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West Virginia Veterans Memorial

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Russell Dale Cresse

Russell Dale Cresse was born January 7, 1922, at Bayard, West Virginia, the son of Gilbert and Emma Keifer Cresse. Russell, who went by "Dale," attended Eglon Elementary and Aurora High School, graduating in 1940 According to the Aurora High School yearbook, he was nicknamed "runt." His school activities included participation in the Boys Home Economics Club and his hobby was listed as swimming. He enlisted in the Army on November 9, 1942, in Columbus, Ohio.
Aurora school club
Aurora school club

sophomore class
Aurora sophomore class,
including Dale Cresse

Dale had served in the Army for a year and was a private first class when in November of 1943 he boarded a British troopship Rohna, which was part of a convoy sailing toward the China-Burma-India border. In the pre-dawn hours of November 27, 1943, the convoy was attacked by German aircraft. A HS293 glider bomb hit the Rohna, causing a large hole in the area of the engine room and No. 6 troop's deck. The destruction resulted in the ship bursting into flames and it quickly sank. PFC. Cresse was at first reported missing but in May 1944 the War Department reported that he was one of the 1,015 American servicemen who had been killed in the sinking of the HMT Rohna.

His body was not recovered. A memorial was erected to PFC. Russell Dale Cresse at Eglon Cemetery in Preston County, West Virginia.


West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

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