Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 3, September, 1995 Page: 139
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Supreme Sacrifice: Colorado County's World War /I Dead
his family received a message that he had been missing since he flew on a January 10,
1945 bombardment mission over Germany. The pilot of another bomber on the raid
reported that flak had hit Estlinbaum's plane after it had completed a bombing run on
Cologne. The flight was reportedly Estlinbaum's ninth mission. Reports stated that two
men parachuted out of the plane about eight miles from enemy lines, allowing his family
to hold out hope that Estlinbaum might have become a prisoner of war. However, in June
1945, the family received confirmation that Estlinbaum had been killed, and that he had
been buried with full military honors in an American cemetery in western Germany.64
2nd Lt. Laurin P. Otting
Died January 14, 1945
Laurin Otting was the son of Gus Otting. He had moved to Weimar in 1939
to live with his aunt, Buena Jane James Yoder, and graduated from Weimar High School
in 1942. With Robert Plagens, Otting had then briefly attended the University of Texas.
In March 1943, he entered the military, thereby becoming one of thirteen of the fifteen
male members of the Weimar High School class of 1942 to do so. Otting was
commissioned a second lieutenant in the air corps on June 27, 1944 and received his
wings the same day. He was assigned to pilot a B-17 bomber. He arrived in England in
December 1944, and was killed the next month. On January 14, 1945, Otting's craft,
like that of Estlinbaum four days earlier, was on a bombing run on Cologne when it went
down over Luxembourg, en route to its target. Of the nine-man crew, one was known
to have been captured and two others were reported killed in action. The fates of the
other six men were unknown, and Otting was listed as missing in action. His death,
however, was subsequently confirmed. Otting was buried in a civilian cemetery in
Luxembourg. Later his remains were removed and reburied with full military honors in
a military cemetery. He was survived by six sisters and three brothers.65
PFC Arthur Hodde
November 3, 1916 - February 19, 1945
After the Battle of the Bulge, American ground forces pushed through the
Ardennes and Rhineland regions toward the Rhine. As they advanced, Nazi German
resistance stiffened, and casualties mounted. But German reserves had been exhausted
in the winter offensive, and the outcome of the European war was inevitable.
Arthur Hodde was born November 3, 1916, the son of Ed Hodde. He was
a cousin of Edward Joseph Hodde, who was killed in the war in 1943. A native of Eagle
Lake, he had been captain of the football team at Eagle Lake High School. After
graduation, he became a superintendent with a Houston construction firm. He entered
the army on August 12, 1942. He trained in Oregon and Colorado, and served in the
64 Eagle Lake Headlight, February 7, 1945, June 8, 1945, August 3, 1945.
65 Weimar Mercury, August 6, 1943, July 14, 1944, June 29, 1945; Colorado County Citizen, June
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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/m1/31/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.