Roland Osborne Rich Jr. was born on 31 October 1926 at Gastonia, North Carolina, the son of Roland Osborne Rich and Nora Mae Black.
Died 10 January 1945
Son of Roland O. Rich and Nora M. Rich
Served on the USS Palmer (DMS 5)
On 7 January 1945 at 1840 the USS Palmer was attacked by a Japanese bomber. Two bombs were dropped from an altitude of about 50 feet which hit the port side in the vicinity of the D Tanks and the forward after living compartment. A huge fire began burning which immediately threatened the after magazines. It was evident within a frew minutes that the ship was going to sink as the stern began to settle rapidly. Due to the imminent danger of the after magazines exploding and the rapidity with which the ship was sinking, very little first aid was administered aboard ship. The wounded were put into the water and were aided in reaching life rafts. The fire was extinguished when the stern was low in the water and the oil on the water neer burned thereby reducing the possible number of wounded. The ship sank at 1846.
The U.S.S. Hopkins (DMS-13) and the U.S.S. Breese (DM-18) were nearby and picked up the survivors very quickly. No one was in the water over thirty to forty minuts. Four officers and 89 enlisted men were taken aboard the U.S.S. Hopkins and eight officers and 22 enlisted men were rescued by the U.S.S. Breese.
Roland O. Rich was seriously wounded. He had 2nd degree burns in face, neck, arms and upper chest anteriorly. He was transferred to U.S.S. Doyen (APA-1) FFT and disposition.
Memorialized at Manila American Cemetery, Philippines
- Rank: Seaman First Class
- Date of birth: 31 October 1926
- Date of death: 10 January 1945
- County: Greene
- Hometown: Greeneville
- Service Branch: Navy
- Division/Assignment: USS Palmer (DMS 5)
- Conflict: World War II
- Awards: Purple Heart
- Burial/Memorial Location: Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines
- Location In Memorial: Pillar IX, Middle Panel
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