During WWII, Camdon Inks of Uniontown, Pennsylvania was an auto tire worker. It was an important job classified as critical to the homefront war effort, and he could have gotten a deferment. However, as soon as his name came up in the draft, he decided against the deferment and joined the US Army.
Camdon spent ten months training to be a B-24 flight engineer, but it was a job he never really got to do. Instead, he got orders to the China-Burma-India Theater (CBI) to help the army’s effort flying war supplies into China. But while in route to India in November 1943, his ship, the HMT Rohna was sunk in the Mediterranean Sea by a German guided glide bomb. More than 1,100 people were killed that night, mostly US troops.
With the help of his good friend Leonard Deutch, Camdon survived the ship’s sinking and endured a long night at sea. Near morning, Camdon was rescued by the HMS Atherstone (L05) off the coast of Algeria. But Leonard was lost at sea.
Thinking of how Leonard saved his life that night, Camdon admits, “I know now that I could never have made it to morning” if it weren’t for Leonard.
This interview was recorded December 7, 2015, at the Connellsville Canteen, Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Interviewer: Kevin Farkas. Special Thanks: Camdon Inks, Diane Maurey, Nancy Hrabak, Dan Cocks. A production of the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative. Executive Producer: Kevin Farkas. Videography: Kevin Farkas, Bryan Chemini. Editor: Kevin Farkas.