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180 entries.
Sharon Rosen Mitchell Sharon Rosen Mitchell from Salt Lake City and Brooklyn wrote on April 29, 2018 at 11:19 pm:
Hello. My uncle, Harold Rosen was lost at sea during the tragedy. He was in the 853 army-airforce division. I have been intensely searching for someone who knew him. He is from Brooklyn, New York, and had just turned 18 like so many men. Any info would be appreciated. Since my dad (his brother) passed away, I have continued the search on his behalf.
Mark Osowski Mark Osowski from Amherst , Wi. 54406 wrote on April 29, 2018 at 9:44 pm:
My dad was a survivor and originally wasn’t,t on the list . He was a last minute troop transfer and his name was missed . I worked with the Rohna assoc. and they were able to get him listed on survivors list . He was one of the last to get saved and I will never forget his stories . I have his diary and it has all the names of his buddy,s that didn’t,t make it . For many years my father always disappeared on Nov . 26 from his family trying to forget what happened . I miss you Dad , Love Mark
Pam Thomas Pam Thomas from Evansville wrote on April 6, 2018 at 1:52 pm:
My uncle (Father's brother) died on the Rohna. His name was Walter Perry Herman from Hudson N.C. I am wondering if there are any survivors alive today. I would love to hear from you. Like most families little was known about the tragedy until recently and I so appreciate the information on the website.
Scott neal Scott neal from Camden sc wrote on March 12, 2018 at 12:31 pm:
Do any of of you have any information on my grandfather James m neal who was in the 31st signal construction . My dad was only 6 months old when he was killed.we are very proud of him but I only know what I've read on the web site.thanks
John Dolan John Dolan from West Haven CT. wrote on February 9, 2018 at 10:42 am:
We are planning to honor the following 3 men from our town of West Haven CT, who we discovered this past year all perished in the Rohna tragedy. They enlisted on the same day in January 1943. Pfc. John T. Cox Pfc. Pasquale J. Logiodice Pfc. Pacifico Migliore We are attempting to reach out to surviving family members and so far have only contacted a member of the Logiodice family. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
William Hansen William Hansen from St. Louis wrote on January 31, 2018 at 10:09 pm:
Very interested in the Memphis gathering. Just found out my Uncle died as a Rohna Casualty I'm one of the only family member's that know what happened. Grandparent's, Parents, Aunts and Uncles all gone now. They never new. the story. My Uncle was John F. Hansen.
Tracey Bannon Tracey Bannon from San Diego wrote on January 17, 2018 at 7:24 am:
Just wondering if any one knows the venue for the 2018 Reunion in Memphis? Trying to make our flight and hotel reservations. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
Forrest Goodman Forrest Goodman from Dadeville wrote on January 12, 2018 at 2:55 pm:
My Father in Law's older Brother Eugene Rex Goodman was 322 AC went down on the Rohna the family never knew any of the particulars of his death due to it being classified . One evening after listening to my Father in Law speak of his brother I asked what ship it was he said Rohna So I went home and looked it up on the computer we were able to pull up information that had just been placed on the internet I was able to copy the information and give it to him, he sat and cried having never known what had happened all those years, at least 60 years since it had happened. this past week I found books that were written and purchased them and read them. Those that experienced this will forever haunt my mind all those wonderful men all those lives. Thank you so much for telling the story it will not be forgotten in this family. Thank you for all you did have done . The Goodman Family
Curtis Hart Curtis Hart from Lacey, Wash. wrote on January 4, 2018 at 12:09 pm:
My uncle, Ronald H. Neilson, was a survivor. His nickname was Buck. He was my mom's oldest brother in a family of 9 children. He was from Lamont, Iowa, but died later in a car accident. Does anyone remember or know him?
William Hansen William Hansen from St. Louis, Missouri wrote on December 28, 2017 at 3:25 pm:
My Uncle John Hansen was a 853rd casualty on the Rohna. My Grandparents, Father, Uncles and Aunt never new what happened. They new there was secrecy but didn't know the name of the ship or how it sunk. They were led to believe there were no survivors and it was sunk by torpedos. I have been doing family ancestry research and just dug this information up yesterday.
John cain John cain from Peabody, mass wrote on November 16, 2017 at 7:17 am:
My father Captain John Cain, was a Convoy Officier on HMT Rohna, he was one of the last to leave the ship, he spent hours in the ocean finally p/u by a English Corvette. He was haunted by the memory of GI with full equipment on, jumped into the ocean and died. Does anyone remember my Dad?? Thx.
Max Timbrook Max Timbrook from Mitchell, Indiana wrote on October 11, 2017 at 1:31 pm:
A retired pastor pursuing fate of Ermal R. Lynn Pfc aboard the Rohna. I tried to minister and comfort his distraught mother during 1970's. Tried in vain to get information from the military. She passed never hearing this tragic story. She was a widow. One of the bits of information she mentioned was someone saw Ermal swimming in the water. Also mentioned a troop train coming thru Mitchell with him on it. Other family members are not aware of the truth. We are trying to locate them via genealogy info. Any help would be appreciated.
