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West Virginia Veterans Memorial

West Virginia Veterans Memorial

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Cecil Claud Hockenberry
1898-1918

"We were preparing not Peace only, but Eternal Peace. There was about us the halo of some divine mission. We were bent on doing great, permanent noble things."

Harold Nicolson

Cecil Claud Hockenberry [carved as Heckenberry on the West Virginia Veterans Memorial] was born on October 16, 1898, at Sully, Randolph County, West Virginia. His parents, Charles Samuel Hockenberry and Diadamia Champ Hockenberry, were married in October 1892 in Tucker County, West Virginia. They raised a large family consisting of five boys and two girls on a farm at Sully in the Dry Fork district of Randolph County.

Charles and Diadamia Hockenberry’s family consisted of James William, Jefferson Daniel, Howard E., Cecil Claud, Myrtle Hester (Mrs. Don White), Clarence Edward, and Lillie S. Hockenberry.

Following the death of their mother and younger sister in 1909, the Hockenberry family was dispersed among several families at Sully. Charles remarried on January 23, 1912, to Cora N. Wymer. The children from the second marriage were Harry, Ellen, Richard, and Scott. Cora Hockenberry died in 1944, and Charles Samuel Hockenberry died in 1949. Both were buried in the I.O.O.F Cemetery (renamed Elkins Memorial Gardens).

On April 10, 1918, while working in Akron, Ohio, Cecil Claud was inducted into the United States Marine Corps and was sent to Parris Island, North Carolina for recruit training. Afterwards, he was assigned to the 109th Company in Galveston, Texas, on May 10, 1918. In July while at Quantico, Virginia, he was transferred to Company D of the 4th Separate Battalion. On August 13, 1918, the 3rd and 4th Separate Battalions embarked from Hoboken, New Jersey, aboard the USS Henderson and arrived on August 26 in France. They participated in the Battle at St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and were part of the Defensive Sector of the Allied Expeditionary Force.

On October 4, 1918, Marine Private Cecil Claud Hockenberry was killed in action during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He was originally interred in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon.

Some World War I troops were buried several times—first in battlefield graves, then in U.S. cemeteries in Europe, and finally in the United States. At the conclusion of the war, France resisted removing bodies for reburial, but in 1920 the French agreed to the return of American soldiers to the United States. The remains of 46,000 war dead were returned to the U.S. at a cost of over $30 million.

Upon the request of his father, Pvt. Hockenberry’s body was returned on September 15, 1921, to the United States for reburial in Arlington National Cemetery, the European Section, grave number 2898. Although his tombstone reflects his enlistment from Ohio, he has earned a place on the West Virginia Veterans Memorial because of his place of birth. As a true hero, he deserves the recognition and honor of both states.
grave marker

Marker for Pvt. Cecil Claud Hockenberry.
Courtesy Arlington National Cemetery

Article prepared by Leon Armentrout
May 2015

Honor...

Cecil Claud Hockenberry

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.


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