The greatest loss of life at sea by enemy action in the history of US war was covered up when Hitler’s secret weapon killed over 1,000 US soldiers. The first radio-guided missile attack ever launched against the US was erased from history, along with the men who died when the burning ship sank to the bottom of the sea. The US War Department declared the Rohna attack classified indefinitely, ordering all survivors to remain silent in a cover-up scandal that left a thousand Gold Star families in the dark.


THE TEAM:

Jack Ballo (Producer / Director / Writer) Jack Ballo launched Ultravision Films in 2007 after working in video production for 20 years. He has produced several award-winning humanitarian films and documentaries. His first documentary, Wrong Turn (2008), was followed by Elio (2010) and then Before You Leave (2012). Ballo co-wrote the screenplay The Doo Dah Man (2015) Flatiron Pictures, from his own true story experience. He produced the critically acclaimed Tent City documentary Destiny’s Bridge (2016). His last film, Brothers (2018) was selected for film festivals in 8 different countries winning awards around the world. His wife, Barbara is the great niece of Joseph Pisinski, one of the soldiers killed in the Rohna attack. They now live in the same house where Joseph Pisinski grew up. Ballo found letters in their attic that Sgt. Pisinski wrote home to his mother that led him to learning about the Rohna.

Michael Walsh (Producer / Story Consultant) Michael Walsh is a video producer with over 35 years of experience in producing programs that have won Aegis, Telly, Golden Slate and IFCA awards. He became involved with the Rohna story when his step-father took him to a Rohna Reunion in 2001. His interest in the story led him to writing two books, Rohna Memories I and Rohna Memories II, about the sinking of the HMT Rohna. Walsh has interviewed and filmed over 60 survivors, rescuers, experts and relatives of serviceman who were aboard the Rohna on the day of the attack. He's a historian; researching original materials, letters and the formerly classified Rohna documents preserved at the National Archives. Walsh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Science degree from Rhode Island College.

Cynthi Stefenoni (Consulting Producer) Cynthi Stefenoni has been an assistant director member of the Directors Guild of America since 1987. Her credits include numerous television shows (e.g. Sisters, Lois and Clark, JAG, Boston Legal, Zooey 101), TV movies (including, PeeWee’s Playhouse Christmas Special (1988), Cagney and Lacy (1991) Return to Mayberry (1997) and films (e.g. Dear God (1998), Waking Madison (2007), Torn (2008), The Fixer/ Burn Country (2015)). In addition, she has taught at the San Francisco Digital Film School as well as lectured at the American Film Institute. She has been a consulting producer on various films and has produced the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival--named one of Movie Maker Magazines 25 coolest film festivals--since 2012. She currently serves on the Board of The Rohna Survivors Memorial Association where she has been the assistant producer of the TRSMA reunions since 2012. She is the daughter of Rohna survivor Alfred Stefenoni.

Tracey Bannon (Research / Outreach Program) Tracey Bannon has over a decade of research experience with the HMT Rohna. She has a great deal of knowledge and understanding of how people have been affected by the cover-up scandal by unraveling her own families tragic experience when her uncle, Dwight Bannon, was killed in the Rohna attack. She has a background in data technology and leads the Outreach Program’s casualty database while searching for families of the Rohna soldiers.

Sunny Duncanson (Research / Outreach Program) Sunny Duncanson does research and analyzes classified documents from the National Archives pertaining to all the men who were on the HMT Rohna during the attack. Her research has led to discovering the unidentified remains of 24 soldiers in North Africa who were killed in the Rohna attack. She updates reports that account for all casualties, survivors and crew from the ship. Her Uncle, Dwight Bannon, was a casualty from the Rohna attack.

Robbie Baldassari (Associate Producer) Robert Baldassari has several years of experience as part of producing teams for live concert specials, award shows and documentary style television. He also has a background in stock footage and archival film research with experience in licensing. His grandfather, Azio “Ace” Baldassari, was a survivor of the Rohna attack. He hopes to bring his comprehensive range of filmmaking knowledge to further the story of the HMT Rohna and continue his grandfather’s legacy.