WWII Veteran, CJ Hocker served with General Patton. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

WWII Veteran CJ Hocker served with honor

Darke County WWII Veteran served with General George S. Patton

GREENVILLE – WWII US Army Veteran and Darke County native, CJ Hocker was born in a house on Routzong Road southwest of Gettysburg in 1924 before moving to Bradford where he lived 37 years.

Hocker, a 1942 high school graduate entered the US Army, January 1943 taking basic training at Cape Cod.

“When I got out of school I drove a milk truck and then I had to go into the Army,” said Hocker.

Following completion of basic training, the young soldier went to Louisville, Kentucky and then on maneuvers before going to New York and landing in England.

“I went in on D-Day 18 days after the war started, 18 days later I landed in Cherbourg, France and was with anti-aircraft,” Hocker stated.

Corporal Hocker served overseas on a halftrack where his unit protected the 150th Field Artillery’s 90 mm guns; the US Army’s primary heavy anti-aircraft gun.

“This halftrack had four 50-calaber machine guns on it,” said Hocker. “We protected the 150th 90 millimeter guns.”

Serving General George S. Patton and “helping at the Battle of the Bulge” was next for the Darke County native.

“Then we got hooked up with Patten and went through France like a sieve,” noted Hocker. “We got in Paris the second day they were liberated and went through Paris.”

Life was difficult and uneasy for US solder’s during the war as noted by Hocker.

“I slept on the snow,” Hocker said. “I look back and I just wonder how you survived that because all we had was a little pup tent. You put that thing down and lay on it – it was something else.”

“I was glad to get home,” Hocker stated. “I come home in December 22, 1944, got home for Christmas and went back to driving milk truck with my dad (Chester Hocker). My dad had bought that milk truck route and I drove it.”

Hocker was married to the late Janice Hocker for 63 years before her passing in 2015 and has two sons, Steve and Jerry and daughter, Christine. “I have grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Hocker said with a smile.

Hocker served the Bradford and surrounding area in the insurance business along with Galen Hackett.

“I started out with Leo Ebbing back in late 50s, early 60s and then I got in the insurance business for about 30 years.

The WWII Veteran now resides at Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville, OH.

Darke County native and WWII US Army Veteran, CJ Hocker. (Gaylen Blosser photo)
Darke County Now Editor Gaylen Blosser

Gaylen Blosser / Publisher

Gaylen Blosser is a sports enthusiast and has covered high school sports for nearly 20 years in Southwest Ohio. Gaylen has been a media sportswriter while most recently serving as Sports Editor for the local newspaper and will now serve as editor of Darke County Now while continuing to cover athletics. Gaylen is an accomplished photographer who has captured thousands of athletes in action over the years and is the recipient of the OHSAA Friends of Athletes Award and OHSAA Respect the Game State Award. Contact Darke County Now Editor Gaylen Blosser at gblosser@darkecountynow.com or 937-459-9547.

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