News: Memorial service for World War II veteran
Story by Lance Cpl. Tabitha Bartley
QUANTICO, Va. - A memorial service was held Friday for retired Col. Richard Rothwell at the Marine Corps Memorial Chapel. Family members and friends came to celebrate the life of Rothwell.
“I think my father would be surprised if he knew this ceremony was happening today,” said Charles J. Rothwell. “I never thought of my father as a hero; he just did his duty.”
Rothwell was born in Washington D.C., on November 23, 1912. He entered the Marine Corps upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1936 and commanded infantry units at the platoon, company, battalion and regimental levels.
After being commissioned he was assigned as a guard officer at the Marine Barracks, Naval Yard, Washington, D.C. Before serving in World War II, he had two tours in China as a rifle platoon leader and a rifle company commander from 1937-1938 and 1940-1941.
Both of these tours involved the defense of the American Sector of the International Settlement, Shanghai, and the protecting of the lives, property and interests of American citizens from fighting between Japanese and Chinese forces in adjacent Shanghai.
During World War II, he commanded the battalion for both the Saipon and Tinian operations where he received the Legion of Merit with Combat V. On Iwo Jima, Rothwell was one of the five infantry battalion commanders landing with their battalion on D-Day to be with their battalion at the battle’s end.
Rothwell retired from the Marine Corps in 1961 after serving various posts and stations.
“It has an honor to say we have been comrades and friends for over two generations,” said retired Lt. Gen. Lawrence F. Snowden. “But this isn’t about saying good-bye. It’s until we meet again because we will meet again.”