Judy Cunigan De Armond Judy Cunigan De Armond from Conyers, GA wrote on September 28, 2017 at 9:15 am:
I'm just now finding your page, and am delighted to see the names of my dad's crew members that he spoke so fondly of. My dad, Sam Cunigan was one of the Pioneer crew on that fateful day. My sister and I grew up hearing about the rescue mission! I accompanied him to many memorial services over the years, and recall one in Alabama, specifically to dedicate a plaque to the Rohna. I'm quite proud of my dad's legacy, and thank you for this site/webpage. You've bought back many great memories! Thank you for the heroism of many that historic and fateful day. I am honored to have met several of my dad's shipmates, and am ever grateful for your service. I own personally autographed copies of 2 of Carlton Jackson's books, an excellent rendition of this chapter in history. I remember how thrilled my dad was when Mr. Jackson asked to interview him, after the information about the sinking of the Rohna was regarded as 'classified' for many years. Prayers still for those who were in harm's way and their families. Judy Cunigan De Armond, R.N.; email:
sharon mitchell sharon mitchell from Salt Lake City, Utah, Hometown is Brooklyn, New York. wrote on September 26, 2017 at 12:02 am:
Hi folks, Harry (Harold) Rosen of the 853 was a casualty. Does anyone know anything about him, or remember him? He was originally from the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn. My email is
Brian Warren Brian Warren from Syracuse,New York wrote on September 8, 2017 at 6:36 am:
My fathers name is William S Warren he is 92 and still living. He was an Army medic and was on the Rohna the day before it was sunk. His medical unit was transfered to the Hmt Rajula switching places with an Army air corps unit. Does anyone know of a list of units that were on board the day of the disaster. I have hired a military researcher and been unable to find the unit my father was attached to at that time. If anybody can help I would appreciate it. Thanks Brian
Rosemary Beever Rosemary Beever from Wausau wrote on September 4, 2017 at 10:43 am:
Question for any survivors: Did anyone know Herbert Weidenbenner? His sister, my mother, is still living at 92 yrs old. He went down with the ship. He was 27 yrs old and in the medical Corp he had black hair & blue eyes from Glennonville Missouri. Anything known about him would-be nice to know. Thank you. My email is
Elaine ( Spears ) Grman Elaine ( Spears ) Grman from Staunton, Il wrote on August 28, 2017 at 5:44 pm:
Thank you for the info about my Father, Sgt Earl J. Spears. His extended family, including his great-great- grand children, now know the truth about their brave ancestor. May He now rest in peace.
Elaine Grman Elaine Grman from Staunton wrote on August 28, 2017 at 5:49 am:
Until rec info from this site, our family only new the Gov't's false story. My Father, Earl Joseph Spears, died on the Rohna and was never found. May God bless all who gave their lives! Thank you for this site.
Michael Hernandez Michael Hernandez from La MIrada wrote on July 15, 2017 at 2:04 pm:
I am a grandson of a former CBI veteran of the 7th Bombardment Group. Since 2010, I have been assembling a data base of names of men who were associated with the Seventh, and that served in the India-Burma Theater. With nearly 5,800 names in the data base, I have come to learn much about these men and their heroic efforts. I did not know about the tragedy of the sinking of the Rohna until just recently. I look forward to reading about those lost and those that survived. Can you provide me with the names of any of those aboard the ship that had been assigned to the 7th Bomb Group? I have found the name, Charles E. Fouhy, Jr., who was a survivor and was assigned to the Group, and arrived in Theater in February 1944. Thank you for any assistance that you can offer. Best regards, Michael P. Hernandez
Elaine Grman Elaine Grman from Staunton,Il wrote on June 29, 2017 at 9:44 pm:
My father was lost at sea on this date, during the invasion of Italy, when I was just over two years old. How can I find out if he was on this ship?
Monique D Sifers Monique D Sifers from Kansas City wrote on June 7, 2017 at 10:14 am:
My grandfather, Ralph V. Sifuentes, died on the Rohna and my dad never met him. I was wondering if anyone had any information that I could pass on to my father.
Jake Jacoby Jake Jacoby from Hubert, NC wrote on June 4, 2017 at 7:50 pm:
I've just put two and two together. My dad had told me that he lost two brothers in WWII. He said one of them (Edward Jacoby) was lost at sea and not much was known about his fate. This was 30 or 40 years ago. This memorial day I stumbled across and article about the Rohna. I cross checked the dates and ... Bingo the dates matched. Thanks so much for this site and the info it contains for the families that never knew what happened to loved ones!.. I spent time in USMC as a Marine Aviator and have quite a bit of time cruising the Mediterranean never knowing how close I was to where my uncle lost his life. Call sign .. OB1... out
Brian Richard Allen Brian Richard Allen from Los Angeles wrote on May 31, 2017 at 1:59 am:
Vale, Brave Warriors. Thank you for your service. Thank you, all, for your lives.
Pat Lowman Pat Lowman from Menifee, cai think my Dad was wrote on May 29, 2017 at 5:44 pm:
I think my Dad was on this boat & survived but went to India from there. His names was James Stephen Broaderick. How would I find out. I am assuming there's a list of men who made it to Burma.
John porreca John porreca from Odessa wrote on May 29, 2017 at 10:35 am:
A salute to all the troops on the HMS Rohan. Thank you for your service.
Kirk Smith Kirk Smith from Columbiaville, MI wrote on May 28, 2017 at 6:24 pm:
My uncle Ernie was one of the men lost. I never knew him but through my father's stories about him as he was Dad's closest brother. Dad passed on never learning of his little brother's fate.
