Earl Joseph Spears

Earl Joseph Spears

Chapman, Montgomery County, Illinois, USA
Death 27 Nov 1943 (aged 21)
At Sea
Burial Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia
Plot Tablets Of The Missing ~ Army
Memorial ID 56251512 · View Source
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Earl served as a Technician Fifth Grade, 853rd Engineer Battalion, Aviation, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.

He resided in Montgomery County, Illinois prior to the war.

He enlisted in the Army on January 2, 1943 in Peoria, Illinois. He was noted, at the time of his enlistment, as being employed as a Driver and also as Married.

Earl was a passenger on the HMT Rohna.

The Rohna and four other troop ships left Oran in French Algeria with cargo and troops. Off Béjaïa, Algeria the convoy was attacked by an estimated 60 German Luftwaffe Heinkel 177's. One of the 177's, piloted by Hans Dochtermann, released a glide bomb that hit Rohna on her port side and she eventually sank.

1,138 men were killed, including 1,015 U.S. personnel. The attack is the largest loss of US troops at sea due to enemy action in a single incident. 35 U.S. troops of the 2,000 originally embarked later died of wounds.

Earl was declared "Missing In Action" in this sinking during the war.

He was awarded the Purple Heart.

Service # 36441270

Earl also has a "cenotaph" with his brother in the Glendale Cemetery, Fillmore, Illinois.
" Click Here " for that record.

His brother, Tec/5 Eldon O. Spears was also declared "Missing In Action" during the war.

( Bio by: Russ Pickett )


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  • Created by: CWGC/ABMC
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56251512
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Earl Joseph Spears (14 Apr 1922–27 Nov 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56251512, citing North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial, Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia ; Maintained by CWGC/ABMC (contributor 6) .