Sailor Who Died in Pearl Harbor Attack Finally Returning Home with Ceremony

A very unusual military funeral will happen in Chillicothe and Greenfield in a couple weeks. Kevin Coleman spoke with one of the planners.

On August 20th, 2022, a Chillicothe man who died in the opening day of World War II will return to the area.

Joseph W. Hoffman was a Musician First Class in the Navy. On December 7th, 1941, his band was assembled for the morning colors ceremony on the USS Oklahoma...when Japanese planes hit.

Veteran coordinator, local military historian, and retired Huntington teacher Bob Leach said current DNA technology has allowed the Navy to identify remains of hundreds who were recovered two years later from the torpedoed and capsized Oklahoma.

Among the highly anticipated events for Hoffman's return the weekend of August 19 through the 21st, Leach says the biggest will be that Saturday morning. A procession will start at the east end of Chillicothe's Main Street at 10am, pass under crossed fire truck ladders at the courthouse, then head up Walnut Street for a funeral service at Veteran's Park on Yoctangee Boulevard.

A memorial service will also be at Hoffman's church, Tyler Methodist. His family's house at at 304 Yoctangee Boulevard will be a highlight on the procession out of town.

Hoffman's family had moved to Greenfield, and are all buried there, so the family will be reunited after 81 years.

An open house that Friday will be at American Legion Post 757, just south of Chillicothe, which is named after Hoffman. The post will have the unique experience of participating in the funeral of its namesake.

A tour of Chillicothe's Grandview Cemetery 1 to 5pm that Sunday will include other Ross County veterans who died in service.

Hear much more in the below podcast.

Kevin Coleman covers local government and culture

Hoffman Homecoming

A flyer for the Hoffman funeral events.

Hoffman bio and funeral schedule

The draft page from Bob Leach's upcoming book on Ross Countians who died in service.

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