Bernard B. Grossman, WWII veteran

Bernard B. Grossman
Bernard B. Grossman
Posted: August 16, 2014

Bernard B. Grossman, 95, of Philadelphia, a decorated World War II veteran, died Thursday, July 31, of sepsis and heart failure in the VA Medical Center's Hospice Unit.

Mr. Grossman, a Philadelphia native and Central High graduate, trained as an Army rifleman and served with the Bushmasters, an elite unit that fought in the South Pacific.

The Bushmasters were well-versed in hand-to-hand combat and jungle patrol techniques, and used high-powered rifles and long machetes. They subsisted in the jungle for weeks at a time, and depended on one another for survival.

Mr. Grossman received many honors, including the Asiatic Campaign Medal with three bronze stars, the Philippine Liberation Medal with one bronze star, and a Purple Heart.

His daughter, Lynn Frank, said he was wounded while rescuing a fellow soldier from enemy fire. His discharge papers indicated that this happened Jan. 13, 1945, in Luzon, during Gen. Douglas MacArthur's return to the Philippines. He went in June 1941 and was a sergeant when he was discharged on Nov. 16, 1945. Afterward, he continued to do battle at home with PTSD.

"The war haunted him all of his life," Frank said. "As a result of the war, he was not a passionate person that got too close to people. However, on a more superficial level, he was known as a friendly, happy person always ready with a joke and a smile. His only real passion was poker."

After the war, he opened and sold numerous businesses, including three bars, two dry-cleaning stores, and two coin laundries, all in Philadelphia and Bucks County. He spent the later part of his career selling insurance for Keystone AAA. He retired in his early 60s.

His wife, Miriam Reiter Grossman, died in 2008. They were married 59 years. His three sisters and three brothers died earlier.

Surviving, in addition to his daughter, are a son, David; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Services were private.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

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