Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 3, September, 1995 Page: 128
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
Flight Instructor Edward Joseph Hodde
August 24, 1911 - November 2, 1943
Edward Joseph Hodde, the son of Henry and Josephine Hodde, though he
was not in the military, was nonetheless also a casualty of World War II. He was serving
as a civilian instructor for pilots in Las Vegas, New Mexico, when he was killed in an
accidental crash on November 2, 1943.40
Hodde, 32 years old at the time of his death, was a 1930 graduate of
Columbus High School. The 1930 Columbus High School yearbook says of him, "Still
Waters Run Deep." He had lived in Houston before the war. Hodde was survived by his
parents and three brothers, Gus, Lawrence, and Henry. His body was returned to
Columbus for burial. The funeral was held at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Columbus
with burial at Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery. His name was one of the six inscribed on the
addendum to the DAR plaque at the courthouse.41
S/Sgt. William Newton Foster
June 11, 1917 - November 14, 1943
Beneath two huge oak trees beside the Lehrer Memorial Methodist Church
in Garwood are placed two memorial markers. The stones are placed to honor two Gar-
wood Methodist boys who died in World War II. Both are buried elsewhere. Norman
Lanier is one. William Foster is the other.
When the last Axis troops surrendered in Tunisia in May 1943, the battle for
North Africa was over. The North African countries of Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt would
continue to be staging areas for heavy bomber strikes against Italy, France, and the
Balkans for much of the rest of the war. William Newton Foster of Garwood was in the
Army Air Corps in North Africa during this period and, though the War Department listed
his death as non-battle, he was killed in the line of duty.
Foster was born June 11, 1917 near Vanderbilt in Jackson County, Texas,
the child of Mr. and Mrs. F. R. Foster. His family moved to Colorado County in 1932,
and Foster graduated from Garwood High School in 1935. He was a member of the
Methodist Church, which he had joined when he was ten.42
Foster was inducted into the military May 18, 1942, one of the massive
number of draftees taken immediately after Pearl Harbor. He trained at Sheppard Field
and earned his silver wings at Ft. Meyers, Florida. He had trained as an aerial gunner,
mechanic, and machinist. He was shipped overseas in September 1943 and attained the
rank of staff sergeant while serving with the 310th Bombardment Group, 47th Wing in
North Africa. Reports said Foster was killed in a crash two months later, on November
14, 1943, near Tobruk, Libya. It has been speculated that he was on a mission over the
40 Colorado County Citizen, November 4, 1943; Eagle Lake Headlight, November 5, 1943.
41 Colorado County Citizen, November 11, 1943.
42 Eagle Lake Headlight, December 3, 1943; Colorado County Citizen, December 2, 1943.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 3, September, 1995, periodical, September 1995; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151395/m1/20/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed May 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.