William Joseph LaRose, Jr.

1922 - 2000

Korean WarVietnam WarWWII

Their Story

William J. LaRose, Jr. was born December 12, 1922, in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, to William J. LaRose, Sr., who spoke French, and Hannah M. Daley LaRose, who was born in the Irish Free State.1 He had five brothers and one sister. His mother died at the age of 33 in 1934.2 He was 17 at the time of the 1940 census and was a laborer. His father had a new wife at that time, Martha Clark, who had a child, John Clark. William, Sr. and Martha had two more children.

On July 5, 1941, William, Jr. married Alice Mary Dame in Newport, Vermont.3 He was 18 and a second cook. Their daughter Patricia A. was born, May 7, 1942. He registered for the draft in June 1942. At the time of his registration at the age of 19 he worked at General Mills in Fitchburg.4 In November 1943, William Jr. and Alice had a son, William, 3rd.5 And in 1945, Albert was born. They had a son, Richard, in 1947, who died in 1956.

William enlisted in the Navy March 18, 1944, and that same month arrived at the naval training station in Sampson, New York, for his basic training.6 Seaman William, Jr. was transferred to Norfolk, Virginia, after completing a course in the Cooks’ and Bakers’ school in Pensacola, Florida.7 In July 1945, he was listed as S1C and was a baker onboard the U.S.S. John A Bole, first arriving onboard on March 3, the day it was commissioned.8 The USS John A. Bole (DD-755) was an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer of the United States Navy.9 In October, still aboard the John Bole, he was listed as a Baker 3C (T).10

The John A. Bole escorted the aircraft carrier Franklin north to New York, arriving on April, 24, 1945. After moving to Boston to join Saint Paul, she sailed on May 15 for the Pacific during the final push in the war against Japan. Steaming via the Panama Canal, she arrived at Pearl Harbor on June 7, 1945. The ship joined a carrier group in Hawaiian waters, took part in the air strike on Wake Island on June 20, and escorted a carrier to Eniwetok, arriving on June 21.

John A. Bole arrived at Okinawa on June 29 for picket and patrol duty; and, although ground fighting had virtually ceased, weeks of intermittent air raids and picket duty were still in store for the fleet. The ship remained off Okinawa until the Japanese acceptance of surrender terms on August 15, then departed for the East China and Yellow Seas to support the occupation and to take part in minesweeping operations. John A. Bole joined a cruiser-destroyer force on September 8 off Jinsen, Korea, to cover the landings of troops at that important port. She remained until September 25, and arrived three days later at Saishu To, south of the Korean Peninsula, to accept the surrender of the Island and demilitarize it.

The destroyer remained in the Far East after the end of the war to carry mail and passengers between Japan, Korea, and Chinese ports, supporting the efforts of American Marines to protect Allied lives and stabilize the Chinese situation. William, Jr. was discharged November 8, 1945.11

William, Jr.’s brother, David, also served during WWII in the Coast Guard. In 1948, William Jr. was listed in the City Directory as being a core maker in Fitchburg.12 William Jr. later enlisted in the Air Force on November 2, 1957, and was discharged December 14, 1964. He was an A1C.

William Jr. and Alice’s son, PFC William LaRose III, was a member of the 7th U.S. Army Support Command, 8th Evacuation Hospital, that landed in Belgrad, Yugoslavia, late in July 1963. Their purpose was to provide emergency medical relief for the victims of the Skopje earthquake disaster. It was the first American military unit to visit Yugoslavia since WWII.13 In September of 1966, William Jr. lost a grandson, William Joseph LaRose IV, who died in Leominster, Massachusetts.

In September of 1970, Alice filed a petition for divorce from William Jr., whose address was unknown at that time,14 on the grounds of desertion.15

William Jr. married Mary Louise16 Whittington Aug. 25, 1973, in Stockton, Iowa.17 They lived in Davenport, Iowa. He enjoyed feeding birds and squirrels and flower gardening. In 1990, William III died. In 1995, William Jr. had addresses in Aledo, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa.18 He died at the age of 77 on April 8, 2000, at Meadowlawn Nursing Center, Davenport.


1 1930 United States Federal Census – Ancestry.com Fitchburg, Massachusetts

2 11 Sep 1934, Page 3 – Fitchburg Sentinel at Newspapers.com Death of Hannah LaRose

3 06 Aug 1941, Page 2 – Fitchburg Sentinel at Newspapers.com Marriage of William Jr and Alice Dame

4 Draft Registration of William Joseph Larose, Jr. June 30, 1942 from Ancestry.com

5 26 Nov 1943, Page 2 – Fitchburg Sentinel at Newspapers.com Birth of William LaRose, 3rd

6 27 Mar 1944, Page 2 – Fitchburg Sentinel at Newspapers.com

7 15 Sep 1944, Page 2 – Fitchburg Sentinel at Newspapers.com

8 1945 Muster Role of the Crew U.S.S. John A. Bole (DD-755) for quarter ending 1 July 1945, Ancestry.com

9 USS John A. Bole – Wikipedia

10 U.S., World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949 – Ancestry.com

11 U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 – Ancestry.com Enlisted dates Army and Air Force

12 U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 – Ancestry.com Core maker occupation 1948 Fitchburg, Massachusetts

13 17 Aug 1963, Page 2 – Fitchburg Sentinel at Newspapers.com

14 16 Sep 1970, Page 2 – Fitchburg Sentinel at Newspapers.com

15 14 Oct 1970, Page 26 – Fitchburg Sentinel at Newspapers.com

16 24 Aug 1973, 4 – Quad-City Times at Newspapers.com Marriage license of Wm. J. LaRose, Jr & Mary Whittington

17 William J LaRose Jr. (1922-2000) – Find a Grave Memorial

18 U.S., Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 1 – Ancestry.com