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Because of the Brave

Chief Petty Officer Ralph Rowland

World War Two 1942-1945

United States Navy SeaBee's

October 10, 1920 - March 8, 2021

Prior to enlisting, Ralph worked for a Navy contractor on the YMS minesweeper project design as a draftsman. Ralph volunteered in 1942 and served in the United States Navy Seabee’s during World War Two. Stationed in the Pacific around New Guinea-Papua, Admiralty Islands and Okinawa he helped to build airfields and advanced base facilities. Rowland was preparing to be part of Operation Downfall, the planned Allied invasion of the Japanese Home Islands. The operation had two parts: Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet. Set to begin in November 1945, Operation Olympic was intended to capture the southern third of the southernmost main Japanese island, Kyushu, with the recently captured island of Okinawa to be used as a staging area. Ralph would have been part of Operation Olympic. This would have been the largest amphibious operation in history with estimated Allied casualties in the millions. The operation was canceled upon the surrender of Japan. Ralph was discharged in November 1945, moved to Cheshire in 1957, and worked as an architect for 50 years.

“We have a lot to be thankful for in this wonderful country and this very special community of Cheshire. This is a very special day, it’s hard to express the degree of gratitude and appreciation that I have for everybody who is involved in making this possible .”

Chief Ralph Rowland October 9, 2020

I wish Saturday, February 20, 2021, was not the last time I spent with Ralph, but getting to know him, listening to his stories from World War Two about shared responsibility will last forever. Ralph touched four generations of my family from my brother and me to my Great-Grandfather who were close friends. 

A Tribute To Ralph Rowland

Our friends at The Hometown Foundation created this beautiful tribute video to help us preserve his legacy.