Kay, Lawrence Lew, 2nd Lt

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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Officer)
Primary Unit
1943-1943, 14th Air Force
Service Years
1942 - 1943
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
Second Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home Country
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Duane Kimbrow (Skip) to remember Kay, Lawrence Lew, 2nd Lt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Seattle, Washington

Casualty Date
Nov 26, 1943
KIA-Killed in Action
Drowned, Suffocated
Mediterranean Sea
WWII - European Theater of Operations/Tunisia Campaign (1942-43)
Location of Interment
North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial - Carthage, Tunisia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Tablets of the Missing
Military Service Number
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  1943, World War II Fallen

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
14th Air Force
  1943-1943, 14th Air Force
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Tunisia Campaign (1942-43)
 Colleges Attended 
University of Washington
  1934-1938, University of Washington
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
2nd Lt. Kay born in China, raised in Washington State.  He attended the University of Washington and Lingan University in Canton, China, (about 1935-6) a school where his sister also attended at that time. He attended the Harvard Business School, graduating in 1940.

He entered the Army Air Corps at Fort Myer, Virginia on 16 December 1942. He was assigned to the 322nd Fighter Control Squadron, Army Air Corps, based at Bradley Field, Connecticut.

In early November 1943, his unit was sent to North Africa en route to the CBI at Kunming, China with the 14th Air Force.

On 26 November 1943, he was a passenger aboard the British troopship, the HMT Rohna, sailing in an armed convoy from Oran, Algeria en route to Assam, India via the Suez Canal, then on to Kunming, China. 

During the late afternoon hours, off the coast of Algeria, the convoy was attacked by about 30 German Luftwaffe Heinkel He-177A heavy bombers carrying Henschel Hs 293 radio-guided, rocket-boosted glide bombs. One of these struck the ship, causing it to sink, killing 1138 men.  1015 of these men were American.

This event, known as the Rohna Disaster, was not acknowledged at the time and for many years thereafter, and remained essentially a secret of WWII.

He remains Missing in Action, lost at sea.

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Note:  Bradley Field was primarily used as a training base for fighter aircraft, including the training of Chinese airmen.  In China, the 322nd was subordinate to the 51st Fighter Group, 69th Composite Wing, 14th Air Force.  The unit was responsible for providing radio, air-to-ground and point-to-point communications as well as homing of aircraft.
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