On this Memorial Day we honor Fred M. Hancock who never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on May 28, 1918 in Colorado. His parents Samuel and Florence were born in Texas and Oklahoma, respectively. His father worked as a farmer and later as a trucker. Fred had one older brother and two younger brothers. Their mother died in 1922 and their father remarried and moved to Kansas. By 1940 Fred had completed four years of high school and lived at home while working on the family farm.
Younger brother Alford was the first in the family to join the army when he was drafted on October 14, 1941. He served as a private first class in the 1909th Communication and Support Unit, Coast Artillery Corps.
Youngest brother Samuel joined the Marines on February 3, 1942. He became a sergeant in Company D, 1st Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division.
Fred was drafted on December 9, 1942. He became a corporal in Battery A, 947th Field Artillery Battalion. This unit was assigned to the South Pacific and took part in McArthur's island hopping to the Philippines. It even hosted McArthur for a visit shortly after it landed on Luzon.
He was killed in action on Luzon on February 21, 1945. Four days later Samuel was killed in action fighting on Iwo Jima.
It took many weeks for the word to get back home to Dodge City. Samuel's wife was expecting the birth of their daughter when the telegrams came. Word was kept from her until after the baby was born so as not to complicate the birth.
The brothers' graves are at Greely County Cemetery in Tribune, Kansas. I don't know what happened to Samuel's wife or daughter.
Brother Alford, a WW2 veteran, died on April 22, 1948 from an embolus at age 29, most likely not due to any war wound. He is buried in the same cemetery as his brothers.
Oldest brother Erbern died in 1993.
Last year on this date I profiled Floyd Klemme, 5th Marine Division. He and his brother Howard served in the same regiment on Iwo Jima and both were killed in action. You can read about Floyd and Howard here.
For Memorial Day 2017, I wrote about Medal of Honor hero Jack Knight. His story reads like a John Wayne movie script. You can read about Jack 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.
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100