Biography

Roise, Harold (Hal) Sigward
[Lt. Col. 2bn5thMR]

biography

biography

Col Roise was born in Moscow, Idaho, Feb. 27, 1916. At the University of Idaho, he received All-America mention as a football halfback. In 1977 he was named to the Idaho Hall of Fame. Col. Roise died Tuesday, Dec. 24, 1991, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. In his Marine career Col Roise twice was awarded the Navy Cross. He also received the Silver Star medal, two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, the Legion of Merit, five presidential unit citations and numerous other medals and citations.



Commissioned in the Marine Corps after graduation from the University of Idaho in 1939, he was a second lieutenant on the battleship USS Maryland at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked Dec. 7, 1941. He later was transferred to the USS Alabama, where he was in charge of the Marine contingent during that ship's service in the North Atlantic. He also took part in the invasion of Okinawa and also served in China during the war.  



In 1950, he commanded the first Marine unit to land in Korea. He took part in the Inchon landing as a battalion commander, leading the capture of the Kimpo airfield, and later participated in the long march from the Chosin Reservoir. Prior to retiring from the Marines in 1965, he also had tours of duty in Africa, Norway, Turkey, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Quantico, Va., Camp Pendleton in California and the National War College in Washington. Upon retirement he managed the corporate headquarters building of the Armstrong Rubber Co. 



The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Colonel Harold Sigward Roise (MCSN: 0-6134), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Korea from 15 to 26 September 1950. With his battalion assigned the lead position during the amphibious assault at Inchon the night of 15 September, Lieutenant Colonel Roise hit the beach in darkness under heavy enemy fire. Maintaining superb control of his companies in the bitter action that followed, he took position on the beachhead line in a heavy rainstorm and personally directed his units into a defensive perimeter to drive off repeated counterattacks launched by the fanatical aggressors. Continually subjecting himself to devastating artillery, mortar, automatic-weapons and small-arms fire, he pressed forward in his rapid advance to the city, expeditiously capturing assigned objectives and, on one occasion, leading a brilliantly executed maneuver to repulse a heavy counterattack with six hostile tanks and approximately 100 of the enemy destroyed without a single loss among his own units. Seriously wounded in a mortar barrage against his forward observation post as he directed his assault companies against the enemy's main line of resistance outside the city of Sŏul, on 24 September, Lieutenant Colonel Roise refused medical attention for his own wounds and diligently supervised the care and evacuation of all the wounded. Calling for and briefing his executive officer in the tactical situation, he submitted to emergency first aid but refused evacuation and, although suffering severe pain, encouraged and deployed his men in routing and destroying the enemy in each fierce encounter on their drive to capture the city. His gallant leadership, great personal valor and cool courage, maintained against tremendous odds, served to inspire all the men of his battalion and reflect the highest credit upon Lieutenant Colonel Roise, his heroic command and the United States Naval Service. 



General Orders: Authority: Board of Awards: Serial 587 (July 2, 1952)
Action Date: September 15 - 26, 1950
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Company: Commanding Officer
Battalion: 2d Battalion
Regiment: 5th Marines
Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.)

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Colonel Harold Sigward Roise (MCSN: 0-6134), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Korea from 27 November to 11 December 1950. With his battalion in point position in defense of Yudam-ni as Marine elements moved out in the attack to Koto-ri on 27 November, Lieutenant Colonel Roise consistently remained with the leading assault forces under heavy enemy fire emanating from hostile positions deeply entrenched on commanding ground, personally deploying directing his companies and utilizing all available supporting fires in defeating the outnumbering enemy in each furious encounter. Realizing the impossibility of gaining the assigned objective before nightfall in the face of the fierce resistance and treacherous terrain conditions, he ordered his units to set up a hasty defense on the ice and snow-covered hillside and, throughout the night as wave after wave of outnumbering forces persisted in their attempts to penetrate the area, expertly shifted elements of his command from one portion of the perimeter to another and supervised each maneuver to prevent the enemy from breaching his lines. Assigned as rear guard commander for his regiment's withdrawal from Yudam-ni on 1 December, Lieutenant Colonel Roise welded his remaining men and reinforcing units into an impregnable defense of several key terrain features imperative to the continued drive to the sea. With the column held up by a roadblock following an all-night march in bitter sub-zero weather over a narrow, frozen path along the mountain north of Hagaru-ri, he formulated and directed a brilliantly executed Maneuver to wipe out the obstruction and enable the entire column to proceed. Inculcating in his officers and men his own courageous spirit of heroism and determination, he again employed his 'moving perimeter' to cover the retrograde movement of all elements of the FIRST Marine Division from the Chosin Reservoir area and, on 11 December, arrived at Hungnam with his battalion an intact, fighting organization. His brilliant combat tactics, inspiring leadership and great personal valor against tremendous odds reflect the highest credit upon Lieutenant Colonel Roise, his intrepid command and the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander, 1st Marine Division: Serial 10643 (August 21, 1952)
Action Date: November 27 - December 11, 1950
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Company: Commanding Officer
Battalion: 2d Battalion
Regiment: 5th Marines
Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.)

