PRIVATE HARRY V. TAYLOR JR. was born in 1924 to Harry and Florence Taylor. He was the third child, coming after Mary and William. In 1930 the family was renting a home at 209 White Horse Pike in Haddon Heights NJ, and the elder Taylor was working as a clerk for the Pennsylvania Railroad. They later moved to 3 Kings Highway East in Haddonfield NJ.
Harry V. Taylor enlisted in the Army in November 1942 while still a student at Haddonfield Memorial High School. He was assigned, along with several other men from South Jersey, to the 31st Signal Construction Battalion. After receiving training at Fort Atterbury IN, his unit was sent overseas, with their final destination to be India by way of the Suez Canal. The trip to North Africa was uneventful. His unit transferred to another ship, the HMT Rohna, at Oran, Algeria.
On November 26, 1943 the Rohna came under attack from German Luftwaffe aircraft. The Rohna was struck by a guided missile, and sank. 1015 American servicemen were lost, among them Private Harry V. Taylor.
Harry Taylor was survived by his parents, brother William Taylor, and sister Mary Taylor. William Taylor was at the time serving in the Army Medical Corps.
Circumstance relating to the death of Harry Taylor and the others lost when the Rohna sank were kept from the families and the American public for over 50 years. Due to a campaign by the Rohna Survivors Memorial Association, the government finally acknowledged these men in the late 1990s.
Through the efforts of this website and American Legion Post 274 in Camden NJ, a memorial service was held on July 27, 2002 for Harry Taylor and the 19 other men form South Jersey who paid the ultimate price for our freedom in November of 1943.
15 DEAD, 2 MISSING
FROM SOUTH JERSEY
Fifteen South Jersey men were among the 1511 reported by the War Department today as killed in action on the six fighting fronts. Two others from this area are reported missing.
3 On Troopship Lost
Ballerino, Koscianski, and Carr are believed to have met their fates on the same transport. War Department telegrams to families of all three men reveal that each was a passenger on a troopship that was lost due to enemy action in the Mediterranean on Nov. 27, 1943. All have been awarded Purple Hearts.
Also listed as dead in today's official casualty list but previously reported in these columns are: Private Michael Yachus, 679 Ferry Avenue, Camden; Joseph H. Johnson, 1273 South Merrimac Road, Camden; Private Harry V. Taylor, 3 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield; Private Merl H. Reagle, Maple Avenue, Lindenwold; Private Jacob K. Jenkins, Marne Highway, Mt. Holly, formerly of Pennsauken; Private Harry E. Harker, 6 Beach Avenue Blackwood; PFC Jack S. Dubois, Church Street, Williamstown, and Charles R. Stewart Jr., 319 Linden Street, Camden.
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