My father who served in Company C of the 96th Signal Battalion was on the Burma Road for two years.He told me about witnessing a ship sinking next to his and the horror of watching the soldiers in the water crying for help.His story had a lot of similarities with the TV documentary about the Rohna I saw
so I decided to do some research.The 96th Signal Battalion joined Convoy KMF 26 aboard the HMT Banfora which departed Oran Algiers on November 23 1943.The next day the HMT Rohna joined that convoy.The 96th Signal Battalion actually boarded the Rohna by mistake the day before and were relocated to the Banfora.When the Rohna was hit it was in the middle of an air attack by 14 German aircraft and the ship closest to it was the HMT Banfora.My father, a non swimmer was offered to be on deck during the attack in case they had to abandon ship.There he stood for the entire two and a half hour battle, holding onto the ship's railing wearing his helmet and life belt and his boots unlaced for easy removal.There he watched the Roha get hit, catch fire and explode.He saw the oil soaked men in the water screaming for help and was frustrated that the convoy was under orders not to stop for anything..Looking back at this not only was I amazed to be connected to this incredible historic event through my father, but also how close he was to sharing the same fate, first by boarding the Rohna and then by the same type of guided missile missing his ship.My dad died in 1998 but researching this event caused me to reflect on the sacrifice of all members of the greatest generation and the pride I have always felt for my father and his service.Thanks for reading this.
My uncle PV Authur G. Straub (35684593) was one of the casualties of the HMT Rohna sinking. To this day his two sisters (Ages 91 and 85) do not know the truth of his passing. My one Aunt still thinks that he was kill by friendly fire and that is why they never received any detail on his death. The only information they had was that he was killed in the Mediterranean and the date of the attack. Authur's Mom and Dad along with my Mother went to their graves never knowing how Authur died. I have found more information about the attack, name of the ship and other information in the past month then they received from the government over the past 75 years. Any information about Authur would be helpful. He was assigned to the CE Unit.
Thinking of you on the Anniversary.
Grandson of T J Murphy
My dad was a survivor,Cpl.Wayne L.Coy from Syracuse Ind.His best friends were also survivors,Clarence Bailey and Doc Boylen who he remained in contact with until they passed.
Correction to my previous entry. My uncle, James E. Phillips is listed as MIA. No tombstone but is listed on the Wall of Missing I hope. How can I find out?
My uncle, James E. Phillips, lost his life during the sinking of the Rohna. I had no idea there were survivors. My father had said the ship’s name was Kona, and I could find nothing about it. It is a blessing to know he is buried and has a tombstone in Africa. I would love to see it someday.
My grandfather, William H. Foster, was lost on the Rohna, his wife was only 21, my father, their son was 2.
My stepfather, Fordyce Carty was a survivor of this tragedy. He passed away March 13, 2008. May God bless all who survived and all who were lost.
Our dad, Arthur Campbell was a survivor. He and a friend, Mort Brayer, were together until picked up and dropped off in India until they could rejoin their unit. They had nothing except the clothes they were wearing. Mort had a watch, which they sold. They bought some food and another watch, which they then sold and kept doing this over and over until picked up. Years and years later, one early Thanksgiving morning, Dad received a phone call and he heard a familiar voice say, "Hey Buddy, wanna buy a watch?" It was, of course, his old buddy Mort. They reunited and were in touch until Mort passed away.
New website looks great - thanks!
Neither my brother nor ever have an opportunity to meet our Grandfather, Harold Reckseen. Although I am told he was courageous, caring, and kind man whom put others before himself. Harold was a Red Cross Field Director traveling on the Rohna and one of the many unfortunate tragedies. Our Aunt (Donna Reckseen and daughter of Harold Reckseen) has continued to share the story of the Rohna across now multiple generations of our Reckseen family...my brother and I are following her foot steps with our families as we feel it is important to always remember the sacrifices others made for us to be here living the lives we do today.
Harold: we thank you for giving us all the opportunity at life as well as your commitment and dedication to our country!! Love, your Family
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org