Henry E. Gillert

Henry E. Gillert

Texas, USA
Death 27 Nov 1943 (aged 29)
Burial Athens, Henderson County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 59416826 · View Source
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From FAG Contributor: (47181024) •
Published in the Athens Review March 16, 1950
Reburial services for Sgt. Henry E. Gillert, son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Gillert of Athens, will be held Sunday afternoon at Shelby Chapel.
Sgt. Gillert was born in Ross, Texas, October 14, 1914. At the age of three, he moved with his family to the Athens vicinity, and grew up and attended school in the Flat Creek community.
For several years he served as orchard caretaker at Underwood Lake, near Athens. He was married to Miss Marie Davis of Athens, and was a member of the Flat Creek Baptist Church.
Inducted into the Army January 14, 1943, he took his basic training at Camp Wolters.
He was killed in the torpedoing of a transport ship in the Mediterranean Sea in November of 1943.
He is survived by his mother and father; three brothers, Rhinehart Gillert of Fort Worth, Austin Gillert of Fort Worth and Ernest Gillert of Clarksville; and one sister, Mrs. Lena Gauntt of LaRue.
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 Sunday afternoon at Shelby Chapel with Rev. W.E. Everhart of the First Presbyterian Church of Athens officiating.
Interment will be at Shelby Chapel.
Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
US Army Air Corps WORLD WAR II
Passenger T/4, George Gaborski KIA
853rd Engineer Battalion Aviation
Hometown: TEXAS
Ship: HMT Rohna
Service # 38306671
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.

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  • Maintained by: John Dowdy
  • Originally Created by: Marie Graham
  • Added: 30 Sep 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 59416826
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Henry E. Gillert (14 Oct 1914–27 Nov 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 59416826, citing Shelby Chapel Cemetery, Athens, Henderson County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by John Dowdy (contributor 47791572) .