Jennifer Smith Jennifer Smith from Levittown, PA wrote on May 26, 2017 at 11:48 am:
Hi, I’ve recently found out that my Uncle William M Fairhurst was aboard the Rohna. He was a US Army Private from Pennsylvania and was listed as Missing in Action on 11/27/1943 and is listed on this site as a casualty. While I never met him, my mom remembers him fondly. I know it’s a long shot but if anyone has any information or heard any stories about him, I’d be very interested to hear them. Thanks, Jennifer
Joanne Ramirez Joanne Ramirez from Canoga Park wrote on May 25, 2017 at 11:54 am:
Until I found this website the stories of my Uncle Guy Tramontano were just that, stories. My Mom passed 6 months ago and she never forgot her brother or the story about how he parrished. I wish I'd only have found this website before she died so she could have some closure over her precious brother's death.
sharon mitchell sharon mitchell from slc wrote on May 21, 2017 at 11:24 pm:
Hi folks, Harry (Harold) Rosen of the 853 was a casualty. I recently had a stone erected at Arlington for him as he was lost at sea. My dad passed away without any information about his brother. Does anyone know anything about him?
Diane Wahl Diane Wahl from Post Falls ID wrote on April 14, 2017 at 5:51 am:
My uncle Loyal Smith was on the Rohna. He was married with a new baby when he left for war. He was washed ashore at Algiers. My 87 year old mother wonders if any of the survivors remember him.
Marcy Brod Marcy Brod from Mount Laurel wrote on March 15, 2017 at 4:19 pm:
My 93 year old dad is a survivor of the Rohna. He lives in Marlton, NJ. His name is Robert I Greenberg originally from Phila. Does anyone know how many survivors are still with us?
Joseph W Hakkinen, PhD Joseph W Hakkinen, PhD from Bastrop Texas wrote on January 15, 2017 at 2:18 pm:
My uncle, Lawrence Lukasevicius from Gardner Massachusetts was one of the many who died on the Rohna. He has one surviving sister, Monica L Lukasevicius (Hakkinen), who will be 102 in April 2017 and still lives in Gardner MA. One of my cousins, James Kraskouskas, from the same home town has organized a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in honor of our Uncle Larry for June of this year. We will be thinking of the families of all those who perished along with our uncle on the HMT Rohna. I appreciate reading the accounts of the survivors of this tragedy. Thank you.
James Kraskouskas James Kraskouskas from Gardner, MA wrote on January 9, 2017 at 6:30 am:
On June 17, 2017 at 1:15PM we will be having a Wreath Laying Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery for my Uncle Cpl Lawrence Lucasavicius.
Dennis Hume Dennis Hume wrote on November 26, 2016 at 1:00 am:
On the anniversary of this awful event my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Dennis Hume Grandson of Captain T.J.Murphy, Master of HMT Rohna
Laurie Hiatt Laurie Hiatt wrote on November 12, 2016 at 2:37 pm:
Robert C. Hiatt from Ft. Smith AR was my great Uncle. He was among the 1,015 who died in the attack. He was in the 853rd Engineer BN. Avn. Corps of Eng. He was 32 years old and the son of Sherman and Maude Hiatt.
Brian Paul Thibodeau Brian Paul Thibodeau wrote on October 15, 2016 at 3:05 pm:
I ran into a man last night who told me a story about the Rohna Disaster. He said he was posted to the prow of the ship one moment and in the water the next. On his next posting he was pulled aside by commander, and he was asked where he had been wounded. He replied he was unable to speak about it. The Capt. Pushed for an answer it was the same. The Capt. was able to learn something and put the man up for a Purple Heart. The soldier told him he could not accept the medal -- he would not be able explain it.
Arron Paskavitch Arron Paskavitch wrote on October 5, 2016 at 5:37 pm:
My grandfather John Paskowski was a great man and almost a friend to me. I remember playing tic-tac-toe with him as a young boy.
Traci Mills Traci Mills wrote on September 28, 2016 at 11:18 am:
My grandfather, Edward \"Pete\" Willeford was on the Rhona and survived the attack. He passed away some years back but our family still honors his service and sacrifice along with all those who served on the Rhona. I hope to some day visit the memorial in his honor. Thank you for continuing to honor those that served on the Rhona.
Karen Davis Karen Davis wrote on September 26, 2016 at 8:32 pm:
Hello, I write today after doing a little research about the HMT Rohna and finding this website. My grandfather is Wheeler, Sgt. James E. RH705AAA and he was a survivor of this disaster. Sadly, he passed away last week at the age of 97. He led a full life and didn\'t slow down until a few years ago. I am very proud to call him my grandpa and to have him with us as long as we did. My heart aches for all the men that lost their lives that day. May all of the men Rest in Peace. With deepest regards, Karen Davis
S. Mazanka S. Mazanka wrote on September 25, 2016 at 11:38 pm:
Hi. my relative, Walter J. Mazanka (possibly service # T/5, 36555153 CE or technician fifth grade serv ) served on the Rohna._ Does anyone have pictures, please?_ they would be the only pics we\'d have of him._ Or stories if anyone knew him. _all relatives of his have passed, so I want to get as much info as I can._ {I did buy the Rohna book} Thanks much
Emily A Diana Emily A Diana wrote on August 17, 2016 at 2:47 am:
I am the daughter of Emanuel \"Min\" Diana, who was a survivor of the Rohna
Heather Paulsen Heather Paulsen wrote on July 30, 2016 at 4:39 am:
My great uncle Clyde Lerand died on the Rohna. I recall many stories from my grandmother of her five brothers, but Clyde dying and a second brother dying 7 months after was heartbreaking for a little sister. She shared the details of the men coming to the door to tell my great grandparents the news. She told me he drown while trying to save another. I don\'t know if this was fact or something the family was told to help comfort them.
Beth Manry Beth Manry wrote on July 12, 2016 at 3:00 am:
Such a tragedy.
