Edward J. Hoar


September 3, 1917 – April 9, 2001

My father, Edward J. Hoar (aka Big Ed and E.J.), owned a newsstand across the street from the Empire State Building in New York when he was drafted in 1942. He was sent to Pine Camp, near Watertown, N.Y. where he would meet his wife to be and my mother, Laura, whom he would marry after his return from overseas in 1946. From Pine Camp he was sent to Kentucky, Oklahoma and later to the desert area of California for additional training as a light tank driver. He would eventually be shipped off to England in early 1944 as part of the Fourth Armored Division of Patton’s Third Army. Here they would wait for the D-Day initiative in June, 1944.

Landing at Utah Beach in July, 1944 the Fourth Armored would play a major role in helping to relieve the beleaguered 101st Airborne Division by attacking the German Army at Bastogne in December, 1944. The Germans had just launched their Ardennes offensive which also became known as the Battle of the Bulge. Militarily defined as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, this action included the German drive and the American effort to contain and later defeat that initiative.

During the Fourth Armored’s drive across France and Germany, Big Ed, as a light tank driver, would be one of the first Americans to enter many of the towns along the way. Like many vets, Big Ed, never spoke much about the war. He did mention having three tanks “shot out from under him”, and seeing both friends and the enemy killed in battle. As Chris can attest, he brought back many souvenirs from the war including German helmets, guns, swords, daggers, medals, and pins. All of these items have been sold or given to collectors of World War II memorabilia.

After returning from Germany in 1946, Big Ed was discharged and married my mother, who was a PFC in the WACs and a Disabled American Veteran as a result of two separate accidents involving the testing of poisonous gases at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland. My Dad returned to work in his newsstand for the next ten years before our family relocated to Syracuse, NY where he would work for and later retire from the US Postal Service.

My mother died in 1986 and was the first female veteran buried in the newly established Onondaga County Veteran’s cemetery. My father died in 2001 and is buried next to Laura, who was his wife and also the love of his life for over forty years.