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Remembering the Rohna: ‘You’re supposed to be dead.’

WARMINSTER, Pa. — William Dobbs didn’t miss the boat. But the ship the young soldier was assigned to take from North Africa to the China-Burma-India theatre during World War II, His Majesty’s Transport Rajula, had to turn back to port. It couldn’t keep up with its sister ship, HMT Rohna, in a convoy crossing the Mediterranean. Too many barnacles attached to its hull and engine trouble slowing the ship down might have saved Dobbs’ life, because 124 members of his 31st Signal and Construction Battalion were among 1,015 American soldiers killed when a Nazi-guided missile sunk the Rohna on Nov. 26, 1943. 

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