Patricia paternoster Patricia paternoster wrote on July 4, 2016 at 4:55 am:
My father was a survivor of the Rhona his name was Anthony paternoster he\'s no longer with us but I\'m sure he would have appreciated this website
Vest,Avery C. Vest,Avery C. wrote on June 28, 2016 at 10:00 pm:
I am the grandson of Vest,Drexel Pfc. 35798183 AC.I was wondering if any of the survivors remembered him? My father never got to meet him,as my grandmother was expecting him,when my grandfather shipped out.I would love to hear some stories about him,if at all possible?
Mary Jo Bryer Palmer Mary Jo Bryer Palmer wrote on June 22, 2016 at 1:23 am:
My father, Frank Bryer, was a Rhona survivor. I had hoped to come to the reunion this year, as it is closer to me than other years, but I cannot. My father had nightmares and relived his experience for many years, although able to share it with high school students up until 5 years ago when his memory started to fade and speech became more difficult. He died in January this year and I honored his Army service and Rhona experience in his eulogy, showing his strength and faith from this experience making him the man he was. A Grove City College professor attended the funeral and after hearing the story, he wrote an article for a the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. I have attached the link to this email. ( and the article is below: Remembering the Rohna By Paul Kengor | Saturday, June 4, 2016, 9:00 p.m. A reunion will be held this month at the Crowne Plaza in Dayton, Ohio. It will be unlike any of your family reunions this summer. Very few will know about it, and fewer still will attend, including the tiny number of remaining survivors. The survivors probably will not include many (if any) of the 19 men from Allegheny County who served in the 322nd Fighter Control Squadron and 853rd Engineer Aviation Battalion — who experienced the horror of the event. The reunion will be for the survivors of something called the Rohna. The Rohna was a huge British ship that on Nov. 26, 1943, the day after Thanksgiving, was transporting an American crew to the Far East. It went down in the Mediterranean, the victim of a German missile. It was not just any missile. This was the first successful “hit” by a radio/remote-controlled “glider” bomb. It was a guided missile, and the Nazis had achieved the technology first. More than 1,000 soldiers perished, rivaling the loss at the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor. But these boys would get no memorial. Their government kept the entire episode secret out of fear of information being leaked about the Germans\' new weapon. “The U.S. government placed a veil of secrecy upon it,” states the Website of the Rohna Survivors Association. “The events which followed were so shameful that the secrecy continued for decades until recently, when documents were grudgingly released under pressure of the Freedom of Information Act. The government still does not acknowledge this tragedy; thus most families of the casualties still do not know the fate of their loved ones.” It is sad that only now, long after the few survivors are even fewer, that the Rohna survivors are attempting to hold reunions. One who will not be attending is Frank Bryer of Grove City. “Dad was haunted frequently by this,” Frank\'s daughter, Mary Jo, told me, “but it was not so much the sinking of the ship, but his inability to save many men that haunted him.” As the ship burst into a fireball, Frank was directed toward a lifeboat packed with injured soldiers. He was ordered to single-handedly lower the boat. This was no simple task, especially in a chaotic situation. A craft filled with men isn\'t light, and the engulfing flames didn\'t help. The ropes broke and Frank watched the men below him fall into the sea to their death. Frank soon was forced to abandon ship as it quickly submerged. For his own crowded lifeboat, he and five other men seized a passing wooden bench. As the darkness slowly enveloped them, and with fear of more German missiles — and deadly sharks — Frank led the group in reciting the Lord\'s Prayer. The crew of six clung to their floating device. To their great fortune, they were in the water only for about six hours. A mine-sweep picked them up. They were taken to a facility in Algeria to recover. But for Frank, there was little comfort: “All I could think about was … the wounded soldiers that I could not save…. I couldn\'t sleep and had bad dreams, sometimes jumping out of bed and yelling for help.” Worse, Frank was not permitted to share what he went through. The survivors were ordered not to write or talk about the Rohna with their family or even among themselves. The military censorship was so strict that they were threatened with court martial if they disobeyed. But not anymore. This month in Dayton, the few survivors of the Rohna will talk openly at long last. But Frank Bryer will not be there. He died in January at age 92. May Frank Bryer rest in peace. And may the few survivors of the Rohna find some measure of peace. Paul Kengor is a professor of political science at Grove City College. His column appears on the first Sunday of the month. He plans to write another article closer to Veteran\'s Day with more information. I have made a scrapbook of dad\'s story. I hope someday in the near future to get to a reunion. Mary Jo Bryer Palmer daughter of a Rhona Survivor, Frank E. Bryer
Erik L Burro Erik L Burro wrote on June 21, 2016 at 12:34 pm:
I have been deeply touched by the accounts of the Rohna and Nels Quam\'s letter to family members that described this tragic ordeal. Knowing how many troop ships were relied upon during both WWI and WWII, it is miraculous that horrendous events, such as this, did not occur more frequently throughout the war years. What a shame it has taken this long to have a Memorial in their honor. America...........we salute you, our soldiers, sailors and those who served in Clara Barton\'s inspired American Red Cross. RIP
Alicia Patton Alicia Patton wrote on May 30, 2016 at 6:42 pm:
My great-uncle was Clifford Nulton who was a casualty of the Rohna. Sadly we have only one photo of him in his military clothing. He received a purple heart and too is sadly missing. My grandmother (his sister) said when he was leaving, he told their mother \"If the ship goes down, I am going to die. I do not know how to swim\".
Charlie Tressler Charlie Tressler wrote on May 22, 2016 at 12:26 am:
My Grandfather Floyd Calvin Tressler was aboard this ship. He never liked to talk about this as he lost many friends that day. Sadly he has passed away . Today my son began asking alot of questions about his pappy. Very informational site i thank you.
