PFC Edward Harold Alfred

PFC Edward Harold Alfred

Illinois, USA
Death 27 Nov 1943 (aged 20)
At Sea
Burial Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA
Plot MA 0 10
Memorial ID 17552037 · View Source
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On 16 Feb 1943, Edward H. Alfred (B: 1923, Illinois) enlisted as a Private with the US Army in Peoria, Illinois. He was described as a resident of Montgomery, Ohio, 4 feet 10 inches, 138 pounds, a stock clerk, and 1 year of college.

Edward's marker is a Cenotaph, based on inscription "In Memory Of...".

Considering no remains are buried in the grave, Edward's date of passing was 9 months after his enlistment and 6 months before D-Day, he was with the Air Corps, his short height made him ideal for an aircraft gunner, and he was awarded a Purple Heart Medal; Edward H. Alfred was killed during when German guided missile struck the HMT Rohna in the Mediterranean sea.

US Army Air Corps WORLD WAR II
Passenger Private, Edward H. Alfred MIA/KIA
Hometown: Illinois
Ship: HMT Rohna
Service # 36448909
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.

Private Alfred appears Tablets of the Missing North Africa American Cemetery Carthage, Tunisia. This memorial marker at Santa Fe National Cemetery Santa Fe New Mexico, is a cenotaph his body was not recovered.

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PH (Purple Heart)


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  • Maintained by: John Dowdy
  • Originally Created by: Anonymous
  • Added: 17 Jan 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 17552037
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for PFC Edward Harold Alfred (14 Apr 1923–27 Nov 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 17552037, citing Santa Fe National Cemetery, Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA ; Maintained by John Dowdy (contributor 47791572) .