Today in NC State History: Alumnus recounts ‘Rosy’ time in Pacific

March 24, 2015
By Chris Saunders

historyIconThe Technician‘s pages throughout the early 1940s are predictably filled with coverage of World War II.

But few stories provide the firsthand account of life on the Pacific front as the one from Frank “Pig” Peatross that appeared in the paper on this day in 1944.

Peatross, a 1939 textiles graduate of and former baseball player for NC State,  had been on campus earlier that week speaking of his time in four battles: Makin Island, Midway, Bougainville and Guadalcanal. During his recounting, he spoke of the famous Japanese propaganda techniques used on American servicemen stationed in the country during the war.

“Tokyo Rose” was a persona who appeared on a radio program broadcast to American troops to try to make them so nostalgic for home that their morale would be lowered and even broken. But the program backfired and kept the men “hep to the jive” back home, according to Peatross.

Frank "Pig" Peatross on the 1939 NC State baseball team. Photo courtesy of the Agromeck.

Frank “Pig” Peatross on the 1939 NC State baseball team. Photo courtesy of the Agromeck.

“‘Listen here,’ began the feminine radio voice,” The Technician reported. “‘Wouldn’t you like to walk the streets of Washington or Chicago to see the neon signs or to eat hot dogs?’  Then after a few more sentences, the recording of a hit song would fill the air. The boys loved it, Capt. Peatross related.”

According to The Technician, Peatross took a job at Pilot Mills in Raleigh shortly after graduation, but quit to join the Marines. “Eventually, he became a member of the famous ‘Carlson’s Raiders’ — a group of volunteers picked from 7,000 candidates for special training in landings and hand-to-hand fighting,” the paper reported.

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