Joseph E. Roseberry was born December 7, 1922 in Springfield Illinois and grew up in Riverton, Illinois, the son of Hesse Earl and Lulu Roseberry. Joe attended Springfield College and married Rosemary Wertz. Joe had two brothers, Robert and Raymond and a sister, Rosemary. He enlisted in the U. S. Army on September 18, 1942. Joe was assigned to the 865th Bombardier Training Squadron at San Angelo, Texas and then transferred tothe Field Artillery School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma for Pilot Training.
On July 20, 1944, Joe accepted a commission as Second Lieutenant and promoted to First Lieutenant on March 1, 1945. He was assigned to the 901st Field Artillery Battalion as a pilot of L5 observation planes. He arrived in Europe on January 10, 1945. His job was to spot the enemy troops and their movements. On April 12, 1945, Joe was piloting an L5 plane with Major McKee. They reported an armored train near the front lines. This was the last message received from Lt. Roseberry and Major McKee. There were shot down by the train guns they had reported. Both men were killed. This occurred in Germany.
Lieutenant Joseph Roseberry was buried on April 15, 1945 in Eisenach, Germany. He was then moved and officially buried at the U. S. Military Cemetery in Margaten, Holland in 1949 when his parents decided they wanted their son to rest in peace in Europe. Joe was awarded the Silver Star, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart posthumously.
In 2005, a young man of 19 years who lives in the Netherlands, adopted Joeâ€™s grave and decorates it with flowers on his birthday, December 7 th and on other occasions through the year. This activity has been passed down through the years from one generation to another.
Story submitted by Barbara Roseberry, Sister-in-law, Springfield, Illinois