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August 18 , 2007

Rohna Memories

Eyewitness to Tragedy


On November 26, 1943 the United States sustained its largest loss of troops at sea. Over 2,000 U.S. servicemen were aboard the British troop ship HMT Rohna in the Mediterranean on their way to the China-Burma-India Theater of war. Traveling in a convoy, the Rohna and 23 other ships were attacked by German bombers. After a fierce fight that ended with no ships lost, a single bomber made a final run. Armed with the latest technology (a rocket powered, remote controlled Henschel HS-293 glide bomb), it set its sights on the Rohna. Many men were killed instantly by the direct hit. Rescue ships spent hours pulling survivors from the water. By the time the losses were totaled, 1,015 U.S. servicemen had lost their lives.

During a four-year period, author Michael Walsh met with survivors at their annual reunions, sitting with them as they recorded their stories of that night. Rohna Memories: Eyewitness to Tragedy is a repository of their recollections, whenever possible in their own words. Also included are:

  • Diagrams and photos
  • Letters home
  • Witness reports
  • Tributes by relatives
  • Lists of survivors and casualties

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