David M. Rossi (1946/11/19)
The last documented Santa Cruz serviceman to die during World War II was David Rossi.
David Mario Rossi, better known as Scotty to his friends, was the son of Mario J. and Suzanne Scott Rossi. He was born in San Francisco, on December 21, 1927, and at an early age moved into the Santa Cruz home of his grandparents. He completed Branciforte Junior High School and during the summer, worked for the Beach and Boardwalk Company. In January 1944 Rossi enrolled in Santa Cruz High School, took a continuation course of study and was said to have been very popular. He left high school in the spring of 1944 and never returned.
In April 1945 David Rossi joined the Merchant Marines and following his initial training, was assigned to the victory ship SS Clarksburg Victory.
“During World War II, 534 Victory ships were constructed and manned by the Merchant Marine Service. Victory Ships were designed and built to carry ammunition and supplies, and had the advantage of traveling at a speed of 15 knots, making them less prone to submarine attack than other transports. They were also equipped with a 5-inch stern gun, a 3-inch bow gun and eight 20-mm machine guns for protection. The first of the Victory ships were named for allied countries and later versions for cities. The Clarksburg Victory # T-AG-183 was laid down on July 9, 1945, at Suisun Bay California, by the California Shipbuilding Corporation of Los Angeles and delivered to the Maritime Commission on October 15, 1945."
Able Seaman Rossi's final voyage aboard the Clarksburg Victory was to the Mariana Islands in the Pacific in the fall of 1946. On November 19, 1946, the ship was in Guam Bay when a violent storm hit the island and Rossi was washed overboard and drowned. His body was later recovered and given a military burial on the island of Guam.
(SCHSC Pg. 274; USMM.Org, American Merchant Marine at War, http://www.usmm.org/victoryships.html, [16 September 2008]; SCR January 4, 1947? -2)