THE BEGINNINGS OF A COMING ATTRACTION; Quintessential Documentarian Filmmaker JACK BALLO Returns with Haunting Story of Sinking of WWII Transport Ship ROHNA: www.RohnaClassified.com by Calvin Schwartz May 26th 2019

THE BEGINNINGS OF A COMING ATTRACTION; Quintessential Documentarian Filmmaker JACK BALLO Returns with Haunting Story of Sinking of WWII Transport Ship ROHNA: www.RohnaClassified.com  by Calvin Schwartz  May 26th 2019  

 

with filmmaker Jack Ballo on steps of Ocean County Court House re Tent City

 

A lot to digest with the title. Jack Ballo is back in New Jersey, beginning the intricate process of creating a documentary; the story of a World War II, US Transport ship, sunk by the Germans in 1943, costing the lives of 1015 Americans aboard ship and representing the largest loss of life at sea in history. Yet this incident was classified at the time and for a long time thereafter. Along comes Jack Ballo to document this story. 77 New Jersey lives were lost among the 1015. For you all to begin to grasp the depth and impact, please check the website. Maybe you’ll know of some of the Jersey casualties?

 

 

A Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the film will start Memorial Day weekend.
www.RohnaClassified.com

 

Me and Jack on Red Carpet ‘Destiny’s Bridge’

 

 

Me and Jack. We met in early 2013 in a very cold, sad, strange place called Tent City, Lakewood, New Jersey where up to 112 people were living in tents, without heat, running water, bathrooms, not much food, electricity and presided over by homeless activist Minister Steve Brigham. Why tents, and such dire conditions? Jack Ballo spent years documenting the struggles of homeless people at Tent City resulting in an award winning, riveting, wondrous film called ‘Destiny’s Bridge.’  I’ve never been quite the same since.

 

 

Destiny’s Bridge’ promo

 

Brothers’ Promo

A few years later Jack was back with ‘Brothers’ and the story of two homeless brothers in Sayreville, struggling, stark, harsh living, with glimpses of positivity and hope in a very cold calculating world. Jack’s innovation as a filmmaker brought the story of two homeless brothers to life with a cell-phone camera. No wonder there are legions of Jack’s appreciative fans. Including me. 

Now I get the chance to share the beginnings of a new journey and updates in this amazing process. I asked Jack to send me the press release announcing the project AND KICKSTARTER campaign to raise funds for this project beginning appropriately on Memorial Day Weekend.   AND so it goes.

 

A Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the film will start Memorial Day weekend.
www.RohnaClassified.com

USS Rohna. A gripping haunting story

Memorial Day Weekend Release: May 24, 2019 Media Contact: Jack Ballo C: (732) 610-1802 jack@ultravisionfilms.com
It’s time to tell the truth
77 NJ Casualties
75th Anniversary of classified WWII attack that killed 1015 US Soldiers
On November 26, 1943, the first ever radio-guided missile attack on US troops hit a  transport ship killing over a thousand soldiers. Hitler’s secret weapon resulted in the greatest loss of troops at sea by enemy action in US war history. All survivors of the attack were ordered to remain silent under the threat of court martial.

 The German attack on the Rohna was swiftly classified and soon forgotten along with the 1,015 men who died when the burning ship sank to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. The US War Department covered up the attack in a scandal that misled over a thousand Gold Star families who were left in the dark. South River, NJ – After finding a box of 75-year-old letters in his attic, filmmaker Jack Ballo decided to do a search for the author of those letters, Sgt. Joseph Pisinski.

 

He then discovered a WWII scandal that even the most dedicated historians never knew about. The War Department kept Hitler’s high-tech guided missile attack of the Rohna classified even after the war was over. Even though the historic event was comprised of the first guided missiles ever used against the US, along with it being the greatest loss of troops at sea by enemy action in US history, it was never mentioned in WWII history books. By the time the war was over, the 966 survivors went home with their stories buried deep inside as they tried to forget their secret tale of that fateful night.

 Most of them never talked about the incident again. Searching for families of forgotten heroes Ballo and his crew have spent the last year working on a documentary, Rohna: Classified, that will expose the Rohna story. The film’s Outreach Program includes a team of researchers who are searching for the families of the soldiers killed in the attack. “The next-of-kin of the Rohna heroes need to know the truth.” Ballo said.

 

Plaque of dedication

The movie website, RohnaClassified.com, lists the hometowns of all the casualties organized by state and county along with a database form that the next-of-kin can use to submit information. “We’re using today’s technology to finish the job that a group of Rohna survivors vowed to do – that is to reach the families of every Rohna casualty and tell them what happened.” researcher Tracey Bannon explained. The families were never told what happened to their boys and most of the bodies of the soldiers were never recovered.

In most cases, there were no funeral services or burials for the forgotten soldiers. Nor were there any War Department phone calls, letters, or visits made providing information that would bring closure to the families. Six months after the attack, the Gold Star families received one short paragraph confirming the demise of their loved one in a telegram that also stated that there was no information available. That was it; the boys just never came home.

UPCOMING DOCUMENTARY – Jack Ballo has teamed up with Rohna author and historian Michael Walsh to produce a documentary about the Rohna attack. This Ultravision Films production is expected to be completed in late 2020.

A Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the film will start Memorial Day weekend.
www.RohnaClassified.com

 

 

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