Roy Earle was born in 1924 in Montclair, New Jersey, and he grew nearby in the city of Bloomfield, where he graduated from high school in 1942. Knowing he would soon be drafted, he made the decision to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps in late 1942, eleven months after the U.S. joined the conflict. Roy did his recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina and in January 1943 he started the Field Lineman’s Course at 2nd Telephone Company at Camp Lejeune; there he received his communicator’s MOS.
In August 1943 he made the cross-country move to Camp Pendleton, California, where his unit was redesignated Company “A” 4th pioneer battalion, part of the newly formed 4th Marine Division. In December 1943 Roy joined the First Joint Assault Signal Company (JASCO), his final reassignment. JASCO’s role was to set up communications for the assault troops, maintaining constant communications between the beach and the front-line troops, moving inland to replace communicators that were killed or wounded.
In January 1944 the men were deployed overseas, going directly into combat in the Marshall Islands. Over the next thirteen months Roy was in constant operations combat against the Japanese, participating in vicious battles in Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima.
When the war ended in September 1945, Roy was in Hawaii, where his unit was training to invade Japan itself. He returned to the U.S. in October, where he was discharged at age 21. For his service Roy received the two Presidential Unit Citations awarded the 4th Marine Division, the Navy Unit Citation awarded JASCO, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with four bronze battle stars, and the World War Two Victory Medal.
Back in New Jersey, he went back to work, and also attended college at Rutgers. After twenty five years at Hoffman LaRoche, he retired and changed careers, becoming a teacher at Ricker College in Houlton, Maine, and later a professor at Casco Bay College in Portland.
Roy was interviewed for the Crestwood Oral History Project by Scott Masters, who visited him at his home in Norway, Maine in July 2015.