|Born||January 29, 1922|
Manchester, New Hampshire
|Died||February 18, 1944 (aged 22)|
Engebi Island, at Eniwetok Atoll
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Marine Corps Reserve|
|Years of service||1942–1944|
|Unit||22nd Marine Regiment|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Rogers Blood was born at Manchester, New Hampshire, on 29 January 1922. At Manchester Central High School in Manchester, he was a popular athlete, and also demonstrated talents and skills as a scholar, leader, and organizer, serving as president of the Hi-Y Chapter, president of the Maskers, editor-in-chief of the Oracle, moderator of the Discussion Club, and member of both the tennis and ski teams. He was awarded the Rotary Cup in his senior year as the most outstanding student in his class. Rogers then entered Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, as a member of the Class of 1944.
After the United States entered World War II, Blood left Dartmouth and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on 3 January 1942. He accepted a commission as second lieutenant on 13 January 1943, and was promoted to first lieutenant on 1 February 1944. He served at the Marine Barracks at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, and at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. From 21 May 1943, he served in the World War II Pacific Theater of Operations.
First Lieutenant Blood was serving in the 22nd Marine Regiment when it landed on Engebi Island as part of the invasion of Eniwetok Atoll. On the day of the landings, 18 February 1944, while leading his platoon in a valiant charge across open terrain in the face of severe Japanese machine-gun, mortar, and rifle fire to dislodge the heavily entrenched Japanese, he was killed in action.
First Lieutenant Blood was awarded the Silver Star posthumously for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity. He was also posthumously awarded the Purple Heart for wounds sustained during direct contact with an enemy of the United States.
In 1945, the U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Rogers Blood (DE-605) was named in his honor. During construction, the ship was reclassified as a fast transport and commissioned as such as USS Rogers Blood (APD-115). She was in commission from 1945 to 1946.
When USS Rogers Blood was decommissioned, her ship's bell was loaned to Manchester Central High School by the U.S. Department of the Navy with the understanding that it would be kept on permanent display at the school in a place of prominence. It continues on display to this day.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive USS Rogers Blood (APD-115)