Belinda Metson Belinda Metson wrote on May 14, 2016 at 9:46 am:
My great-Uncle, Henry William Bly, known as Sonny, was lost on the Rohna. I have just taken my mother to the Brookwood Commonwealth Cemetary in the UK, where Sonny is rememebered as one of the missing. He served with the Royal Army Medical Corp as a Private. I am finding it very difficult to find out any information on the British that died on this ship; Can anyone provide me with any information please?
Chris Vest Chris Vest wrote on May 8, 2016 at 12:15 am:
I just found out tonight that my second cousin once removed died when the Rhona sank. His name is Drexel Vest and he was a Private with the 322nd Fighter Control Squadron.
Nancy paul Nancy paul wrote on April 26, 2016 at 2:56 pm:
Can\'t wait to attend the reunion.My grandfather was James Earl Steely. From Williamsburg,Ky.Body never recovered.Anyone remember him?I\'m bringing things my grandma had or my grandfather gave her.Some pictures also.Thanks
Douglas Manuel Douglas Manuel wrote on April 10, 2016 at 8:06 pm:
I never knew of this disaster. I am glad they have received recognition for their bravery and sacrifice.
Mary Elizabeth Valdez Mary Elizabeth Valdez wrote on April 4, 2016 at 4:01 am:
My father is still with us. He said that the survivors at the time were told not to speak of what occured. So he never told us his story until now that he is old. and he even recieved a purple heart award. Why did the government tell them not to say a word. I want my father to be honored and put his name with honor on the list that he was there and can now talk about what happen.
David Whithorn David Whithorn wrote on March 27, 2016 at 7:05 pm:
Yesterday, my wife found two little coffee spoons in a box of bits and pieces, little table tennis (\'Ping Pong\') trophies. One of them is engraved SS Rohna, a relic of the ship\'s happier past as a passenger liner around India in the 1920-30\'s. Doing a little background research revealed to us this tragic story - sobering - RIP, and thank-you to these men for our freedom today.
CAROLYN MOSSE CAROLYN MOSSE wrote on March 18, 2016 at 1:34 pm:
Robert C Parrish Robert C Parrish wrote on March 18, 2016 at 4:12 am:
Just saw the story about the Rohna on the history channel. I would like to welcome everyone to Dayton, Oh this year for Your reunion. Dayton is My hometown and I am sure You will enjoy the Wright-Patt AFB tour. Hope You get to spend some time at the US Air Force museum. God bless everyone of You and thank you for Your service.
David Gerstenmaier David Gerstenmaier wrote on March 12, 2016 at 12:37 am:
It with great sadness that I announce the passing of our father, Charles Irving Gerstenmaier. 4-19-1924/3-1-2016. 91 years old. (almost 92:) He was a proud survivor of the Rohna and always attended the reunions until very recently. He mourned the loss of his long forgotten shipmates. He was an inspiration to our family and lived his life with joy, love, happiness and a never ending thirst for knowledge. He was an amazing man from an amazing generation of men. He is survived by Katherine, his loving wife of 67 years, and a whole LOT of family whom they created. Our Dad will be forever missed, and the Rohna tragedy shall never be forgotten. Loving Son, Dave
David Gerstenmaier David Gerstenmaier from David Gerstenmaier wrote on March 11, 2016 at 5:18 am:
It with great sadness that I announce the passing of our father, Charles Irving Gerstenmaier. 4-19-1924/3-1-2016. 91 years old. (almost 92:) He was a proud survivor of the Rohna and always attended the reunions until very recently. He mourned the loss of his long forgotten shipmates. He was an inspiration to our family and lived his life with joy, love, happiness and a never ending thirst for knowledge. He was an amazing man from an amazing generation of men. He is survived by Katherine, his loving wife of 67 years, and a whole LOT of family whom they created. Our Dad will be forever missed, and the Rohna tragedy shall never be forgotten. Loving Son, Dave
Robert A. Neveu Robert A. Neveu wrote on March 1, 2016 at 6:09 pm:
This is an awesome webpage to honor those that lived and died on that day. My father ( Robert P.Neveu) was a survivor. He\'s no longer with us , but as long as I can remember part of our Thanksgiving celebration was my dad retelling about this and honoring those that died. He always found it frustrating that there was no information on this tragedy until I found an article in a WW2 publication that told the story. He kept that article until he passed. I just wish he had lived to see this. Thanks to all who worked hard to honor these men\'
Paul Eric Sandstrom Paul Eric Sandstrom wrote on February 29, 2016 at 9:00 pm:
My grandfather James T. Gillespie as a ship surgeon on one of the liberty ships which delivered servicemen to Algiers- after which they boarded the Rhona.
Liz Galvin Liz Galvin wrote on February 20, 2016 at 1:50 am:
John J. Galvin Survivor Will be respected Sunday 2/21 @ D\'Andrea Funeral Home Copiague, NY
Lori Bandini Lori Bandini wrote on January 20, 2016 at 3:19 am:
My Grandfather Joseph Malena from Monesson PA. was a seaman on the Rohna when it was bombed. My mother recalls having two uniformed Naval Officers come to their home and tell her mom of the fate of her husband. There is still a sadness in my mothers heart as she learned of the tragedy after her mother had passed as was not able to tell her of the secreacy of the mission and that is why the media was not able to talk about the truth of the Rohna for years. Problem is my grandfather\'s name doesn\'t appear on the list as deseased or missing on your website. However, my mother is determined that she was told by the V.A. that there is a memorial with her father\'s name somewhere in North Africa. How can we find out more information?
