Our website was created to help the family members of those who died and participated in Exercise Tiger. Dean Small, son of the late Ken Small, continues with his father's legacy. We are endorsed by the survivors and the families.
Francis "Frank" P. Rohlman, Jr. - LST 507
HA2 Frank P. Rohlman, Jr.
U. S. Navy
(Deceased June 14, 1996)
Frank Rohlman was a survivor of LST 507. His daughters, Katy Rohlman Buback, and Linda Rohlman Pennington, have compiled the following photos and information from their father's belongings. Frank did a video interview with his daughter, Linda, in April 1996. Sadly, he passed away from colon cancer on June 14, 1996. That interview is posted on this page, along with some of his Navy WWII photos, paperwork, and documents. It is well known that all survivors were ordered never to speak or mention Exercise Tiger, under threat of Court Martial. Frank did write letters home to his parents during the time he arrived in England in March 1944, through June 27, 1944. He does make vague references to losing all his gear in the letters and also describes, in general, what he has been doing during that time. Mainly, the letters are his expressions of love of family, reference his faith and how he feels the prayers of his family have kept him safe. However, in the last letter shown, dated June 27, 1944, he sent a letter home through a buddy coming home on leave, where he refererences he was torpedoed. All the letters of WWII personnel were read by military censors. The letters are posted on this page.
1943 or 1944. Frank is on the Far Left.
Transfer Order March 3, 1944
Transfer Order April 28, 1944
Transfer Order May 2, 1944
April 1996 - Video Link to Linda Rohlman Pennington interviewing her father
March 31, 1944 - This is the first letter Dad wrote upon arrival in England. The Censors blacked out the actual word.
April 21, 1944 - This was the last letter we have before the attack. He talked about the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns in many of his letters. His family was always big baseball fans, and in fact, lived very close to Sportsman's Park, the field the Browns and Cardinals played at in those years. The World Series in 1944 ended up being an all St. Louis series, with the Browns vs. the Cards. As I read through Dad's letters, I saw numerous instances of Dad predicting that.
April 29, 1944 - Day after the attack. He tells them he has lost his address book.
He also asks them to send six pairs of underwear.
May 4, 1944 - In this letter to his father, he says he has "seen new things and had a lot of new experiences.
But I would much rather give up them all to be back at good old "4238". (His house number).
May 5, 1944 - He says he didn't use all the stationery his sister sent him, "but it is no longer available to me. The fact is, I lost the handbag and everything in it. But believe me, it was no fault of my own." He also asks if his sister could send "a toilet kit set, some stationery, and also some medals and a rosary. All these were lost with the handbag.
But remember, it was no fault of my own, and will explain details in the near future."
June 18, 1944 - In a letter to his father, he refers to the invasion (D-Day) and says, "I would have been in on the big push had some unexpected happenings not occured. You know there is only one way for a fella to lose all his belongings. But the main thing is that I am the same as when I left you, and that I suffer no ill effects. But it was only through the intestinal fortitude and character that you instlled in me, and the fact that I have such a swell family to return to,
that brought me through that experience."
June 27, 1944 - My father was able to write a letter and give it to someone who was going on leave in New York, who mailed it through the regular mail so it didn't have to go through military censors. In this letter, he tells his family about the Exercise Tiger attack. He really didn't give any detail other than to say "he was torpedoed and came through all right." I'm sure he did not want his family to worry. He also said "24 out of 39 men of his group were left."
He also says, "I am the same as when I left you and I suffer no ill effects from my mishap."