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12th Armored Division >> General Discussion >> George Hokkanen (43rd Tank Battalion) (d. 1/17/1945)
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Author Topic:  George Hokkanen (43rd Tank Battalion) (d. 1/17/1945)
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posted 11/9/2014 1:43:49 PM  Reply w/Quote
My great-uncle, George M. Hokkanen, (Company C, 43rd Tank Battalion) died at Herrlisheim on January 17, 1945. He is buried at Epinal.

He never married and had no children. He was my maternal grandfather's brother. To my knowledge we have no pictures of him, and I don't know much about him. Only recently, I've been reading about Herrlisheim, and I truly admire the histories your site shares!

In the Division Photos (43rd Battalion), there is a group picture with 7 men in it. In the second row, third from the left, one of the largest men looks a lot like my grandpa. Since George was my grandpa's brother, I'm wondering if it's him?

Did anyone know George, or have pictures/information?

--Cynthia

MikeWoldenberg
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Member # 16

Posts: 917
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 11/10/2014 6:30:55 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Cynthia, There are two such pictures. One is
on page 1 and the other on page 9 of the
43d collection.

I will ask Harry at the Museum to look into
this question.

Mike

MikeWoldenberg
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Member # 16

Posts: 917
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 11/11/2014 5:59:31 AM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Cynthia, One more idea. Have you tried to
locate your great uncle's high school
yearbooks? They might have pictures of
him.

Mike

harry dhans
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From: Abilene,TX
Registered: 5/24/2012
posted 11/11/2014 12:55:20 PM    Click here to view the profile for harry dhans  Click here to email harry dhans  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
No picture yet. Found article at Epinal and he has a Gold Star paver at Museum. Will keep looking for more info. Harry

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posted 11/11/2014 1:59:40 PM  Reply w/Quote
Thank you so much for your replies so far. When sharing with my siblings, I learned that one of my sisters has a big stack of letters from George! Most of them were mailed from Camp/Texas. They were in some of my grandparents' things that my family saved when they passed.

I can scan them and get them to you sometime if you'd like them (not sure how soon, though). No photos, though.

I have been watching/listening to quite a few oral history videos, especially from the 43rd TB, and they are so moving (and sometimes funny). Thank you for sharing those with all.

With thanks on Veterans Day,
Cynthia

harry dhans
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Posts: 299
From: Abilene,TX
Registered: 5/24/2012
posted 11/11/2014 2:26:10 PM    Click here to view the profile for harry dhans  Click here to email harry dhans  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Cynthia - do you have an email address? Museum has a copy of "C" 43rd. Mentions Pvt. Hokkanen being killed. Camp/Texas was probably Camp Barkeley in Abilene area

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posted 11/11/2014 3:52:43 PM  Reply w/Quote
Thank you so much!

johanekc@franklin.edu

I've been reading quite a few letters that George sent home from 1943 until the fall of 1944. He wrote from "somewhere in France" and explained that he couldn't share what he was doing or where he was specifically. Herrlisheim would happen a few months later.

I also learned he was in a band -- a drummer -- for a while (in Abilene).

In one letter, I found 6 negatives that he sent home. They seem to be pictures of him near barracks and some near a large "display" or structure that says BAND.

MikeWoldenberg
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Member # 16

Posts: 917
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 11/11/2014 6:33:01 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Cynthia, Did you compare the picture you have
with the two pictures of 7 men in the
2713 Division Photos.

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posted 11/13/2014 9:54:34 AM  Reply w/Quote
THANKS again! I found a picture of his paver in one of the Hellcat Newsletters. I've enjoyed reading and searching all of this information, and I truly appreciate how much information your Museum makes available!

Cynthia


Originally posted by harry dhans:
No picture yet. Found article at Epinal and he has a Gold Star paver at Museum. Will keep looking for more info. Harry