Those Who Served: R

  • Rabin Al
    Rabin Al

    Maj. Allen Rabin, MD
    Serial No. 01097633
    U. S. Army
    August 6, 1942 - April 14, 1946
    European Theater

    A unique Jewish experience for me was having a sumptuous dinner at the home of a Jewish industrialist in England.

  • Radoff Isadore
    Radoff Isadore

    Sgt. Isadore (Izzy) Radoff
    Serial No. 36237687
    U. S. Army Air Corps
    March 1942 - January 1946
    North Atlantic Wing (NAW)

    When I was drafted, I served in an anti-tank destroyer outfit. I was transferred to radio school and to the Air Cadets and served as a clerk in aircraft maintenance. While stationed in the Azores (Portuguese), servicemen were not allowed to socialize with the natives. Therefore, dances were chaperoned. Travel on the islands was also restricted since in pro-Nazi areas, tragic incidents occurred to Allied servicemen. All remained on base. I recall that the few Jews on the islands were descendants of Jews who had been shipwrecked, possibly in the 1600s. They had no synagogue. Chaplaincy services were held on base.

  • Raffe Martin
    Raffe Martin

    Warrant Officer J. G. Martin Raffe
    Serial No. W2116791
    U. S. Army Air Corps
    1941 - 1946
    European Theater

    During my 10-month stay at Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls, Texas, I met a Jewish family at Friday evening services. We became good friends, and I spent every Sabbath with this family during my entire stay in Texas. After the war, this family visited me in Milwaukee.

    After the war ended, I was stationed in Brussels, Belgium. While there, I had an opportunity to visit an aunt in Zurich, Switzerland - someone I had not seen for 20 years. I spent a memorable "family" week in Zurich.

  • Rakita Nathan
    Rakita Nathan

    T 5 Nathan J. Rakita
    U. S. Army
    August 1943 - August 1945
    Stateside

    During Basic Training, I was injured and hospitalized. Afterwards, I was assigned limited duty in the Infantry. The Jewish Center in Tyler, Texas, helped my wife and me find housing. A Jewish Sergeant and his wife had a vacancy next to them. We had to share a bath with them and our baby daughter.

  • Rapkin Saul
    Rapkin Saul

    S/Sgt. Saul H. Rapkin
    Serial No. 36239832
    U. S. Army Air Corps
    African Theater

    During my service at Adams Field, Little Rock, a new CO and Adjutant were assigned to our group and began to make my life miserable. I took it as long as I could and wrote an 8-page letter to the Inspector General. Two 2nd Lts. came to hear my story. After questioning everyone, they concluded the CO and Adjutant were anti-Semitic. The CO was given a discharge and the Adjutant was sent to the South Pacific. I asked to transfer back to Memphis. In Casablanca, in 1945, six Jewish soldiers were invited to break the Yom Kippur fast with a Jewish family. The closest thing to Miller's rye bread was served. I think I made a pig of myself, and I apologized for it. It was a wonderful evening!

  • Rattner Esther
    Rattner Esther

    Pfc. Esther Rattner
    Serial No. A613447
    Women's Army Corps
    1944 - 1946
    Stateside

    My mother volunteered for service during World War II and spent her duty time at Camp Shanks, New York. She drove a staff car and served as a messenger for the post distribution center. She did extensive work driving amputees around. Submitted by Ray Rattner, son

  • Rattner Harry
    Rattner Harry

    S/Sgt. Harry A. Rattner
    Serial No. ASN6763711
    U. S. Army Air Corps
    1939 - 1942
    Pacific Theater
    Died in Service

    My brother enlisted in the service before the war started. He was in the Philippines in the early years and was captured by the Japanese in Bataan. He survived the infamous Death March, but ended up in a prisoner-of-war camp in the Philippines where he died in May of 1942. He wrote that before he was captured, he was accepted for Air Corps Flight Training to become a pilot. He never made it. Submitted by Ray Rattner, brother

  • Rattner Raymond
    Rattner Raymond

    Pfc. Raymond Rattner
    Serial No. 525984
    U. S. Marine Corps
    May 1943 - April 1946
    Pacific-China Theater

    I volunteered for the U. S. Marine Corps. I was sent as a replacement to Pavuvu, Solomon Islands, as a telephone lineman in communications. I was in one campaign on Okinawa and remember the extreme conditions in China of poverty and death. I met a Jewish tailor in Tiesten, China, who was a "white Russian". Jacob made an Eisenhower jacket out of a Marine Corps blanket for me. I was also invited to the tailor's home for a gefilte fish dinner.

