KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | Aggieland News

Voices Of Veterans: Duke Hobbs

By: Sylvia Villarreal Email
By: Sylvia Villarreal Email

For his service to his country, Duke Hobbs not only received a Purple Heart, he was also awarded a Bronze Star for bravery. The Aggie's military career began when he joined the Army in 1944, after finishing his freshman year.

Duke Hobbs says, "I did my basic training at Camp Hood."

Once he completed his basic training, Duke was off to Europe to serve his country during World War II.

"The assigned us to go over on the Ile de France which was a large, large Luxury liner. I think, probably the third or fourth larges in the world at the time and they had outfitted that as a troop ship to carry about 20,000 troops at a time," says Hobbs.

Some of those troops then had to cross the English Channel, but bad weather delayed that crossing.

Hobbs remembers, "We were suppose to cross the Channel on this LST and the channel was choppy, choppy so we pulled back in port and we sat there on the LST then for several days."

Eventually Duke's outfit made it to Hagginaw, France where the weather wasn't any better, "Cold, cold, cold. This was one of the coldest winters that Europe had had in something like 50 years," says Hobbs.

After freezing there for a while, Duke's division was on the move towards Kampen, a town right on the border of Germany and Belgium. Taking the town though wasn't easy because the Germans had placed mines in the area.

Duke Hobbs says, "We took the town and the night after the town was secure, tanks came rolling up all the tanks from tank companies came rolling up noisily and then they very quietly moved back again, we were right on the Rohr River."

While the crossing of the Rohr was taking place, Duke's division had other problems, they needed ammunition. "A call was put out for a volunteer to go back to regiment to bring in some more ammunition, we were running short of ammunition for our platoon," says Hobbs.

The mission was dangerous. There was gunfire overhead, but Duke and another brave soldier retrieved the ammo for their outfit.

Hobbs says, "It was nothing, but others thought it was."

During his time in the army, Duke served with exceptional men, one be his Company Commander, who he still remembers today.

"His name was Palmer, Lt. Palmer, just absolutely one of the greatest people I've ever known. Absolutely fearless really, at least that was the way that we all looked up him," says Hobbs.

To this day, Duke looks up to and respects Palmer…just the way many look upon him.

Hobbs says, "We owed this to the country and we did this. In look back upon it, I'm proud of the things I was able to do."

Following the war, Duke Hobbs finished his degree from Texas A&M University. After that, he served in a different branch of the service, he went into the Air Force and served his country during the Korean War.


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