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John Frederick Warne
by his brother, Robert J. Warne

 

WT 3/c John F. Warne


Born:

January 18, 1925 on Staten Island, New York 
Died: June 8, 1944 during the invasion of Normandy aboard the USS Rich which was sunk by German mines.

    I write this account of my brother John F. Warne, WT/3 with out remembering him personally. I was told that I cannot remember him because as a small child it was my way of blotting out the tragedy of his death. I was told that he used to come home on leave and play ball with his 2 younger brothers. I do not remember this. I do remember the day the telegram was delivered to my parents informing them of him being killed in action on June 8, 1944. I have never seen my father cry until that day and I have never seen him cry since that day. I will never forget it.

    John and our parents have an understanding that if he was ever knowingly going into battle, he would change the greeting on his letter. He always started his letters by "Dear Mom and Dad." About 10 days after the telegram came, my parents received a letter from John and it began "Dear Folks".

    We were told by the Navy Department that John was buried in a small church cemetery in France and we were asked if we wanted his body returned. My parents asked that he come home and in 1948 his remains were returned and he was buried in the family plot on Staten Island, New York and now rests there with his parents.

    It was not widely known that John was deaf in his left ear, a condition caused by a teacher when he slapped John on the side of the head. This could have kept him out of the navy but he made his parents promise that they would keep the secret no matter what. He managed to hide his hearing problem from the doctors and he realized his ambition, he was a sailor.

    Many heroes died during the invasion of Normandy and many heroes were wounded during the invasion of Normandy. All these years I never knew what the crew on the Rich went through until a short time ago. I have a new admiration for all the crew members of the USS RICH. Because of the ships web site and the 2 books "The Last Voyage of The USS RICH" by Ed Black I now feel closer to my brother than I have ever been before. Well Done and Thank You.

Robert J. Warne

Editors note: WT 3/c John F. Warne also appears in one of the photographs of Rich crew members enjoying liberty in Londonderry.

        

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