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Rockafeller, II, Harry J.

Harry J. Rockafeller, II

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Oral History Session #1
Date:
January 17, 2014
Place:
Manalapan, NJ
Interviewers:
Shaun Illingworth
Transcript Production Team:
Fantastic Transcripts
Shaun Illingworth
Pamela R. Henry
Recommended Citation:
Rockafeller, II, Harry J. Oral History Interview, January 17, 2014, by Shaun Illingworth, Page #, Rutgers Oral History Archives. Online: Insert URL (Last Accessed: Insert Date).
 
Oral History Session #2
Date:
April 8, 2016
Place:Manalapan, NJ
Interviewers:
Shaun Illingworth
Transcript Production Team:
Fantastic Transcripts
Shaun Illingworth
Pamela R. Henry
Recommended Citation:
Rockafeller, II, Harry J. Oral History Interview, April 8, 2016, by Shaun Illingworth, Page #, Rutgers Oral History Archives. Online: Insert URL (Last Accessed: Insert Date).
 
Oral History Session #3
Date:
August 1, 2016
Place:
Manalapan, NJ
Interviewers:
Shaun Illingworth
Transcript Production Team:
Fantastic Transcripts
Shaun Illingworth
Pamela R. Henry
Recommended Citation:
Rockafeller, II, Harry J. Oral History Interview, August 1, 2016, by Shaun Illingworth, Page #, Rutgers Oral History Archives. Online: Insert URL (Last Accessed: Insert Date).
 
Permission to quote from these transcripts must be obtained from the Rutgers Oral History Archives. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Description:
Part 1: Major General Harry J. Rockafeller, II, was born on December 23, 1916, to Mary and John Francis Rockafeller in Asbury Park, NJ. His father died in 1918 during the Spanish Influenza Epidemic. Harry and his older brother, John, were raised by their paternal grandmother. Harry went to St. Rose for his freshman year of high school, but later attended Asbury Park High School and graduated in 1934. MG Rockafeller describes the changes that the Asbury Park area endured during Prohibition and the Great Depression. He details his jobs working for his uncle, Dr. Eugene Rockafeller, as a caddy at Deal and as a locker boy at the 8th Ave Bathhouse in Asbury Park. He also relates his experiences seeing the SS Morro Castle after it caught fire just off the coast of Asbury Park in September 1934, which resulted in the deaths of 137 people.
 
Part 2: MG Rockafeller discusses his time as a student at Rutgers, having come to New Brunswick, NJ, in 1937 with a faculty scholarship through his uncle, Harry Rockafeller, who served as the head Rutgers Football coach and the Athletic Director.  At Rutgers, he played football, lacrosse, track and some golf.  He was a business major and a brother of the Delta Chapter of Chi Phi.  He worked many jobs, including for the National Youth Administration under the New Deal, and earned his commission through the Army ROTC.  After graduating in 1941, Harry went on active duty in the Army with the 51st Armored Infantry Regiment, 4th Armored Division. He was a heavy weapons platoon leader.  By July 1943, he was stationed in Liverpool, England, and then, went to France soon after D-Day in 1944. He then became the company commander for B Company and later was promoted to Major after the liberation of Bastogne.
 
Part 3: MG Rockafeller further discusses his time overseas in WWII, missions such as going along the Siegfried Line and fighting across Germany. Soon after coming home, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and served at Camp Blanding, FL.  He then joined the Army Recruitment Command out of New York City. After being discharged, he worked for the Civil Service at Fort Monmouth, eventually retiring as a GS15, the highest rank in the Civil Service at the time.  Simultaneously, he served in the Army Reserves and later became the Division Commander of the 78th Division, the New Jersey Army Reserve Division. In 1974, he retired as a Major General. MG Rockafeller also served on the Board of Trustees for the Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, NJ, for several decades and has one daughter, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
 

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