80 Years Ago: The Worst, and Best, Telegrams, Back to Back

Via the South Pacific WWII Museum, Harold F. Rhone Collection photo.

The telegram you don’t ever want to receive, followed not too long after by the one you do.

September 1942 and Harold Rhone was missing in action, a 22-year-old ship fitter on the New Orleans-class heavy cruiser USS Astoria (CA-34), sunk in August 1942, at the Battle of Savo Island. Importantly, the loss of the ship was not made public until late October.

But thankfully, as noted in the follow-up telegram, Rhone was located and went on to serve at the Boat Repair Unit on Santo.

Earning a Purple Heart for his injuries, SF1 Rhone survived the war, left the service in 1947, and passed in 1997, aged 77.

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