PVT Edward Dale “Dale” Finn

PVT Edward Dale “Dale” Finn

Ohio, USA
Death 26 Nov 1943 (aged 19–20)
At Sea
Burial Willard, Huron County, Ohio, USA
Memorial ID 119911067 · View Source
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US Army Air Corps WORLD WAR II
Passenger Pvt. Edward D. Finn MIA/KIA
853rd Engineer BN. Avn. Corps of Eng.
Ship: HMT Rohna
Service # 3554103
Awards: Purple Heart

Mission: Troop Transport Convoy KMF-26
Loss Date: November 26, 1943
Location: Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Algeria.
Cause: German guided missile
Crew: On Board 2000 · Saved 606 · Lost 1138

This was the first successful "hit" of a merchant vessel at sea carrying US troops by a German remote-controlled, rocket-boosted bomb, thus giving birth to the "Missile Age", and it resulted in the greatest loss of troops (1,015) at sea in U.S. history. Combined with the loss of ship's crew and officers, and three Red Cross workers, more lives were lost than on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor.

The "hit" was so devastating that the U.S. Government placed a veil of secrecy upon it. The events which followed were so shameful that the secrecy continued for decades until recently (1967), 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. In 1995, over fifty years later, a group of survivors, next-of-kin and rescuers, came together for the sole purpose of enabling the creation and dedication of a Rohna Memorial.

On November 26, 1943 nearly two thousand American soldiers faced the most traumatic experience of their young lives. They woke up that morning aboard a vessel that some described as unfit for human habitation. Just a bunch of kids, mostly only a year or so out of high school. Exhibiting the expected Yankee cockiness, they were ready to take on anything the war had to offer. Having survived a Thanksgiving Day dinner the day before, things just had to get better. The sad part of it was, this would be the last Thanksgiving for over half of them!

The minesweeper USS Pioneer rescued 606 survivors of the sinking.
Pvt. Finn does not appear in Tablets of the Missing North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial Carthage Tunis, Tunisia. His memorial Greenwood Cemetery Huron County Ohio may contain his remains and it is likely that his body was recovered and interned in this US grave.

Visit the virtual cemetery of the href="http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=vcsr&GSvcid=467197/a">" HMT
Rohna Crew
Provided by: John Dowdy (#47791572)
Dale Finn in household of Roy Finn, "United States Census, 1940"

Name: Dale Finn
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1940
Event Place: Steuben, Greenfield Township, Huron, Ohio, United States
Gender: Male
Age: 17
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Relationship to Head of Household: Son
Birthplace: Ohio
Birth Year (Estimated): 1923
Last Place of Residence: Same House
Household Gender Age Birthplace
Head Roy Finn M 54 Illinois
Wife Edith Finn F 45 Illinois
Son Author Finn M 25 Indiana
Son Dale Finn M 17 Ohio


Edward D Finn, "United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946"

Name: Edward D Finn
Name (Original): FINN EDWARD D
Event Type: Military Service
Event Date: 09 Jan 1943
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Event Place: Toledo, Ohio, United States
Race: White
Citizenship Status: citizen
Birth Year: 1923
Birthplace: OHIO
Education Level: Grammar school
Civilian Occupation: Semiskilled chauffeurs and drivers, bus, taxi, truck, and tractor
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
Military Rank: Private
Army Branch: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
Army Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source Reference: Civil Life
Affiliate Publication Title: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938-1946

Family Members



Lost at sea Co C 853rd Eng AVN (WWII)


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  • Created by: SavingRecordsForOurFuture
  • Added: 6 Nov 2013
  • Find a Grave Memorial 119911067
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for PVT Edward Dale “Dale” Finn (1923–26 Nov 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 119911067, citing Greenwood Cemetery, Willard, Huron County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by SavingRecordsForOurFuture (contributor 47454702) .