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|135k||Robert Walter Rolf was born 26 August 1914 in Rock Island, III. He attended Augustana College in his hometown before enlisting in the U.S. Naval Reserve at Chicago 5 August 1941. Rolf began his training at the U.S. Naval Academy 9 January 1942, accepted appointment as midshipman, USNR, 9 February, and was promoted to ensign 5 May. After duty at San Diego, further training at Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind., and assignments at the Norfolk Naval Base and Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex., he was promoted to lieutenant (junior grade). Rolf was appointed commanding officer of an LCI(L) effective 12 June 1942. He was killed in a Japanese bombing raid 6 September 1942 and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his outstanding behavior as commanding officer of a disabled landing craft which he skillfully beached at enemy-occupied Lae on New Guinea. Lieutenant (junior grade) Rolf " ... personally led a party in extinguishing the numerous fires aboard, carrying on his dangerous task under repeated enemy bombing and strafing attacks until he was killed by Japanese fire. As a result ... his ship was saved for further active service."|
USS Rolf (DE 362) (1944-1946) was the first ship to be named in his honor.
|107k||23 May 1944: Orange, Tex. - Mrs. Martha Eiffert Rolf mother of Lt. (j.g.) Rolf at the christening of USS Rolf.|
|193k||23 May 1944: Orange, Tex. - Christening party of USS Rolf. The lady with flowers in the first row is Robert Rolf's mother.|
|161k||23 May 1944: Orange, Tex. - Mrs. Rolf and family friend Mr. Hodgeman watch the USS Rolf, named after her son who was killed in action, slip into the waters of the Sabine River.|
|174k||23 May 1944: Orange, Tex. - The destroyer escort USS Rolf plunges into the waters of Orange, Texas.|
|168k||7 September 1944: Orange, Tex. - Lt. Norman Wallin, CO of LCI (L)-341 stands to left of officer at the microphone. Wallin had been on the 341 when its CO, Robert Rolf was killed.|
|80k||7 September 1944: Orange, Tex. - Lt. Norman Wallin speks during the commissioning ceremony of USS Rolf. He had been aboard LCI (L)-341, and succeeded Lt.(jg) Rolf as CO when it was bombed.|
|47k||7 September 1944: Orange, Tex. - Taken on commissioning day||John San Marco|
|33k||31 January 1945: The Philippines|
|64k||December 1945: After having just returned from 12 months duty in the Pacific.|
Courtesy of Jerry Gilmartin
Courtesy of Jerry Gilmartin
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