presents "Ordinary Americans,"
a program to commemorate
the 75th anniversary of the
sinking of the HMT Rohna
-- the greatest loss of America lives
at sea, due to enemy action --
Monday, November 26, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
Henry A. Wallace Center at the
FDR Presidential Library and Home
HYDE PARK, NY -- On Monday, November 26, 2018 at 4:00 p.m., the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum will present
"Ordinary Americans," a program to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the HMT Rohna
-- the greatest loss of America lives at sea, due to enemy action. Family members of those who survived and those who perished will share their stories. The event will be held in the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home.
This is a free public event but registration is required.
On November 26, 1943, a British troop ship, the HMT
, carrying American servicemen, was struck by a new weapon of war -- the Henshcel 293, a radio-controlled, rocket guided missile. This weapon was part of the German V-2 program which Hitler believed would lead to the conquest of Europe and the world. More than 1,000 American servicemen perished in the Mediterranean Sea on that Thanksgiving Day 75 years ago. The survivors would go on to serve in the China Burma India Theatre.
The American and British governments suppressed news of the disaster. Survivors were not allowed to discuss or write home so as "not to give comfort to the enemy." Families of those who perished received the notice "the Secretary of War sends his deepest regrets in the loss of your son." Declassified in 1993, the
disaster remains the great secret of WWII.
The panel will include
(sharing the story of her uncle, William George Brown, who survived the sinking and went on to serve),
Jack and Barbara Ballo
(whose uncle, Joseph Pisinski , perished on the
Remembrance Committee in West Haven, Connecticut (the committee was created to honor the three sons of the town who perished). All panel members discovered the
and their connection to the disaster through the discovery of letters, a discovery which led them to tell the story of the
Please contact Cliff Laube at (845) 486-7745 with questions about the event.