his comrades who so proudly wore the uniform of the United States Marines.

We salute you Capt Guy F Rowe USMC for your dedicated service to your country.  A job well done.  I leave you with the simple Latin phrase you know so well….Semper Fi.

The Post War Years

 

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