17th Armored Engineer Battalion in World War 2

17th Engineers during World War Two

John Hoffman - Roll of Honor

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John Hoffman

Unit: 17 Engr Bn 2nd Armd Div, A Company Rank: PrivateBorn: 09/26/1906
Photo of John Hoffman

Biographical Info

Location grave of Private John Hoffman at the St. Joseph New Cemetery:

Where was Private John Hoffman killed in action?
Phase: Normandy Campaign


Phase: Normandy Campaign – France

The Allied operations in France were planned and executed in three phases. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower wanted to establish a beachhead on the continent, build up the forces and then break through into the Brittany-Normandy area. The final step was to be a pursuit on a broad front. The major emphasis was placed on the left flank, while the right joined Allied forces moving northward from southern France. The 2d Armored Division, the first armored division to land on the continent, was to have a major role in executing all parts of this plan. The combat commands were structured so that maximum firepower could be brought quickly ashore. Genneral Maurice Rose’s Combat Command A had the 66th Armored Regiment as the basis of its command. In addition Rose had the 82d Reconnaissance Battalion, two battalions of the 41st Armored Infantry, the 14th and 92d Armored Artillery Battalions, battalion headquarters and Company A of the 17th Armored Engineer Battalion, Company A of the Maintenance Battalion, Company A, 48th Medical Battalion, and a detachment of the Supply Battalion.

The Allies began to build up supplies and troops for the breakout and for carrying the fight to the Nazis. The division’s tank and infantry regiments and reconnaissance battalions sent patrols to make contact via) the enemy and if possible to capture some prisoners.
On June 12, after being ashore for five days, V Corps reported that even though they had encountered no tanks, the reconnaissance battalion of the German I 7th SS Panzer Division was fighting on their front. Almost simultaneously with the initial landings, the 2nd Armored was called on to assist some of the landing forces. V Corps called for two armored infantry companies to be sent to the 29th Infantry Division to secure the bridgehead near Auxilie sur Mer.

The Germans attacked the 101st Airborne, which had few, if any, heavy weapons to stop a tank attack. General Bradley ordered the 2d Armored Division to send a task force of one tank battalion and one infantry battalion to secure the bridgehead at Isigny. Protected by fire from three American battleships, the USS Texas, Arkansas and Nevada, patrols began scouting the route. Before the troops could be committed to action, their mission was changed and they were sent to support the 101st Airborne.

The attack of the 2d Armored Division was in the bocage, or hedgerow, country. It was the only type of action for which the division had not trained at Fort Benning, during the maneuvers or in North Africa and Sicily. The countryside was dotted with small fields surrounded by thick hedgerows, sunken roads and many intersections. It was premium defensive country, placing an added burden on the attacker. The 17th Engineers Tandozers were being used to penetrate the hedgerows. Colonel Rose sent his reconnaissance forces to scout the route to Carentan. They encountered elements of the German 12th SS Panzer Division and a few Tiger tanks. General Collier and the lead elements of Combat Command A raced into Carentan, joined with the 101st Airborne Division and assaulted the German 17th SS Panzer Division.

(Source 2nd Armored Unit Division History, Hell on Wheels 1977.)

From England, Tidworth Barracks, coming across the channel in LST’s (Landing Ship Tank) the trip was unforgettable in the vast numbers of ships of all types which composed the invasion armada and the large number of plnes flying overhead. Landing at Omaha “Red” Beach, in the vicinity of Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, the first of the Bn. to reach France was Company ”A” on 9 june, followed by Co (Company) ”D” the next day, and Hq Co, Co, ”C”.

On 13 June Co. ”A” and a detachment of Co. ”E” supported the attack of Combat Command ”A” near Carentan. A flamethrower party was furnished 3/41, and the tank dozer was used considerable in making paths through hedgerows for tank advance. The entire company was employed in mine sweeping operations and in holding defensive positions. Enemy Artillery fire killed Pvt John Hoffman, and Francis Bonitatibus, Company ”A”, and Pvt Raymond V. Larking Co. ”E” on 15 June, the first casualties of the Bn on the continent. The force returned to the vicinity of La Mine 17 June after the very successful operation which had prevented our beach-head from being cut in half.

(source: 17th Armored Engineer Battalion Unit History)

HQ CCA 1 june - 30 june 1944 -Ike Skelton Combined Arms Research Library

HQ CCA 1 june – 30 june 1944 -Ike Skelton Combined Arms Research Library



Specific detailed information about Private John Hoffman, his “Headstone card”:

Headstone application John Hoffman 6-15-1944 B

Headstone application John Hoffman 6-15-1944

Official Deathlist

John Hoffman - Deathlist-Ohio- Hamilton County

John Hoffman – Deathlist-Ohio- Hamilton County detail

John Hoffman - Deathlist-Ohio- Hamilton County

John Hoffman – Deathlist-Ohio- Hamilton County

Temporary Grave Private John Hoffman, La Cambe Normandy, France

Temporary Grave John Hoffman La Cambe Normandy

Temporary Grave John Hoffman La Cambe Normandy

Newspaper article: The Cincinnati Enquirer, 08 Jul 1944, Sat, Page 6

Private John Hoffman newpaper

Private John Hoffman- The Cincinnati Enquirer, 08 Jul 1944, Sat, Page 6 newpaper.com

Pvt. John Hoffman, brother of William Hoffman, 651 Delhi Ave, Sedamsville, was killed in action in France June 15. A member of the Engineers Corps, he had been over seas since December, 1942, and had participated in the African cam paign.

Private John Hoffman newpaper – The Cincinnati Enquirer, 09 Jul 1944, Sun, Page 45

HOFFMAN Pvt. John Hoffman, aged 37 years, was Killed in France on june 15, 1944; beloved brother of William, Marie Charles and Jacob Hoffman. Requiem high mass at our Lady of perpetual Help Church Wednesday, July. 12, at 9 a.m.

Location where Private John Hoffman was killed in action:

The location of the house where John Hoffman lived with the family, as an 33 year old “truckdriver” in the year 1940:
Adress: Delhi Ave 651, Hamelton, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. 

The Household of John Hoffman lived with the family, as an 13 year old boy in the year 1920:

US Sensus 1920 Gender Age Martial status Race Role Birthplace
 Jacob Hoffman  M 54 M W  Head Germany
 Margaret Hoffman  F 49 M W  Wife  Ohio
 Jacob Hoffman  M 22 S W Son Ohio
 Charles Hoffman  M 19 S W Son Ohio
 William Hoffman  M 16 s W Son Ohio
 John Hoffman  M 13 S W Son Ohio
 Merle Hoffman  F 6 S  W  Daugther Ohio

Enlistment details

Race: White
Birth: 1906
Residence: Hamilton County, Ohio
Height: 68 in.
Weight: 172 lbs.
Civilian Occupation: Drivers and chauffeurs, bus, taxi, truck, and tractor
Marital Status: S
Education: Grammar School
Citizenship: U.S. Citizen
Rank: Private
Enlistment date: June 15, 1942
Enlistment location: Unknown
Enlistment Term: Enlistment for duration of War plus six months



Research © by: Martijn Brandjes
Text © by: Martijn Brandjes
Photos © by: findagrave.com

Categories: 17 Engr Bn 2nd Armd Div - A Company