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Harold Alden Hornbeck papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2012.302.1

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    Harold Alden Hornbeck papers

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    Consists of original post-war photographs of Harold Alden Hornbeck in Germany, France, and Scotland while part of the United States military. Also included are liberation photographs of Buchenwald concentration camp, a photograph of displaced persons returning home and of German POWs, and United States certificate of recognition
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Meda F. Hornbeck
    Collection Creator
    Harold A. Hornbeck
    Harold Alden Hornbeck was born on February 13, 1917, in Stockton, Missouri, to Clarence and Nellie Keith Hornbeck. Both of his parents were born in 1889 in Missouri. On June 20, 1915, Clarence and Nellie married and settled in Stockton, Missouri, where Clarence was a farmer. In fall 1918, their second son, Paul was born. In early 1919, the family moved to Las Animas, Colorado, and Clarence continued farming. On July 27, 1926, Harold’s twin sisters Mildred and Meda were born. In 1927, Harold's father died. His brother Paul died in 1934. Harold completed high school and became a company foreman. In late 1940, Harold married Joyce Bigham (1923-2005) of Maricopa, Arizona.
    On March 5, 1941, Harold enlisted in the US Army. He was assigned to the 883rd Field Artillery Battalion, 70th Infantry Division, nicknamed the Trailblazers, and rose to the rank of Master Sergeant. On December 7, 1941, folowing the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States entered World War II. In January 1945, the 70th Infantry was deployed to the European Theater of Operations and landed in France as part of the Seventh Army, 6th Army Group. In January and February, the Division advanced across France and into southwestern Germany. On March 20, 1945, the 70th took Saarbrucken, Germany. In April, the Division became part of the Third Army, 12th Army Group, and pushed deeper into Germany. On April 11, 1945, Buchenwald concentration camp was liberated by US soldiers. Harold was among those present to see the horrible conditions first hand. He took photographs, and in a letter to his family about the camp, he wrote “believe everything you read, it’s true.” The remaining portion of the letter was censored. The Division continued to advance through the region until May 7, 1945, when Germany surrendered.
    The 70th remained on occupational duty in Germany until early fall. The Division arrived in the United States on October 10, 1945, was deactivated the following day. Harold and Joyce settled just outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Harold did not speak of his wartime experiences to his family after his return. Harold, age 78, died on December 6, 1995, in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Physical Details

    1 folder

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Germany. France. Scotland.

    Administrative Notes

    Meda Hornbeck donated this collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2012 in memory of her brother, Harold Alden Hornbeck.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 13:39:51
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