|Lt. Charles Hoffman was a B-17 navigator in the 303rd Bomb Group.|
Charles E. Hoffman never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on March 11, 1918 in Oklahoma. His father was born in German and his mother was born in Arkansas. His mother died when Charles was eight months old, most likely from the Great Influenza that was sweeping the world. He was raised by his mother's parents. His grandfather worked as a carpenter. I think Charles was an only child. After graduating from high school, where he was the salutatorian, he got a job in a government printing office.
He enlisted in the army on November 17, 1941 and volunteered for the Army Air Forces. In flight school he was trained as a navigator and ended up a second lieutenant in the 358th Bombardment Squadron, 303rd Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force which was equipped with B-17 Flying Fortresses. Based in Molesworth, England, the 303rd BG flew its first mission on the one year anniversary of Hoffman's enlistment.
On January 3, 1943 Lt. Hoffman participated in his fifth mission which was to bomb the German submarine torpedo storage areas at St. Nazaire, France. Lt. Hoffman's B-17, which was named Leapin' Liz, was shot down by German fighter planes and crashed into the Bay of Biscay. All of the crew was lost.
His cenotaph grave is at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.
Last year on this date I profiled Leo Chabot, a US Navy Academy graduate who met a tragic death as a POW in the Philippines. You can read about Leon here.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
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