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Pvt William Lewis Brandon

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Pvt William Lewis Brandon

Birth
Ellis County, Oklahoma, USA
Death
27 Nov 1943 (aged 36)
At Sea
Burial
Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia
Plot
Tablets of the Missing
Memorial ID
56245797 View Source

Published in THE DESERET NEWS, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, internet edition, MAY 19, 1944, PAGE EIGHTEEN

11 SERVICE MEN NAMED IN CASUALTY LIST FOR UTAH: FOUR KILLED, FOUR MISSING, TWO HELD PRISONER, ONE WOUNDED IN ACTION

KILLED: Pvt. William L. Brandon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Brandon and husband of Mrs. Maurine Johnson Brandon, all of Provo. Private Brandon was killed when an allied troopship was sunk Nov. 27 in the European theater. He was born in Oklahoma, Aug. 20, 1907. In 1935 he came to Provo with his parents.

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US Army Air Corps WORLD WAR II
Passenger Pvt. William L. Brandon, MIA/KIA
853rd Engineer Battalion, Aviation
Hometown: Provo Utah
Ship: HMT Rohna
Service # 39905493
Awards: Purple Heart
Captain:

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.

Visit the virtual cemetery o f HMT Rohna Crew
" Click Here "

Published in THE DESERET NEWS, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, internet edition, MAY 19, 1944, PAGE EIGHTEEN

11 SERVICE MEN NAMED IN CASUALTY LIST FOR UTAH: FOUR KILLED, FOUR MISSING, TWO HELD PRISONER, ONE WOUNDED IN ACTION

KILLED: Pvt. William L. Brandon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Brandon and husband of Mrs. Maurine Johnson Brandon, all of Provo. Private Brandon was killed when an allied troopship was sunk Nov. 27 in the European theater. He was born in Oklahoma, Aug. 20, 1907. In 1935 he came to Provo with his parents.

-----------------------------------------------------------

US Army Air Corps WORLD WAR II
Passenger Pvt. William L. Brandon, MIA/KIA
853rd Engineer Battalion, Aviation
Hometown: Provo Utah
Ship: HMT Rohna
Service # 39905493
Awards: Purple Heart
Captain:

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.

Visit the virtual cemetery o f HMT Rohna Crew
" Click Here "

Gravesite Details

Entered the service from Utah.


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