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Hoback brothers – Bedford Boys.

Bedford Boys -29th Let’s Go

Lucille Boggess was born in 1929 in the State of Virginia and grew up with her family in the small town of Bedford, VA. Two of her older brothers, Raymond and Bedford Hoback, took part in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 with the 29th Infantry Division. Bedford was the first to join the National Guard a few years before D-Day. As many other men of the county, he wanted to serve and honor his country. Raymond was younger than Bedford and had a lot of admiration for his older brother.


He later decided to join the National Guard as well.

                                                                 Raymond Hoback, Company A, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division. Killed in Action on June 6, 1944 in Normandy, France.                                      Bedford Hoback, A Co, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division. Killed in Action on June 6, 1944 in Normandy, France.

The war broke out in Europe and in the Pacific in the late 30’s, the brother’s unit was then federalized and later sent to England to prepare for the coming invasion of France. The morning of June 6, 1944, Raymond and Bedford were the firsts to land on Dog Green sector, Omaha Beach with A Company, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division. Some thirty men from Bedford were still in the Company on June 6 and by the end of that tragic day, nearly nineteen of those were killed in action.

About a month after the invasion, the sheriff brought a telegram to Lucille’s family to announce that Bedford Hoback had been killed in action on June 6, 1944. The day after, they received a second telegram to report that Raymond Hoback was missing in action. The family was devastated by this terrible news.

In 1938, Raymond had received a Bible from his mother for Christmas and kept it close at hand. The morning of the invasion, Raymond was carrying the Bible as and when he landed on Omaha Beach under the intense fire of German machine guns and shells. Several soldiers of his company reported seeing him lying on the beach near water’s edge, whether wounded or dead. Raymond was probably taken by the tide into the sea while the men of the 29th Infantry Division where still fighting to take the beach. The body of Raymond Hoback has never been recovered.

A few days after receiving the two telegrams, a package arrived at Lucille’s house. A soldier who had landed on D-Day + 1 found Raymond’s bible on the beach and decided to send it to his family. At that point, the Bible was the only tangible connection between Raymond Hoback and his family. Her mother had treasured the Bible for the rest of her life, as Lucille treasures it today.

Lucille Boggess with the Bible of Raymond Hoback, A Company, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division.

The family decided to let Bedford be buried in Normandy because they did not want separate him from his brother Raymond. Bedford Hoback now rests in peace for eternity at the Colleville-sur-Mer Cemetery, Normandy Plot: G Row: 10 Grave: 28. The name of his brother Raymond Hobak is inscribed on the Wall of the Missing.