Lt. Richard N. Hoag

December 22, 1916–June 6, 1944

Service #: *****
Residence: Jones, Iowa
Education: 2 years college
Occupation: *****
Marital Status: *****
Enlistment Date: March 21, 1942
Enlistment Place: *****
Service/Unit: *****
Awards: *****
Burial: *****

Two Monticello Boys Killed "D" Day, June 6

Lieut. Richard N. Hoag, Sgt. John Onken Called

Lt. Richard N. Hoag and Sgt. John Onken both former residents of Monticello and vicinity, were killed in the invasion thrust in Normandy on D-day, June 6. Word of their untimely deaths was received, last Friday for Lt. Hoag, and Tuesday for Sgt. Onken. These were the first deaths to be reported on invasion day that affected this community.

The following obituaries of these young men tell of their active life in the service of the United States air corps and infantry.

Lt. Richard N. Hoag

Memorial services were held Monday evening at 8 o'clock at the Presbyterian church for the late Lt. Richard Nevin Hoag, who was killed D-day, June 6, in the invasion of France. The services were in charge of Dr. William J. Grossheim, pastor.

Mrs. Earl DeShaw played a prelude on the organ, which was followed by the invocation and the singing of "Onward Christian Soldiers," a favorite hymn of Lt. Hoag's. Dr. Grossheim read the scripture, which was followed by a duet, "In The Garden" sung by Anne and Shirley Skelley.

Dr. Grossheim offered a prayer and then delivered the memorial sermon. Thereafter, the ritualistic service of the American Legion was presented by E. D. Vernon, past commander of the Arthur P. O'Rourke post of the American Legion of Monticello. The flag was presented by Oliver Harford, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post, and flowers were presented by the Women's Fellowship of the Presbyterian church. The service closed with the singing of the hymn, "America" and the benediction.

Richard Nevin Hoag, son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis E. Hoag of Chicago, was born December 22, 1916. He attended the Monticello public schools and thereafter graduated from St. John's Military Academy at Delafield, Wis. He spent two years at the University of Iowa and later took a business course in Cedar Rapids and Chicago. Before entering the service, he was associated with his father in business.

He entered the army March 21, 1942, as a second lieutenant, having been a member of the reserve corps. His initial service was in the infantry, but, at his request, he was transferred to the air corps, where he qualified as a glider pilot. He was a member of the troop carrier squadron. Each glider carries 15 to 17 men. It was in that capacity that Lt. Hoag went to France June 6, 1944, and was killed in action.

He is survived by his parents and sister, Kathleen, besides other relatives and friends.

Lt. Hoag was a member of the Presbyterian church of Monticello where he kept his membership, even after his removal from the town. His was the fourth gold star to be added to the church's service flag. The other men are Donald Stott, Charles Bender, and Rollo Harford.

Sgt. John Onken

Sgt. John C. F. Onken, a nephew of John Heyen of Langworthy and Mrs. J. C. Bolster of Scotch Grove, was killed in action in France on D-day, June 6.

(See Sgt. John C. F. Onken.)

Submitted by: Sharon Oltmanns
Source: Monticello Express, Monticello, Iowa, July 6, 1944

Mission Elmira

Mission Elmira was planned for the late evening of the 6th June. Serial 32 of consisted of two CG-4As and forty-eight Horsa gliders towed by the 436th TCG, departing from Membury at 2037hrs (Double British Summer Time) to LZ 'W' between St. Mere-Eglise and Carentan. The gliders carried members of the US 82nd Airborne Division's 319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, the 307th Airborne Medic Company, 'A' Company of the 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion and the 82nd Airborne Division Artillery. Unfortunately many of the gliders were released prematurely and some landed in or close to German-held territory at around 2300hrs as the sun was close to setting. Many of the gliders and C-47s encountered heavy ground fire after having to fly over German-held territory, leading to three aircraft from Serials 32 and 33 being forced to ditch in the Channel on their return, fortunately for the 436th all of their aircraft returned to Membury, albeit many having sustained damage, Night Fright herself taking around one hundred hits, putting her out of service for repairs for four days. The Group's glider pilots were not so lucky, out of the the seven men lost by the Group the 79th TCS lost 1st Lt. John Walls and 2nd Lt. Richard Hoag, both due to ground fire, with a number of others injured.

Source: Night Fright Restoration Project