World War II

The war years from 1941-1945 were a sobering time. Hope's young men were serving in every theatre of the war. Those at home were supporting them by buying bonds, writing letters, sending packages, working for the Red Cross, and in all ways coping with the shortages to provide the needs of the war effort.

To recall just a few of those, there is Guilford Payson, who served with the 376th Bomber Group as a tail gunner on B-24s of the 15th Air Force, bombing the Rumanian oil fields and elsewhere in Europe from North African bases. He was awarded the air medal with six oak clusters, among other commendations.

Capt. David Brown served with the 82nd Airborne troops in France and Belgium. He retired from the reserves as a Col. Roy Hobbs, almost too old for duty at the time, enlisted in the 101st Ozark Medical Division, serving on the battlefield with the First Aid Corps. He received a Bronze Star for bravery under fire.
In later years he missed but a few reunions with his comrades.

Col. John Wilson went to Europe as a member of Gen. Omar Bradley's staff, where he participated in the planning of the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944. He handled more than 400,000 battle replacements as head of that division for the First Army headquarters and developed methods of maintaining the First Army at battle strength. Following the end of the war in Europe, Col. Wilson was transferred to the Pacific for another year. Later he served as a Staff Officer at the Pentagon. In 1952 he was assigned a tour of duty in Iceland. One of Hope Corner's boys did not return. Sgt. Herbert Vinal Hardy, son of Herbert and Bessie Hardy, was reported killed in northern Italy February 24, 1945. Trained with the Ski Troops, 86th Mountain Division at Camp Hale, Colorado, he was engaged in action with the 10th Mountain Division, which was spread on a defensive line from Mt. Belvedere to Mt. Torraccia after success scaling a 550 ft. cliff, known as the "Serra Siccia Com piano" and was under heavy fire.
He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal "for heroic achievement in action on Feb. 24, 1945 near Mt. Della Torraccia, Italy when concentrated enemy fire threatened to annihilate an advanced sector of the lead company in an attack upon a heavily fortified position.... his selfless conscientious devotion to duty and heroic courage were essential in his company's attack and gave to all his associates greater determination and purpose to achieve their objective." He is buried with his comrades at Florence American Cemetery in Italy.

From South Hope, Eugene Dunbar, born in 1926, also gave his life for his country during World War II. Three of Hope's young women also served:
Annie Hart of South Hope with the Army Nurse Corps, Hope D. Bowley of South Hope, and Dorothy Kimball of Hope with the Women's Army Corps.

An Honor Scroll, listing 22 names of those serving in the armed forces and auxiliary branches from the community of South Hope, was dedicated July 21, 1944, sponsored by the South Hope Red Cross Chapter and located on Route 17 at the Community Center.

(From History of Hope Maine by Anna Simpson Hardy Page 227-228)

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