Corp Charles Washington Buis

Corp Charles Washington Buis

Putnam County, Indiana, USA
Death 27 Nov 1943 (aged 21)
At Sea
Burial Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia
Plot Tablets of the Missing
Memorial ID 56245929 · View Source
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from FAG# 46867008
Orlena was not the mother of Charles Washington Buis. His father Maynard was married in 1920 to Osa Mae Cummings, they divorced and both later remarried. Maynard did not marry Orlean until about 1924. Please change Charles' mother to Osa Mae Cummings, memorial #55876251. See Indiana Birth Certificates 1907-1940 at, certificate #15381:
Name Charles Washington Buis
Gender Male
Birth Date 2 Mar 1922
Birth Place Marion, Putnam, Indiana, USA
Registration Year 1922
Father Harry Maynard Buis
Mother Osa Mae Cummings
Certificate Number 15381
Roll number 007
Agency Indiana State Board of Health
Volume Range 31 - 35

US Army Air Corps WORLD WAR II
Passenger Corporal, Charles W. Buis MIA/KIA
322nd Fighter Control Squadron
Hometown: Indiana
Ship: HMT Rohna
Service # 35563638
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.

Visit the virtual cemetery of the " HMT Rohna Crew

Family Members

Gravesite Details Entered the service from Indiana.


In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees


  • Maintained by: John Dowdy
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56245929
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Corp Charles Washington Buis (2 Mar 1922–27 Nov 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 56245929, citing North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial, Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia ; Maintained by John Dowdy (contributor 47791572) .