CLARENCE T. JAGGERS was the husband of Theresa Jaggers. They made their
home at Columbia Boulevard and St. James Walk in National Park NJ.
Clarence Jaggers had been inducted into the United States Army early in the war. He was assigned along with many other area men, to the 853rd Engineer Battalion, Aviation, where he trained in the South in the construction of airbases.
In November 1943, Clarence Jaggers and his comrades shipped out to North Africa, where the were to continue on through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal to India, where they were to construct airbases to support the war effort in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations, and to bomb Japan.
On the November 26th, 1943 Clarence Jaggers and the 853rd Engineer Battalion, Aviation sailed out of Oran, Algeria on the British owned and operated transport ship, HMTS Rohna. Later that day, the convoy that the Rohna was a part of was attacked by German aircraft. After initially beating of the attack, another German plane approached the convoy, and launched a new weapon, a radio-controlled glider bomb, in essence, the worlds first guided missile.
The Rohna was struck by the missile, which blew a hole through both sides of the ship, killing 300 Americans immediately, many of the members of the 853rd Engineers. Clarence Jaggers most likely met his fate there. The ship quickly sunk, and over 1000 Americans were lost that in the ensuing hours.
sinking of the Rohna was kept secret from the public during the war, for
reasons of wartime security. Sadly, the government waited over 50 years
before declassifying the story, and the families of those lost on the
Rohna were never told the truth of their loved ones fate. Only in the
1990s, due to efforts of survivors of the sinking, was any official
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