|Pvt. Howard Van Hoose, 36th Armored Infantry Regiment.|
Howard Van Hoose never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on May 21, 1917 in Kentucky. His parents were also both born in Kentucky. His father was a grocery merchant and later a lumber merchant. Howard had an older sister. By 1940 Howard had completed 8 grades of education and moved out of his parent's home. He was working as a salesman and was married to his wife Joan. He became the manager of the Louisa branch of his dad's lumber business.
On November 20, 1943 Howard was in Huntington, West Virginia where he enrolled in the US Army as a private. He was originally in the Army Air Corp but later transferred to the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Division sometime in 1945.
As the 3rd Armored Division approached the Elbe River, it discovered the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp on April 11, 1945 where slave laborers helped to build V1s and V2s. They found more dead then living. The local German citizens were made to dig the graves. As the troops moved on they noticed the German Army was well entrenched to defend the Hartz Mountains. They decided to bypass and continue on to the Elbe River. Pvt. Van Hoose was reported missing on April 15, 1945. On this same day the 3rd Armored Division was ordered to halt it's advance. Pvt. Van Hoose's body was discovered later and his status was changed to Killed in Action. He was likely one of the last of the 1,810 men from the 3rd Armored Division killed in the war.
His remains were returned to be buried at Wells Buckingham Cemetery, Paintsville, Kentucky. His wife never remarried and died in 2004. They had one son.
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