Earl G. Rose, 94, a retired Coast Guard rear admiral who won the Navy Cross in World War I and supervised convoys in Greenland in World War II, died of renal failure Oct. 20 at the Oak Meadow nursing home in Alexandria.
Adm. Rose, who lived in Alexandria, was born in Lithopolis, Ohio. He studied engineering at Ohio State University and in 1910 accepted appointment as a cadet in the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, a predecessor of the Coast Guard. He was commissioned an ensign in 1913.
In World War I, he was stationed aboard the Rambler, a converted yacht. The ship was based at Brest, France, and assigned to convoy duty along the French coast. On one occasion, an ammuniton ship blew up at anchor and scattered burning boxes of explosives around the harbor. Adm. Rose commanded a rowboat that went among these hazards looking for survivors.
Adm. Rose later commanded the Rambler and once picked up the crew of a torpedoed British merchant ship. For these exploits he received the Navy Cross, the naval service's highest decoration for valor except for the Medal of Honor. He also received the Legion of Honor from France.
Between the wars, his assignments included command of the cutter Tampa, which went to the rescue of the Morro Castle, an American steamer that caught fire off the coast of New Jersey on Sept. 8, 1934. Although the Tampa was able to rescue some, an estimated 125 people lost their lives in the disaster. Adm. Rose attempted to tow the ship in, but the lines broke in a gale and it was lost.
In World War II, Adm. Rose commanded the Greenland patrol of the Atlantic Fleet, with responsibilities for convoy escort and air and sea rescue operations. The patrol captured a German weather station on Greenland. Adm. Rose was awarded the Legion of Merit.
In 1946, he was promoted to rear admiral and assigned to Coast Guard headquarters in Washington. He retired in 1949 and has lived in this area since.
Adm. Rose served 12 years as a director of the Retired Officers Association.
Survivors include his wife, the former Dorothy Irwin Reeder, of Alexandria; a daughter, Marilyn Eleanor Kenealy of Indianapolis, and two grandchildren.