This article about Albert Rosenblum was published in the Supply Line newsletter of the Defense Construction Supply Center in Whitehall, Ohio, on the occasion of Albert’s retirement from the DCSC in 1975. The article is courtesy Albert son, Al Rosenblum.
‘Active life’ keeps 70-year-old young
Vol. 12, No. 3
At 70, Albert Rosenblum is retiring from his second career, talking about beginning a third, and, above all, still relishing the excitement of life.
“I would like to make it 50 years even, but they tell me I can’t,” said Rosenblum, whose 23 years in the Army were followed by 22 years at DCSC and its predecessors. He left the Center in January, after reaching the mandatory retirement age.
Rosenblum’s family tree has its roots in Russia, where he was born and lived until the age of four. When the Bolsheviks took over, Rosenblum’s father emigrated to the United States.
“He wanted to forget; he didn’t want to talk about Russia,” declared Rosenblum, who obtained American citizenship as soon as he came of age.
Since then the naturalized citizen has put in more than his share of service to his adopted country. He entered the Army in 1929 and was stationed in New York, Honolulu, and Salt Lake City over the next nine years. Yielding to family pressure in 1938, Rosenblum left the service and returned to Columbus, where he began a grocery and butcher paper supply business. But in 1939, as war rumblings grew in the U.S., he rejoined his original unit in New York.
Overseas duty beginning in 1942 put Rosenblum smack in the middle of history-book names, dates and places. His platoon fought with Gen. Patton at El Guettar in North Africa. Half were killed and the others taken prisoner by Rommel’s troops, Rosenblum ended in an Italian hospital and later a prison camp in Central Italy.
He had no real complaints about conditions in the camp, but it wasn’t where the action was. After nine months, he and three others escaped by bribing a guard with “luxury items” saved from Red Cross parcels.
For almost a year, the escapees lived and worked behind enemy lines with the Italian underground. Wearing civilian clothes and working on farms, the group also intercepted and burnt convoys carrying ammunition and other war equipment through the area.
“Danger never bothered me,” Rosenblum said. “I hate to say it, but I sort of enjoyed the contact and excitement.”
Rosenblum was taken out of Italy in mid-July of 1944 to be questioned in Boston “by what seemed half of Washington.” Assigned to Military Police duty, he spent two years in Japan and 18 months in Korea before retiring in 1953.
When Rosenblum returned to Columbus once more, his father suggested checking the Center for job opportunities. He was hired as a stock picker in the open warehouses and later became assistant supervisor in bin and bulk warehousing. Rosenblum spent the last seven of his 22 years here as a supply clerk in Storage and Transportation.
“Twenty-two years and 23 years, it seems such a short time,” Rosenblum mused. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of my life. That’s how you stay young!”
Photo captions: Among his souvenirs, Albert Rosenblum uses photographs and maps from his military days to point out a Christmas-day evacuation from North Korea. At right, it’s the real thing. Rosenblum (second front right) and fellow soldiers from Ft. Mead, Md., study maps of Korea shortly before beginning an 18-month assignment there.
For more on Albert Rosenblum’s story, read “A Family in Service,” “Albert Rosenblum with the Virgili Family,” and “Kind Strangers—Relays from Radio Rome.”