Shelby  County  Indiana


The  Columbus  Evening  Republic
Bartholomew County, Indiana
12 Mar 1945
Hope Soldier, Previously
Missing, Is Victim at
Christmas Disaster.
Wire Follows Letter Which
Revealed He Was on
Sunken Transport.
          Sgt. Aaron Woodrow Essex,  32, local soldier, who had been listed as missing in action since being aboard a U. S. troop ship sunk Dec. 25 in European waters, has now been listed as killed in action Dec. 25, according to a War department telegram received Sunday by his wife,  Mrs. Virginia Essex,  of Hope, an employe of Cummins Engine company.  Sergeant Essex was the first Bartholomew county soldier to be listed as killed as the result of a troop ship sinking in World war II.  In the first World war the United States suffered no losses of Army personnel through sinking of transports.  Sergeant Essex was the father of a small child,  Herman Lee,  who became three years old today.  The father was a son of  Mr. and Mrs. Tilden Essex  of Hope.
Ross Becker Rescued.
          Pfc. Ross Becker  of Hope, a medic, also was on the troop ship which was sunk and was among those rescued, he indicated in letters to his mother,  Mrs. Ward Robertson  of Hope. Loss of the transport was announced Jan. 25 by Secretary of War Stinson, who disclosed that 248* soldiers had been killed, while 517 others were still listed as missing at that time.  More than 1,400 were rescued from the vessel.  Word that Essex was listed as missing was received Jan. 15 by his wife in a telegram from the War department.  This was followed by a letter the end of January which revealed that her husband had been aboard a ship which had been sunk in European waters.  No further word was received until Sunday.
Former Foundry Employe.
          Sergeant Essex was born at Hope and had been employed at Golden Foundry here and by the Guide Lamp corporation plant at Anderson.  He was employed at Anderson when he entered service here in March, 1943.  He took his early training in Camp Blanding, Fla.  He had been overseas only a short time and on Dec. 20 wrote his wife and son from England.  Essex was a member of the Hope Methodist church.  Survivors besides his wife, son and parents, include two sisters,  Mrs. Elmer Wheeler  of Indianapolis and  Mrs. Martha Harris  of Hope.  His wife has been residing through the week at 1120 Seventh street here while employed at Cummins Engine company.
Contributed by Betty Kitchen
*Submitter's note:  This number appeared to be 248 to me, but the first digit was not completely clear.

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