CPL Robert P Flores

CPL Robert P Flores

San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Death 26 Nov 1943 (aged 18–19)
At Sea
Burial Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia
Memorial ID 56246986 · View Source
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Corporal Robert P Flores, born in 1924, was the son of George and Rosalie Flores from San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas.

In the 1940 census 16 year-old Robert is living with his parents and siblings Berta 22, George Jr. 20, Esperanza 17, Alfred 14, Consuelo 12, Eleazar 11, Arturo 9, Raul 7, Eduardo 2, and Alberto 8 mos. His father is a carpenter for the WPA.

Robert enlisted in the Medical Administrative Corps 14 Dec 1942 at Duncan Field in San Antonio, Tx. He’d had 4 years of high school and was single without dependents.

Cpl Flores was aboard the HMT Rohna in Troop Transport Convoy KMF-26 on 26 Nov 1943 in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Algeria. HMT Rohna, with 2,000 on board, was hit by a German guided missile. Only 606 were saved.

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.

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  • Maintained by: James Durham
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56246986
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for CPL Robert P Flores (1924–26 Nov 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 56246986, citing North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial, Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia ; Maintained by James Durham (contributor 46994633) .