Pvt Freddie Ensminger

Pvt Freddie Ensminger

Birth
Arkansas, USA
Death 27 Nov 1943 (aged 19–20)
At Sea
Burial Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia
Plot Tablets of the Missing
Memorial ID 56246823 · View Source
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Freddie Ensminger was the son of Fred and Mary Ensminger, both of whom had immigrated to America from Russia. The Ensmingers had a large family as evidenced by the 1930 US Census as follows:
Head Fred Ensminger M 49 Russia
Wife Mary Ensminger F 41 Russia
Son Allen Ensminger M 20 Oklahoma
Son Milton Ensminger M 19 Oklahoma
Dau Ruby H Ensminger F 18 Oklahoma
Son Rubin Ensminger M 18 Oklahoma
Son Lenard Ensminger M 16 Oklahoma
Son Otto Ensminger M 14 Oklahoma
Son Esra Ensminger M 13 Oklahoma
Dau Lenora E Ensminger F 11 Arkansas
Dau Fredia Ensminger F 10 Arkansas
Son Fred Ensminger M 7 Arkansas
Son Tedie J Ensminger M 8 Arkansas
Dau Vivian Ensminger F 5 Arkansas
Dau Mary J Ensminger F 3 Arkansas
Dau Vernitta Ensminger F 0 Arkansas

Freddie was raised and educated in Desha County, Arkansas.

Freddie enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 at Little Rock, Arkansas. After completing his basic training and Service Schools, he was assigned to the 853rd Engineer Battalion (Aviation).

On 11/26/1943, Freddie was on the British ship transporting US troops, HMT (His Majesty's Transport) Rohna. The ship was attacked by the German Luftwaffe and sank in the Mediterranean Sea north of Béjaïa, Algeria. The website Wikipedia provides the following information that appears to be accurate:
"The ship was part of convoy KMF-26 (Annex) travelling east from Oran to the Far East via the Suez Canal. The convoy was attacked by about 30 Heinkel 177 bombers with Henschel Hs 293 guided glide bombs and 6-9 torpedo bombers. Of an estimated 60 glide bombs launched or jettisoned in the attack, Rohna was the only casualty. Of the 1,138 men lost, 1,015 were American. The attack constitutes the largest loss of U.S. troops at sea in a single incident. A further 35 American troops of the 2,000 originally on board later died of wounds. As well as the troops, five ship officers and 117 ratings (out of 200) died, along with 11 of the 12 gunners on board and one hospital orderly. The minesweeper USS Pioneer rescued 606 survivors of the sinking. The details of the loss were revealed slowly over time and were only released in full in 1967 following the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act. However, already by February 1944 the US government had acknowledged that over 1000 soldiers had been lost in the sinking of an unnamed troopship in European waters, though it hinted at the time that a submarine was responsible. By June 1945, the government had provided accurate casualty figures, the ship had been identified by name as Rohna, and the cause of the sinking had been identified as German bombers. This account did not mention the fact that a guided missile was responsible. World War II history of the British-India Steam Navigation Company, Valiant Voyaging by Hilary St George Saunders, published by Faber and Faber in 1948, states 'the missile was one of the new glider bombs guided by wireless.' The sinking was done with a Henschel Hs 293 radio-controlled glide bomb, launched and controlled by a Heinkel 177 bomber piloted by Hans Dochtermann. HMT Rohna was not the first casualty of a guided missile, however, as the British HMS Egret was sunk on the Bay of Biscay with the loss of 198 men on 27 August the same year by a Henschel Hs 293. Additional ships sunk by Hs 293 missiles prior to Rohna include HMHS Newfoundland, HMS LST-79, SS James W. Marshall, HMS Rockwood, HMS BYMS-72, HMS Dulverton and MV Marsa. A memorial to the sinking was unveiled at the Fort Mitchell National Cemetery in Seale, Alabama in 1996."

Freedie was was reported as missing on 11/26/1943 and later reported killed on 11/27/1943.

Private Freddie Ensminger, Sn# 38450974, earned the following badges/decorations for his service during World War II:
- Purple Heart Medal
- Army Good Conduct Medal
- European Theater of Operations Campaign Medal with bronze battle/campaign star
- World War II Victory Medal

Gravesite Details Entered the service from Arkansas.

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  • Maintained by: Rick Lawrence
  • Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56246823
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Pvt Freddie Ensminger (1923–27 Nov 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56246823, citing North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial, Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia ; Maintained by Rick Lawrence (contributor 47207615) .