2018 HMT Rohna Reunion a Success

posted Jun 24, 2018, 7:57 PM by Jason Markiewitz
Not only was the 2018 Reunion in Memphis, TN a success, but it also had numerous unforeseen benefits that I want to share with you.  First, the reunion was held in Tennessee, only two hours south of Dyersburg Army Airfield where the 853rd performed their engineer training in the early stages of 1943.  Second, I met a few folks who were genuinely interested in the battalion and performed two at-length interviews over the course of the reunion.  One person will be writing a book and the other was a documentary filmmaker.  At this moment I am not at liberty to disclose any more than that since these projects are definitely in their infancy and no writer or filmmaker likes to be put under an artificial timeline for a project like this.  I also had the honor of presenting a lesson on the 853rd from the perspective of a company commander.  The performance was not as good as I had hoped, but it was the first time I had ever attempted such a style.  With a little polish it will be a great "one man play" I'm sure.  Finally, the Dyersburg Historical Society players performed Catherine Ladnier's One-Act play, "Apron Strings" about a young Lieutenant (an 853rd officer) through correspondence from 1943-1945 to his sister and his wife.  It was performed as an "old-time radio program" complete with "On the Air" signage, narration, and music.  The costumes were excellent and they really did the play justice.  

I am excited to see what the rest of 2018 has to offer.  I am hoping to put together the one man play about the 853rd and present it near the actual anniversary of the Rohna sinking on 26 Nov.  More to follow.  I will also be posting some events in the Living History section over the next few months where I hope to be speaking on the battalion and the Rohna in northern California and possibly Nevada.  Again, more to follow.  

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