  • Resnick Marvin
    Resnick Marvin

    1st Lt. Marvin Resnick
    Serial No. 0825285
    U. S. Army Air Corps
    1943 - 1945
    European Theater

    I was a Liberator bomber pilot in the 15th Air Force. On August 22, 1944, I parachuted from my crippled bomber. When my chute opened, I found myself head downward with feet tangled in the lines, about 200 yards from a German occupied village. I escaped upstream. A search party finally found me and I surrendered. My captors turned out to be sympathetic peasants. In a mountainous partisan hideout, I saw boys of eight and ten years old with guns and grenades. After leaving the hideout and enduring a ten-hour horseback ride to a British mission, I joined other survivors of a B-17 crash landing. The partisans were draining gas from the plane and a cigarette ignited and blew up the whole area. Whether carelessness or sabotage, the man was shot. I was flown back to my own lines a few days later.

  • Roffa Calman
    Roffa Calman

    Sgt. Calman S. Roffa
    U. S. Army Air Corps
    June 1941 - September 1946
    European Theater

    While stationed in England, I met Celia Applebaum and we got married in a temple in Northampton. I met my brother, Norman, while he was training for the invasion of France.

  • Roffa Norman
    Roffa Norman

    T/4 Sgt. Norman T. Roffa
    Serial No. 36272518
    U. S. Army
    October 1942 - December 1945
    European Theater

    While giving blood to a young SS German soldier, he asked what kind of blood it was. My smart-aleck retort was that it is "Yude Bloot" (Jewish blood) - he refused it. When I landed briefly in France about a week after D-Day, I ran into my first B'nai B'rith president, Avrum Chudnow. My daughter (now a grandmother) was born while I was overseas. I didn't meet her until she was 1 1/2 years old.

  • Rosenberg Bennett
    Rosenberg Bennett

    Pfc. Bennett H. Rosenberg
    Serial No. 16089824
    U. S. Army Air Corps
    October 1943 - March 1946
    Stateside

    I was trained as a radio operator for B-29s. I also received training with portable photo lab equipment. I enjoyed attending Sabbath services in several cities and on the army posts, whenever possible. Any anti-Semitism I encountered was overshadowed by the great Jewish servicemen I met during my tour of duty.

  • Rosenblum Matt
    Rosenblum Matt

    Capt. Matthew Rosenblum
    U. S. Army
    1941 - 1945
    Missing in Action

    Matt Rosenblum grew up in Sheboygan and remained there to finish high school while his family moved to Milwaukee. Matt attended Ripon College and while there, joined the ROTC. He enlisted in the Army in early 1941 (before Pearl Harbor) and arrived in the Philippines in October 1941. Matt served on Corregidor and was subjected to the Bataan "Death March" in early 1942. While a Japanese captive, he and other prisoners escaped. Some were recaptured and were executed. A few, including Matt, were not caught but were never found. After due time, Matt was considered "missing in action". In 1954, Bataan and Corregidor were made national shrines. Submitted by Norman Mautner and Bill Appel, nephew

  • Rose Sidney
    Rose Sidney

    Capt. Sidney R. Rose
    U. S. Army Air Corps
    1944 - 1945
    China-Burma-India Theater

    One year before Pearl Harbor, I was called to active duty for the Naval Reserve Unit in Milwaukee. I was medically discharged, but in 1942 returned to active duty in the Air Force. I served in China and then in New Delhi, India, under General Stillwell. I was the publisher of the CBI "Roundup" and worked with many journalists who became famous after the war. All type for the tabloid-sized 24-page "Roundup" was set by the Statesman, India's major English newspaper.