Verlyn Virgil Hofer was born on June 6, 1925, at Davis, South Dakota. Of
German and Norwegian heritage, Verlyn was raised in the Lutheran
faith. He entered the service on June 22, 1944, after working as a
student and printer in his hometown. The following is his story,
told in his own words.
Service Record: I entered the service on June 22, 1944, at Ft. Snelling in
Minnesota. I received 17 weeks of basic training at Camp Croft in
South Carolina. After a short leave at home, I was shipped overseas
as an infantry replacement. I landed in Naples, Italy on Christmas
Eve of 1944. After three weeks in Italy I was shipped to France and
joined Co. A, 62nd Arm. Inf., Bn., of the 14th Armored Division. I
participated in Rhineland and Ardennes-Alsace campaigns before being
wounded on March 22, 1945, at Steinfeld, Germany. I spent three
months in the hospital in England for surgery and treatment. I
returned home on a hospital ship in July and then spent the
remainder of my service time in hospitals in Clinton, Iowa, and
Battle Creek, Michigan.
Camp Encounter: After I was wounded and evacuated, the 14th Armored Division
went on to liberate many POW camps, thus the division was named
"The Liberators." I had little contact with POWs on either
side but do recall that when I was in the field hospital, there was
a German POW right next to me awaiting treatment and something to
eat, being half-starved. It turns out he was not German but
Polish--in the German army.
Awards: I was awarded the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, and the
Combat Infantry Badge.