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star (Army Award) to Lieutenant Colonel Harold Sigward Roise (MCSN: 0-6134), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving with a Marine Infantry Battalion, in Korea, on 17 September 1950. Lieutenant Colonel Roise, Commanding Officer, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), leaving the western outskirts of Pupyong after successfully repelling an enemy counter-attack at dawn, aggressively led his battalion in an attack over a distance of about eight miles to seize the vital objective of Kimpo Airfield. During this attack Lieutenant Colonel Roise remained well forward, constantly exposing himself to enemy fire, without regard for his own personal safety, so as to expedite and control the advance of his assault elements. When darkness approached he aggressively directed his companies to continue forward, and as darkness fell his assaulting companies, using attached tanks, advanced and seized Kimpo Airfield. Due to the excellent disposition and control of all elements in his command, Lieutenant Colonel Roise seized the objective and established a night defense that was successful in repelling a night counter-attack, of several hundred enemy just prior to dawn. By his audacious and superb leadership and his heroic bravery, Lieutenant Colonel Roise successfully attained this important objective thereby materially contributing to the success of this campaign. His actions throughout were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Headquarters X Corps, General Orders No. 24 (November 5, 1950)
Action Date: 17-Sep-50
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Company: Commanding Officer
Battalion: 2d Battalion
Regiment: 5th Marines
Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.)

August 7, 1950

At 0200 that morning, a long column of trucks had set out from Ch'angwŏn, carrying Lieutenant Colonel Harold S. Roise’s 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines.

November 1950

To How Co's left, the positions of LtCol Hal Roise's 2/5 were under an equally fierce onslaught. Just a year earlier Roise had been the head coach of the Camp Pendleton, Calif., football team, preparing his gridders to meet Quantico, Va., in the All-Navy championship game before 45,000 spectators in the Los Angeles Coliseum. Now there appeared to be that many Chinese assailing Roise's lines. Rank after rank of them flung themselves against Roise's two forward companies, Easy and Fox. They were shot down in windrows, bodies tumbled atop bodies, but still they came on. Inevitably the weight of numbers produced local breakthroughs. They were sealed off and thrown back. It was a goal line stand of a different sort. The battalion held. The situation was no less tense on the hills to the right of Hill 1403 in the sector of 2/7. The Marines of Capt Walt Phillips Easy Co on Hill 1282 and Capt Milt Hull's Dog Co on neighboring Hill 1240 were confronted by their own seas of Chinese attackers as the fighting descended into hand-to-hand savagery. Casualties on both sides were crippling. The slopes of both hills were covered with the human wreckage of repeated Chinese attacks. The ranks of the defenders were no less fearfully depleted. After a night of constant combat, Easy Co had been reduced to the strength of less than a single platoon, all of its officers except one killed or wounded. Twice wounded but continuing to lead, Milt Hull, who would receive the Navy Cross for his night's work, could muster only 16 Dog Co Marines still on their feet and able to fight.

Before that attack could begin, there was the vexing matter of East Hill to be attended to. With its crest still held in strength by the Chinese, East Hill dominated the line of march. Until they were eliminated, no one was going anywhere. The task fell to LtCol Hal Roise's 2/5 that had been so hard-pressed at Yudam ni. After a bitter daylong battle, supported by the 5th Marines' 4.2-inch mortars and the constantly swarming Corsairs, the hill was taken once and for all late in the day on 6 Dec. That night the Chinese launched a massive attack at the hill. Roise's lines lit up like sheet lightning in a constant crash of gunfire as serried ranks of Chinese threw themselves at the defenders. It was a slaughter. Daylight revealed the slopes of East Hill carpeted with the frozen bodies of almost 1,000 of the attackers. The advance to Koto-ri began shortly later.