Mary Ellen Benevides Mary Ellen Benevides wrote on January 17, 2016 at 2:27 pm:
Hi, I am hoping someone can help me or point me in the right direction, I work in Fall River Ma and know a man named Manuel Carvalho, he claims he was on the Rohna when it was bombed and has many firsthand accounts of what went on. He remembers it like it was yesterday despite his age.... the problem is, the VA says they have no record of him because all records were destroyed, how can we prove he was there and how can we get the VA to acknowledge his service? He is 92 years old and I feel he will never get the acknowledgement or answers he deserves. Please contact me ASAP so we can validate his service. Thank you, I look forward to hearing from you! If anyone remembers him, please contact me!
David Hale David Hale wrote on December 11, 2015 at 9:13 pm:
My name is David Hale my uncle Charlie B. Hale served on the Rohna and went down with the ship. I wish I would have known him I know he\'s in a good place. I\'m very proud of him for serving his Country God Bless.
Patricia A. Galvin-Parton Patricia A. Galvin-Parton wrote on November 15, 2015 at 9:46 pm:
My father John J. Galvin is a Rohna survivor and is currently 94. He was originally from Brooklyn, NY and now Long Island. My brothers and I grew up with stories about the Rohna. His location on the ship was pretty high up and apparently not near the escape boats. He and his friends had to jump and unfortunately some of his friends were afraid of the jump and some couldn\'t swim. He talked about the Dolphins and holding on to hatches in the Mediterranean Sea while waiting to be rescued. His hands were burned and he stayed in a British Hospital in India. He made each of his 3 children learn how to swim before we started kindergarden and we each had to be able to jump off of a diving board into his arms. I will never forget those stories. Thanks for this wonderful website. I was showing him the pictures. Wherever he is, he always goes to Mass on November 25. In 2000, we were in the ancient town of Rothenberg and drove for miles to find Mass on Nov 25. His friends on the ship were never forgotten.
Donald Sellon Donald Sellon wrote on November 12, 2015 at 9:15 pm:
Proud son-in-law of Frank Schulz, survivor, now 96 years old and a remarkable human being!
Teresa Arnold Teresa Arnold wrote on November 12, 2015 at 1:23 am:
My great Uncle Rodolfo Rojas - My grandmother\'s little brother. How do I get a military picture. I had one but I can\'t find it. All his siblings have passed. Thank you
Dr Joan M Biello Dr Joan M Biello wrote on November 11, 2015 at 4:14 pm:
My father, Anthony Biello, who was in the Army Corps of Engineers, was a survivor of the Rohna disaster. Sadly, he passed away in March 2006. He never liked to talk about \"the ship,\" and always suffered on Thanksgiving Day when he thought about all the men who died. He could not swim and said someone had taken off his life jacket and put it on him. For many years, my father would go to church and light a candle for all those who perished. It is only fitting that on Veteran\'s Day we all light candles for all those who passed in service to our country.
Hal Johnston Hal Johnston wrote on October 11, 2015 at 2:34 am:
My dad, Hal Johnston, was on the HMT Banfora that was part of the convoy...are there any members here that were on the Banfora?
Christina A Montez Christina A Montez wrote on October 8, 2015 at 3:33 am:
I am trying to locate Raymond P. Alvarado, his wife, Emily or family. They are my godparents, and I have lost track of them. I am from Denver, Co. and now live in San Diego, CA. My father Larry, has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer\'s, my mother Mary, passed away in 1998. If someone can pass the information on to him or his family, I would be very thankful.
Eileen Welsh Ruske Eileen Welsh Ruske wrote on October 6, 2015 at 5:15 pm:
Just a follow up on an email I sent yesterday regarding my Dad, who is a survivor of the Rohna disaster in WWII. His name is not listed on the survivor list and our family would like to inquire into this matter. Our Dad turns 100 years old on January 4th, 2016. We are having a birthday party for him at which time we would like to present him with some visuals on his service in WW II. Is there any way someone could contact me regarding this? Our Dad is very much \" with it\" , great memory, still plays golf once a week ( is playing right now as I type this!!), he walks without assistance and is very conversant. He served in WW II in the United States Army and has told us that he was on the Rohna when it was bombed. His tour in WW II involved Northern Africa/Italy and China, Burma and India. His name is Raymond Timothy Welsh and he was born in Staten Island, New York. He had three brothers that also served in WW II. My cell phone number is 703-463-7809. Thank you so much!!
mark kaake mark kaake wrote on September 17, 2015 at 2:25 pm:
just watched the story about the rhona on the history sad for all the lives and families that were affected including mine after hearing the story.more sad than anything is our government covering it up and too think of how many other cover ups they are involved in where love ones are not accounted for in time of war very sad god bless
Jerry H Moore Jerry H Moore wrote on September 10, 2015 at 12:11 am:
I recently was doing family research and decided to search the date of my uncles death, 11-26-43. Much to my surprise the sinking of the Rohna came up. I knew that he had died on a ship near Africa but had never heard any details. His name (James H. Kemp, Cpl, 14018829, AC) was on the casualty list. He does not show up on the burials at the North Africa American Cemetery. Is there a list of names available for the wall of the missing? Our family had a funeral for him with a casket in Columbus, Ga around 1950 (I was very young and don\'t remember the date) but as I remember there was speculation that his body might not be in the casket. Were there any bodies transferred home after the war? I bought the book \"Rohna Memories\" to find out more of the details of his loss. It was a used book and contains signings of several of the authors. It is a great contribution to the history of the war.
