Filmmaker searching for Oregon families of victims in WWII attack – East Oregonian

BEND — Four men from Oregon were killed during World War II in one of the deadliest attacks at sea in U.S. history, and their families may have never known the whole story.

The HMT Rohna, a British transport ship carrying American soldiers, was hit on Thanksgiving Day 1943 by a German missile off the coast of North Africa. It was the first radio-guided missile ever used against the U.S., killing 1,015 American troops, including the four men from Oregon.

The 966 survivors were ordered to remain silent or face court-martial, and the incident remained classified long after the war, according to Jack Ballo, a New Jersey-based filmmaker who is documenting the secrecy around the attack for his film, “Rohna: Classified.”

On Memorial Day, as families remember their loved ones killed serving in the U.S. military, Ballo is searching for relatives of the soldiers killed on the HMT Rohna. He hopes to possibly