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  • Writer's pictureDon Milne

World Premier of HMT Rohna Documentary

Rohna Classified Documentary Film

2,000 US soldiers board a ship on their first day of war without any idea that the ship’s lifeboats were rusted so badly that they would never be launched. Inadequate lifebelts that needed to be inflated were issued to the soldiers instead of standard Naval life-jackets. The next day a radio-guided missile sunk the ship killing 1157 soldiers and crew in what remains the greatest loss of life at sea by enemy action in the history of US war. Government officials deflected responsibility for the high number of casualties by declaring the Rohna attack classified indefinitely.

To All Stories Behind the Stars Writers,

I am writing to you today to thank you for all your time, energy and selflessness you have given to write the stories of the men on the Rohna who never made it home. As you know, the tragedy of the Rohna is known by few since the veil of secrecy existed for 50 years and the families who lost loved ones on that day "never knew."

As a very small token of our appreciation, we are sending you the information on the documentary Rohna Classified which will premiere at The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in New Brunswick, NJ on Saturday November 25. For those of you who might live in the surrounding states such as New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania where most of the casualties lived we thought you might like to attend. If so, we will provide you with 2 complimentary tickets. John Avis, (SBTS writer) who has written many stories of the New Jersey men will be attending the premiere. We are arranging a table in the lobby of the theater so that family members can access the bios on their loved ones and general information about the organization can be provided.

Once again, thank you for keeping the memory of the men on the Rohna alive. I hope to hear from you soon even if it's just to tell me something about yourself or some questions or thoughts you might have on the tragedy of the Rohna.


Janice Pumelia

The Rohna Survivors Memorial Association-secretary

Daughter of a Rohna survivor

Brooklyn, NY

Saturday, November 25th 5:00 pm - Doors open at the NBPAC theater. 6:00 pm - Rohna Classified premieres at NBPAC theater. 7:30 pm - Q&A with filmmakers, people featured in the film and survivor(s). 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm - Gathering after the film will be open to all attendees. Sunday, November 26th 8:00 am - 11:00 am - Breakfast at Heldrich Hotel (not included with ticket). 12 noon - Commemorative Ceremony at Monument Square Park.
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