Bruce Brown Bruce Brown wrote on September 5, 2015 at 12:53 am:
I only just learned of this tragedy because your group is considering our hotel for a 2016 meeting. I was curious about the tragedy and am saddened to hear of the scope of lives lost and the secrecy that went on far too long. I have more than a passing interest in WWII maritime warfare as my Grandfather was a Merchant Marine in the South Pacific. I am stunned I never heard of this before. Seems like I have a bit more research to do. God Bless all of you! Bruce
Marcia Scheppler Marcia Scheppler wrote on June 19, 2015 at 2:29 am:
Jack Sparacio was my uncle. George Straty wrote that my Uncle Jack died saving someone else. I would have loved to have met him. All of the stories that I have heard of him all relate that he was a very caring and funny man. I hope to make a trip to see the Rohna Memorial one day.
Shane Beatty Shane Beatty wrote on June 7, 2015 at 3:09 am:
My Great Uncle Cletus E. Beatty was a member of the 853rd Engineer BN. Avn. Corps of Eng, and perished in the sea in the loss of the HMT Rohna. His body washed ashore in North Africa, was buried there, later reburied in Italy, and then once again disinterred in Italy so that he could be repatriated to his family and to the country for which he made the ultimate sacrifice. He was reburied in Ivy Green Cemetery, Bremerton, Washington, where his remains rest to this day. His younger brother, my grandfather, Gerald Beatty, fought in the South Pacific and along with their other siblings and family members, mourned the loss of Cletus for the rest of their lives.
Weldon Mersiovsky Weldon Mersiovsky wrote on June 7, 2015 at 2:16 am:
Are their any survivors who remember Weldon Wald. He was my dad\'s best friend. I was named after him.
James H. Brayer James H. Brayer wrote on May 26, 2015 at 2:09 pm:
Mort Brayer was in the SC: 31st Signal Construction Battalion. He went on to serve in the CBI.
James H. Brayer James H. Brayer wrote on May 26, 2015 at 1:38 pm:
I remember my father, Morten F. Brayer, talking about being sunk on the HMT Rhona a few times. Bad food, the horror of those trapped inside, the escape from the ship, the long hours in the water, and the eventual rescue. His experiences help me appreciate the sacrifices of all veterans that were made to protect their home and families.
Jessie M. Harding Jessie M. Harding wrote on May 26, 2015 at 6:10 am:
On November 27, 1943, I marked my first birthday in CT. The day before, my uncle, Wargo, Albert S., Cpl., 33292627, AAF, perished on the Rohna. When he left the US in September, he had just been married in CT to my Aunt Elizabeth O\'Brien, my mother\'s sister. Thus, I never knew my Uncle Al. But I heard of him from my mother . I know my Aunt Elizabeth mourned him deeply . (She died in 2011.) His brother John Wargo died in action south of Rome in November, 1942 . I cannot imagine the grief John and Al\'s parents and two sisters endured. The men on the Rohna , casualties and survivors, deserve our greatest thanks and praise. I am hoping someone might remember Albert Wargo and tell me more of his story. Thank you.
Ignacio Perez Ignacio Perez wrote on May 26, 2015 at 12:53 am:
My great uncle Feliciano Garcia with the 853rd engineer battalion perished on the Rohna. After searching several military archive websites I was able to find out a lot of information my grandmother never knew of her brother. If anyone has any pictures of the 853rd please contact me, 940 595-1638. Thank you and never forget our fallen heroes.
Tracey Bannon Tracey Bannon wrote on May 23, 2015 at 8:27 pm:
Dwight F., Sgt., 19100125, INF This was my uncle. His family never knew what happened and never got over the uncertainty of his death. His family had his Purple Heart but never his story. Dwight was greatly loved and the youngest of the family. My brother was named after him. I hope one day this story gets the attention it deserves.
Theresa Schneider Moran Theresa Schneider Moran wrote on May 23, 2015 at 5:13 pm:
My Uncle William J. Schneider was on the Rohna. He was in the 853rd Engineer Aviation Battalion. He did not survive. I like to think his death was quick, with no suffering... My Father Harvey Schneider received a visit at his home with an officer telling his brother was lost at sea. My Father passed away in 1987 never knowing the truth of how his brother died. He talked of him on occasion with sadness in his eyes. He named my brother after him. My brother now holds his purple heart that was sent to my father. William ( my brother ) found out about the Rohna a few years back. Needless to say all William\'s nieces and nephews were very shocked that this was covered up for so long. Also very difficult to think of all the young lives lost that day. William was 19 or 20 years old. Many Thanks for all that serve our country !!!
Halie Susan Ellsworth Halie Susan Ellsworth wrote on May 22, 2015 at 10:48 pm:
My name is Halie S. Ellsworth and I was just recounted and amazing story of my great grandfather, John Lincoln Gray, 853rd Engineer BN. Avn. Corps of Eng. and I am just in awe. My uncle just explained his entire military experience and his death and how he died on the Rohna ship. I only just found out about this now, May 15th, 2015, and I would like to get as much information as possible about him. Anyone?
Jason A Helfman Jason A Helfman wrote on May 14, 2015 at 2:06 pm:
I was watching the History channel and found out about the Rohna. It is a real shame the government kept this hidden for so long. The men are heroes.
Peggy Mac Peggy Mac wrote on May 11, 2015 at 3:17 pm:
Thanks for all the work establishing this memorial. I was searching for information on a relative that I knew was killed on a troop ship in WW II but our family thought he was traveling to England. I can now put accurate information in our \"Family Tree\" and for the Find A Grave memorial for 30 year old Pvt. Homer S. Jones, KIA on the Rohna.
