Woman Recalls Losing Two Brothers on D-Day
Bedford, VA - Lucille Hoback Boggess lost two brothers on D-Day. Bedford and Raymond Hoback were members of Company A, "The Bedford Boys".
"When we first heard about D-Day, we did not know that my brothers or the Bedford group were involved," said Boggess.
Boggess was two days shy of 15 on June 6, 1944. That summer her birthday came and went, before her family learned there would be no more birthdays for Lucille's brothers.
"It was the middle of July before the telegrams started coming in," said Boggess.
The first came on a Sunday morning, informing the family Bedford, 30, had been killed in action on June 6, 1944. The second arrived a day later. It said Raymond, 24, was missing in action.
"Getting one telegram was bad, but then getting a second, it was just more than my mother could handle," said Boggess.
The family later received Raymond's bible. A soldier from West Virginia found it on the beach the day after the invasion.
"I imagine what has happened is your son dropped the book without any notice. Most everyone who landed on the beach D-Day lost something," the soldier's letter read.
Raymond's Bible is all that would ever be found of him. His body is presumed to have washed into the English Channel.
"She said next to her son, she would have liked to have had his Bible," said Boggess of her mother.
Bedford was engaged to Miss Elaine Coffey. Boggess said her parents went to Coffey's house to give her the news.
"They were just so devastated and they knew how she would be, they just handed her the telegram," said Boggess. "So she kept the telegram."
The Hoback family decided not to have Bedford's body returned, to keep the brothers together. Bedford is buried at the American cemetery in Normandy. Raymond's name is there on the Tablet of the Missing.
"My mother used to say, they left home together, and stayed together all through the service, they died together," said Boggess.