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Amsterdam Heroes

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Herman Ross

Herman Ross

United States Navy
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Herman Ross, born in Amsterdam in 1924 to Angela& Anthony Russo, joined the United States NAVY in 1942 and was trained in Morse Code, Lantern Signaling, and Semaphore, using those skills in ship operations. He served on the USS Pheasant (AM-61), a Mine Sweeper initially engaged in escort and convoy runs. In the D-DAY invasion, the USS Pheasant was reported as the 17th ship in the armada and among the first ships to enter heavily mined areas where the landing ships and battleships were to follow.  The Pheasant cleared approaches to the beaches and dangerous mines from fire support areas used by Battleships USS Arkansas and USS Texas which were drawing considerable fire from shore batteries (assigned to Omaha Beach). On June 7, off Normandy, the USS Pheasant rescued sailors from the USS Tide which struck amine and quickly sank. They then proceeded to mine sweeping operations prior to the Battle of Cherborg and Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France, in Oran, Algeria, and in a great many sectors in the Mediterranean with success (Leghorn, Bastia, Palermo, Naples, Toulon, Marseilles and Cagliera). In June 1945 they returned to the US to prepare for the invasion of Japan and with the War's end, Herm entered the Navy Reserves. He received various service medals, and two Battle Stars were awarded to the USS Pheasant for meritorious participation in WWII. He remained in contact with several of his shipmates during his lifetime.


Herm married Madeline Valleriani of Amsterdam in1950. In 1955 he built and operated Herm’s Charcoal Pit on Route 30, described as a "classic Amsterdam Drive-In", retiring in 1980 after 25 years in business. He promoted the Route 30 corridor as the logical expansion of Amsterdam in the 1950s and1960s. Herm and Madeline (Millie) raised four children in Amsterdam and Perth during their 51 year marriage. He passed away on Memorial Day 2001. Family ,Faith and Country were everything to Herm.