Philip R Ramos Philip R Ramos wrote on May 9, 2015 at 2:05 am:
My Uncle who I am named after (Philip R Ramos) was killed on the Rohna. My family did not know until I found this site in the late 90\'s
Kara Shore Kara Shore wrote on May 6, 2015 at 12:04 am:
My great uncle (Bill Caskey) was a survivor... and a hero like so many who served in WWII. This story should front and center in history books and taught in classrooms - for shame that it was kept in the dark for so long. A thank you from my generation to all who have or now serve for my freedom, May you never be \'hidden\' but honored.
Lorie Barnett Lorie Barnett wrote on April 20, 2015 at 12:30 am:
Sgt Dwight F Bannon 19100125 was an ancestor of mine. He was unmarried at the time of the tragedy and left no heirs. I am his 3rd cousin.
Jeffrey Gray Jeffrey Gray wrote on April 18, 2015 at 10:25 pm:
My name is Jeffrey Gray and my grandfather, John Lincoln Gray, 853rd Engineer BN. Avn. Corps of Eng, was one of those who lost his life aboard the Rohna. I only learned of the details surrounding my grandfathers death in the last few years and I would like to get in touch with anyone who may have known him. He was from West Long Branch, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Anyone?
Paul DeLameter Paul DeLameter wrote on March 30, 2015 at 8:58 pm:
My uncle William Carl DeLamater serial# 39262653 AAF is said to have died aboard the Rohna. Birth: Oct. 17, 1920 Death: Nov. 27, 1943, At Sea USAAF WORLD WAR II Passenger Tech/5th. Class William De Lameter DIS Unit: 322nd Fighter Control Squad. Aviation Hometown: California Service #39262653 Awards: Purple Heart
Michael M Wilde Michael M Wilde wrote on March 19, 2015 at 6:47 am:
As a follow-up to my previous post about my father, Rohna survivor Arnold R. Wilde. We are not related to any of the other Wilde\'s on either list. My Grandfather Wilde was Latvian. He changed the spelling of our name from Vilde to Wilde and pronounced the \"e\" after immigrating to America. My Dad, Arnold R. Wilde, passed away April 26, 2013 at the age of 95. He retained a sharp mind right up to the end. I miss him so very much as well as my mother who passed away on June 6, 2003. My siblings and I are the most fortunate kids in the world to have the parents we did. Michael M. Wilde
Michael M. Wilde Michael M. Wilde wrote on March 19, 2015 at 6:32 am:
My father Arnold R. Wilde was a survivor of the sinking of the Rohna. He was a Captain at the time and Battalion Adjutant of the 853rd Engineer Aviation Battalion. As did many, Dad spent several hours in the Mediterranean and was one of those rescued by the Pioneer. His legs were badly burned during the incident. He also distinctly remembers being in Bougie not Phillipveille. Whether he was transported to Bougie after disembarking in Phillipeville or not I do not know or recall him saying so. He rarely if ever mentioned the ordeal of the Rohna until he was well into his 60\'s as I remember. I was a caregiver for him for several years. I am also a Navy veteran. Those who served in the military talk to others who served in a way difficult for others to completely understand. Most of the things he described are too horrendous to mention but remained vivid -- permanently etched in his mind. He recalled the surrealness of the ordeal. He finally jumped ship with a fellow 853rd officer James Stewart (not the actor). He also mentioned the fire from the Rohna lighting up the surrounding waters and how the strafing went on until the Rohna sunk and the fires dissipated. He doesn\'t exactly remember what it was he and others were holding onto once in the water. Some piece of the Rohna. But he described riding the waves. How they would ride up a wave and go under the next wave on a rhythmic basis -- up on one and other the next. He said everytime they went into or under a wave he didn\'t know if he had the strength to hold on. Some didn\'t. In other words, he doesn\'t know how he survived and why others didn\'t. Dad went on to India with a remand 853rd and crisscrossed India building airfields in support of the Burma campaign. Dad was discharged at the rank of Major in 1946.
JEFFREY BEDNARZ JEFFREY BEDNARZ wrote on March 16, 2015 at 5:20 pm:
Albrecht, Paul E., T/4, 38027398 is my uncle and he was previously listed as buried, not MIA.
Natalie C. Coleman Natalie C. Coleman wrote on February 6, 2015 at 9:37 pm:
Can anyone who is helping to organize the next Rohna Reunion provide information on when and where the reunion will be held. Thank you very much, Natalie Coleman
Nanette Reid Nanette Reid wrote on January 25, 2015 at 8:56 am:
Greetings from Australia! My grandfather was aboard the Banfora as a gunner during the attack on the Rhona. I\'m interested to hear from surviving members of the Rohna and Banfora or any other related information. Cheers!
Susan Johnson Jeffcoat Susan Johnson Jeffcoat wrote on January 24, 2015 at 2:44 am:
I\'m From South Carolina- May All those lost rest in peaase and know they are not forgotten
Kathleen Richardson Kathleen Richardson wrote on January 20, 2015 at 2:26 am:
I\'m doing research on Pennsylvania native Jack D. Hackett, Pvt., 322nd Fighter Control Squadron, Air Corp, for his niece who is my neighbor and doesn\'t have a computer. He was only 19 when he died (missing) while being transported on the Rhona. If anyone has any information about him (especially from that time) that I can pass on to her, it would be greatly appreciated. I did find that he is memorialized on the Tablet of the Missing, North Africa American Cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia. Many thanks.
Jerry Brown Jerry Brown wrote on January 8, 2015 at 9:05 pm:
To the men and solders who were on the HMT Rohna God Bless.

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