John Rembish, 3rd Infantry Division Veteran and the phrase “Rock of the Marne”
Kenilworth NJ’s last WWII Veteran, John Rembish, passed away and the lawyers from CitizenSoldierLaw felt drawn to pay our respects to this 3rd Infantry Division Veteran. It is unsettling to lose the great men and women of the WWII era.
Below is a description of the phrase “Rock of the Marne” and the Third Infantry Division’s history. But first some more about John Rembish:
John A. Rembish
World War II Veteran, Kenilworth
John Andrew Rembish 97, passed away on November 29, 2020 at his home in Kenilworth, NJ.
John, was born in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania on September 27, 1923. In the midst of World War II he was drafted into the United States Army. At the age of nineteen he was assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina for artillery training. He was sent overseas to join the Third Infantry Division, Ninth Field Artillery Battalion, Battery C. John was one of the soldiers to make the full landing on the beaches of Anzio in January, 1944. He fought throughout the war and was amongst those who visited Berchtesgaden after his unit had liberated it. He was discharged in December, 1945 at the rank of Private First Class.
Following the war he became employed as an electrician for Worthington Pumps for a career that would span over thirty years. In 1952, he married Ann Sickle in a union that lasted fifty years. In 1963, the pair moved to Kenilworth where they raised their four boys and made many memories. At the age of ninety-six he was featured at the Kenilworth Historical Society where he shared memories of his life during Prohibition. On August 15, 2020 he was awarded the New Jersey State Distinguished Service Medal. On September 2, 2020 he was honored by the Borough of Kenilworth with a mayoral proclamation awarded to any surviving veteran of World War II seventy-five years later. He was a member of American Legion Post 470, the VFW Post 2230 of Kenilworth and the Kenilworth Senior Citizen’s Club.
John is predeceased by his beloved wife Ann (Sickle) Rembish, the late John Rembish, Jr., his late daughter in law Eva Rembish, and his late granddaughter Olivia Rembish. He is also predeceased by his parents Andrew and Mary(Potash) Rembish and his brothers, Frank and Walter Rembish and sister Helen Rembish. He is survived by three loving sons Michael, Peter and James Rembish, his cherished grandchildren, Jenalyn, Lauren, Dale Nelson, Collin and Faith Ann Rembish and his Best Friend, his faithful canine companion Charlie. He is also survived by his sister Stella Ruzinski(101) and his brother Henry Rembish.
Rock of the Marne
3rd I.D., then known simply as the 3rd Division, was activated in November 1917 for service in World War I. They were fighting the Germans by April 1918. The green troops of the 3rd Division were thrown into the line in the midst of a strong German attack along the Marne River.
The Marne had been the site of a significant battle that had turned back the German onslaught into France in 1914. It would be remembered once again in 1918.
After the Germans’ Spring Offensives had ground to a halt, they still sought a breakthrough of the Allied lines. Hoping to draw forces away from Flanders, where the Germans hoped to eventually drive through to Paris, they launched a large scale offensive to the south in the vicinity of Reims.
In the early morning darkness of July 15, 1918 the Germans began crossing the Marne River in assault boats.
Under a massive artillery barrage, the German Seventh Army smashed into the French Sixth Army. Under the brutal bombardment and onslaught of German stormtroopers, the French fell back in disarray. All along the line the Germans were quickly gaining ground – except for one spot on their right flank.
This was the position held by the 3rd Division. Particularly stubborn resistance came from the 38th Infantry Regiment under the command of Col. Ulysses McAlexander. It was dug in along the riverbank with a secondary line holding a raised railroad embankment. As the Germans crossed the river they were met with murderous fire from the Americans.
(our thanks to This is why the 3rd Infantry Division is called ‘Rock of the Marne’ – We Are The Mighty for some of the information in this post)