Pvt Lee F Duke

Photo added by Dan Phelan

Pvt Lee F Duke

Garvin County, Oklahoma, USA
Death 27 Nov 1943 (aged 22–23)
At Sea
Burial Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia
Memorial ID 56246701 · View Source
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Pvt Lee F Duke 38394647 853rd Engineers Battalion Aviation
KIA 27 Nov 1943 HMT Rohna
The sinking of the Rohna represented an historic first. It was the first U.S. ship destroyed by a guided missile in the history of warfare. Its destruction by those means was deemed classified, so that even the families who lost fathers, brothers, and sons were not told the circumstances of their loved ones deaths.

The Rohna began its fateful journey on November 24th 1943 at the port of Oran in Algiers, North Africa. There, over 2,000 American enlisted men boarded, And in the end, 1,015 American men lost their lives.

Private Duke went overseas about September 13. His battalion was attached to the Army Air Force, and was on its way to India by way of the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal. The 853rd Engineers had the task of taking over captured airfields and repairing them for the use of American air units.

Private Duke met his death on November 27, 1943, while troops were being transported on board the H.M.S. Rohna. The Rohna was sunk off the coast of Africa near Bone, Algeria. when a guided missile from a German plane struck her amidships. The missile impacted in a part of the ship where the 853rd Engineers was quartered, and many were killed instantly

Lee F Duke
Inducted From: Oklahoma
Rank: Private
Combat Organization: 853rd Engineers Battalion Aviation
Death Date: 27 Nov 1943
Monument: North Africa
Last Known Status: Missing
U.S. Awards: Purple Heart Medal


Gravesite Details Entered the service from Oklahoma.


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  • Maintained by: Robert Lee Layton Jr. [Okie Bob]
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56246701
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Pvt Lee F Duke (1920–27 Nov 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 56246701, citing North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial, Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia ; Maintained by Robert Lee Layton Jr. [Okie Bob] (contributor 47424372) .