rose menofroses

Oregon State vs. Washington State • October 29

Honoring the 75th anniversary of Oregon State's 1942 Rose Bowl Championship team, members of which fought in World War II.

The Story Tickets

On November 29, 1941, it seemed like nothing could be bigger. Oregon State College defeated Oregon 12-7, punching the Beavers’ ticket to Pasadena. Eight days later, Japanese forces launched a surprise attack on the U.S. base at Pearl Harbor. In that moment, the life of every American, including members of the Rose Bowl-bound Beavers’ team, irrevocably changed.

America was now at war. The shadow of further Japanese attacks forced the U.S. to cancel all large gatherings on the West Coast – including the Rose Bowl. But as cancellation loomed, Duke, the Beavers’ opponent, offered to host the game 2,500 miles away, in Durham, North Carolina. Three days later, Oregon State players boarded a train dubbed the Beaver Express for a cross country road trip to the relocated Rose Bowl.

The Beavers entered the game as two-touchdown underdogs. But on a rainy day in Durham, Oregon State College never trailed, winning the Rose Bowl by a score of 20-16. But it is not what happened during the game, but after, that makes these men true heroes. Metaphorical battles on the gridiron turned to the very real battles of World War II, where many members of the team fought.

The Men of Roses Helmet honors the heroes of that team with the year 1942 front and center, the team nickname "Men of Roses" along the back, and the "battleship grey" base color.

Game Details


Inspired by the 1942 Rose Bowl Champions and heroes of World War II, our new Men of Roses helmet honors the past while looking forward to the future.



original jacket

To honor the past, each player in the 2016 team has been issued a replica 1942 Rose Bowl jacket, featuring many of the original details, plus "1942 Football Field to Battlefield" and "Beaver Express" patches to recall the Men of Roses' story.

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bus rally

The Men of Roses

Oregon State Athletics will be honoring the Men of Roses, the heroes of World War II, and all veterans during the game with a variety of features. Here a few to watch for:


HP Men of Roses Tent

Visit the HP Men of Roses Tent at Parker Plaza to see the 1942 and 2017 Rose Bowl Trophies side-by-side, and much more.

Tribute to Fallen Soldiers

The Flame of the Fallen Soldier, carried by the Tribute to Fallen Soldiers motorcycle group, will lead Beaver Walk at 5:30 p.m. 40 motorcycles will be in Parker Plaza afterward.

End of First Quarter

Andy Landforce, a student at the time of the game and member of the team, and player families will be honored on the field for their part in making Oregon State and U.S. history.

Jack Yoshihara Honoring

Jack Yoshihara, a Japanese-American member of the team who was unable to travel, but was instead unjustly interned because of his heritage, will be honored.

Oregon State Marching Band

The Oregon State Marching Band will be playing songs from the 1940s as their part in honoring the team and the era.


The Men of Roses has teamed with Kip Carlson on a seven-part series documenting the story of Oregon State's 1942 Rose Bowl Championship team.

Part I: Unforseen Success

The Beavers began working on a 1941 football season in which little was expected of them. They would prove the nation wrong.

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Part II: We'll Be At Our Best

Oregon State College head football coach Lon Stiner said in 1939, "We'll be good in 1940. In 1941, we'll be at our best."

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Part III: Football Fever

The Beavers seemed assured their first-ever Rose Bowl berth – if they returned from Eugene with a win over Oregon.

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Part IV: Speculation Abounds

OSC secured a Rose Bowl berth by beating the Ducks. Eight days later, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, thrusting America into WWII.

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Part V: The Game is On

With a new site secured, the Beavers emerge as big underdogs and board the Beaver Express to cross the country.

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Part VI, Part VII

Parts VI and VII will be published in upcoming game programs for the Arizona and Oregon games, respectively.

More Coverage

War and Roses (SI)

Sports Illustrated recapped the story of the Men of Roses in its August 2013 issue, which is available free online.

Read Story

Jack Yoshihara's Story

Oregon Public Broadcasting documents the story of Jack Yoshihara, a Japanese-American member of the 1941 team who was unjustly interned in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Watch Story

Fields of Battle

Historian and author Brian Curtis has recently released a book about the 1942 Rose Bowl. Curtis will speak Friday at 4 p.m. in the Learning Innovation Center on campus.

View Book