Surfside Beach man, a hero during Battle of the Bulge, celebrate - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Surfside Beach man, a hero during Battle of the Bulge, celebrates 100th birthday

A Surfside Beach veteran was recognized with a party one day before his 100th birthday. (Source: WMBF News) A Surfside Beach veteran was recognized with a party one day before his 100th birthday. (Source: WMBF News)
Ted Ross fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. (Source: Debbie Sweezy) Ted Ross fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. (Source: Debbie Sweezy)

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Ted Ross was born on May 30, 1918, less than six months before an armistice was signed that brought an end to World War I.

The Surfside Beach resident would enlist to fight in the Second World War and earn a Silver Star for his bravery in the last major battle in Europe.

For his service to his country, Ross was recognized with the key to the city during the Surfside Beach Memorial Day Service. That honor came two days before his 100th birthday.

Ross was a member of the 18th Calvary Reconnaissance Squadron. In December 1944, his squad took part in the Battle of the Bulge, a counteroffensive launched by the German army that was intended to cut through the Allied forces “in a manner that would turn the tide of the war in Hitler’s favor,” according to information from the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

It was a harrowing fight that ended with the deaths of thousands of soldiers. Still, General George Patton and the Allies ultimately prevailed, and Hitler was not able to launch such a large-scale offensive again.

Ross, who was a radio repairman, proved vital to his squad’s success on Dec. 16, 1944.

He came under heavy enemy fire after volunteering to re-establish and maintain communications within his squadron, which allowed for “coordinated action with the supporting tank platoon,” according to a March 20, 1945 letter from Office of the Commanding General of the U.S. Army that stated Ross would receive the Silver Star.

“His gallant and daring deeds were of vital importance to his unit in slowing a strong enemy attack,” the letter stated.

After his service in Europe, Ross said he was set to head to the conflict in the Pacific with Japan. As it turns out, the war ended before he was deployed.

“Thank heavens everything settled down and here I am,” Ross said.

Here he is, indeed. May 30 is Ross’ 100th birthday, but the milestone was marked early with a celebration Tuesday at Malibu’s in Surfside Beach.

Ross said he’s lived a great life.

"It's a funny world when you think just 20 years ago how different it was, and 30 years ago how different it was,” he said.

As for how the official birthday will be celebrated, Ross' daughter, Debbie Sweezy, said it will be a relatively low-key event after two busy days. Family members will take him to the Summer Lights Festival at Brookgreen Gardens.

"He needs a day of rest," Sweezy joked. 

Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

    Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

    Sunday, June 24 2018 4:24 AM EDT2018-06-24 08:24:57 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 4:37 PM EDT2018-06-24 20:37:37 GMT
    (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty). Hessah al-Ajaji drivers her car down the capital's busy Tahlia Street after midnight for the first time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. Saudi women are in the driver's seat for the first time in their countr...(AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty). Hessah al-Ajaji drivers her car down the capital's busy Tahlia Street after midnight for the first time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. Saudi women are in the driver's seat for the first time in their countr...

    Saudi women steered their way through busy streets for the first time just minutes after the world's last remaining ban on women driving was lifted.

    More >>

    Saudi women steered their way through busy streets for the first time just minutes after the world's last remaining ban on women driving was lifted.

    More >>
  • 'Game of Thrones' co-stars Kit Harington, Rose Leslie wed

    'Game of Thrones' co-stars Kit Harington, Rose Leslie wed

    Saturday, June 23 2018 10:05 AM EDT2018-06-23 14:05:01 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 4:26 PM EDT2018-06-24 20:26:05 GMT
    Former "Game of Thrones" co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are marrying at the bride's family castle in Scotland. (Source: AP Photos)Former "Game of Thrones" co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are marrying at the bride's family castle in Scotland. (Source: AP Photos)

    Former "Game of Thrones" co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are marrying at the bride's family castle in Scotland.

    More >>

    Former "Game of Thrones" co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are marrying at the bride's family castle in Scotland.

    More >>
  • 20-year-old arrested with drugs, handgun after causing 6-vehicle crash in Lexington

    20-year-old arrested with drugs, handgun after causing 6-vehicle crash in Lexington

    Sunday, June 24 2018 4:12 PM EDT2018-06-24 20:12:26 GMT
    Desean McMillian was arrested for possession of drugs and a handgun as well as causing a 5-vehicle crash on West Main Street in Lexington on June 22. (Source: Lexington Police Department)Desean McMillian was arrested for possession of drugs and a handgun as well as causing a 5-vehicle crash on West Main Street in Lexington on June 22. (Source: Lexington Police Department)

    A 20-year-old is facing drug and weapon charges after fleeing from officers and causing a 6-vehicle crash in Lexington Friday night.

    More >>

    A 20-year-old is facing drug and weapon charges after fleeing from officers and causing a 6-vehicle crash in Lexington Friday night.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly