Earl Griffith Rose was born on November 9, 1887, at Lithopolis, Ohio, the son of Mr. Calvin U. Rose and Mrs. Sallie Griffith Rose. He was graduated from Madison Township High School in Duvall, Ohio, in 1906. After studying for three years at Ohio State University, College of Engineering, he withdrew to accept an appointment as Cadet in the former U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, now the U.S. Coast Guard, on May 31, 1910.
He was graduated and commissioned an Ensign on June 7, 1913, at the former Academy site at Fort Trumbull, New London, Conn. Subsequently he advanced in rank to Lieutenant (jg), June 7, 1918; Lieutenant, January 12, 1923; Lieut. Commander, April 21, 1934; Commander, October 1, 1934; Captain, December 1, 1941; Commodore, November 1, 1943; Rear Admiral, June 1, 1945.
His first assignment was to the Revenue Cutter Morrill which operated on the Great Lakes out of Detroit. During the next few years he served various assignments in the Cutter Windom out of Galveston, Texas, at Coast Guard Headquarters, and in the Cutters Seneca and Mohawk stationed at New York.
World War I
In November 1917, during World War I, he sailed from New York to France with the USS Rambler which he assumed command of in August 1918 while overseas. When the British SS Philomel was sunk in convoy off the French Coast on September 16, 1918, the Rambler under command of the then Lieutenant Rose rescued forty-one of the crew and landed them at L’Orient, France. Soon after that episode he assisted in the rescue of survivors from the American munitions ship Florence H. which was destroyed by explosion and fire while his vessel was with a Naval escort in Quiberon Bay, France. Rear Admiral Rose was awarded the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor of France on April, 19, 1919, the Navy Cross on November 11, 1920, as well as the World War I Victory Medal and Ribbon with Bronze Star.
After returning to the United States in December 1918, he first reported to the Cutter Manning at Norfolk, Va. A few weeks later he was reassigned to Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C., where he served until 1921.
During the next few years he first was stationed in the Gulf of Mexico with the Cutter Tallapoosa, then in Alaska waters as commanding officer of the Cutter Unalga and later as executive officer of the Cutter Haida.
He served a series of assignments with the former Coast Guard Destroyer Force starting with his command of the Destroyer Patterson of the New York Division in December 1927, followed by his command of Section Base Five, Boston, from 1930 to 1933, and command of the Destroyer Herndon and a Division of four destroyers based at New London. During that period he also commanded a division of eight Coast Guard destroyers in Cuban waters under Naval control in the summer and fall of 1933 during the Cuban insurrection.
At the time of the Morro Castle fire disaster on September 8, 1943, off the Jersey Coast, he was commanding the Cutter Tampa which attempted to save the vessel by towing her into New York Harbor after removing her crew. The ill-fated vessel broke adrift in a strong northeast gale and stranded on the Jersey Coast that night. The then Commander Rose was commended for service under extremely adverse conditions on that occasion.
At Philadelphia in June 1936, he placed into commission the newly built 327-ft. Coast Guard Cutter Campbell and commanded her until October that year. Therefrom he assumed command of the Cutter Pontchartrain which operated in the North Atlantic out of New York City.
World War II
He served his next tour of duty at Coast Guard Headquarters from September 1938 to July 1942, during World War II. Next, he was Chief of Staff, Ninth Coast Guard District, Cleveland, until November 1943. With his promotion to Commodore at that time, he assumed command of the Greenland Patrol of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet which he held until July 31, 1945. During that period of his command, vessels of the Greenland Patrol destroyed weather stations and captured vessels of the enemy operating in East Greenland, thus foiling Nazi attempts to gain foothold in Greenland. Directing also weather and air-sea rescue services, he assisted in ferrying of aircraft on the northern routes of the Atlantic. He received the Legion of Merit for his performance of duty as Commander, Greenland Patrol.
Following his promotion to Rear Admiral in 1945, he next commanded Navy Task Force Twenty-Four, based at Argentia, Newfoundland, which was largely concerned with weather patrol and Naval establishments in Newfoundland, Greenland, and Iceland.
He then transferred once again to Coast Guard Headquarters where he served as Chief of Operations from April 1946 until December 1, 1949, when he reached the statutory age for retirement. Rear Admiral Rose served in the Coast Guard for more than 36 years of commissioned service.
Since his retirement Rear Admiral Rose has served as a Director of the Retired Officers Association, Washington, D.C., as of November 1954. He is a member of the Bellehaven Country Club.
Rear Admiral Rose was married to Dorothy Irwin R. of Muncy, Penna., on June 21, 1921. They have one child, Marilyn Eleanor, and two grandchildren, William Reeder and Ann Griffith Kenealy, who live in Spring City, Penna.